The Coyotes go into game five of their six game home stand Tuesday evening when they face off against the visiting San Jose Sharks.
Arizona is looking to rebound from a 5-1 defeat against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. Mikkel Boedker scored the lone goal, his 12th of the season, on the behalf of the Coyotes. Boedker now has three goals in his last two games.
Mike Smith, who has started all four of the Coyotes contests in 2015, saved 28 of the 33 shots fired at him. Devan Dubnyk will get the start tonight in goal, according to sources. Zbynek Michalek will be returning to the lineup, while Martin Hanzal could return on Thursday.
Dec 27, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Coyotes goalie Devan Dubnyk in the third period against the Anaheim Ducks at Gila River Arena. The Coyotes defeated the Ducks 2-1 in an overtime shootout. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Arizona (16-21-4) has officially hit the halfway point of the season and are sitting in 13th place in the Western Conference. To captain Shane Doan, the team’s leadership is responsible for the lack of results this season.
"“Our inconsistency has probably been the most glaring weakness and that pretty much falls directly on us leaders in the room.” -Shane Doan"
The San Jose Sharks, like the Coyotes, are coming off a loss on home ice. They were defeated by the New York Rangers 3-1 on Saturday. The only goal scored for San Jose came off the stick of Melker Karlsson, who has been on fire recently. The rookie is currently on a five game goal streak.
San Jose (22-16-5) is looking to maintain their position inside the playoffs. They are currently hold the second wild card, with Calgary only down by two points.
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San Jose’s top two point scorers, Joe Pavelski (21 goals, 16 assists) and Logan Couture (15 goals, 21 assists), are going to have to be the focal point of the defensive game plan. Joe Thornton, team leader in assists (24), returned to lineup on Saturday after missing the previous four games.
An intriguing matchup to look out for will be the play of the two All Star defensemen on opposing sides. Both Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks and Oliver Ekman-Larsson of the Arizona Coyotes are having stellar seasons.
Burns and Ekman-Larsson are tied for 2nd among NHL defensemen in goals scored (11) and both lead their respective clubs in average time on ice. Burns is tied for 5th among NHL defensemen in assists (23). Ekman-Larsson is 4th among NHL defensemen in shots on goal (127) while Burns is 5th (122).
The puck will drop for the Coyotes and Sharks at 7 pm MST in Glendale.