Sharks-Coyotes at a glance

Sharks-Coyotes at a glance
March 30, 2013, 10:00 am

Marc-Edouard Vlasic is expected to skate with Jason Demers on his 26th birthday. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Programming note: Sharks-Coyotes coverage gets under way tonight at 7:00 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live, only Comcast SportsNet California

Where they stand
Sharks: 16-11-6, 38 points, 3rd Pacific Division, 7th Western Conference
Coyotes: 14-15-5, 33 points, 5th Pacific Division, 13th Western Conference

Vitals
Sharks
Goals per game: 2.33 (28th)
Goals-against per game: 2.39 (6th)
Power play: 17.9 percent (19th)
Penalty kill: 86.7 percent (3rd)

Coyotes
Goals per game: 2.62 (16th)
Goals-against per game: 2.79 (19th)
Power play: 15.8 percent (22nd)
Penalty kill: 83.2 percent (10th)

Probable lines
Sharks
Marty Havlat – Joe Thornton – Adam Burish
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Tommy Wingels
TJ Galiardi – Joe Pavelski – Ryane Clowe
James Sheppard – Scott Gomez – Andrew Desjardins

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Dan Boyle
Brad Stuart – Brent Burns
Matt Irwin – Justin Braun

Antti Niemi
Alex Stalock

Coyotes
Mikkel Boedker – Antoine Vermette – Shane Doan
Radim Vrbata – Martin Hanzal – Steve Sullivan
Rob Klinkhammer – Boyd Gordon – David Moss
Raffi Torres – Matt Lombardi – Kyle Chipchura

Oliver Ekman-Larsson – David Schlemko
Keith Yandle – Derek Morris
Rostislav Klesla – Mike Stone

Jason LaBarbera
Chad Johnson

Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Antti Niemi. The Sharks goaltender will likely make his 22nd start in the last 23 games, coming off of shutouts on back-to-back nights on Wednesday and Thursday. He made 22 saves against the Ducks in a 4-0 Sharks win, and followed that up with 27 against Detroit. His 2.14 goals-against average is seventh in the league, while his .924 save percentage ranks fifth.

Coyotes: Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The 21-year-old defenseman just signed a six-year contract extension with the Coyotes, and plays more than 25 minutes a night. He has three goals and 16 assists for 19 points, tied with Keith Yandle for most on the team among defensemen.

Last game
Sharks: Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns each scored their third goals in as many games and Antti Niemi made 27 saves in a 2-0 Sharks win over the Red Wings at HP Pavilion on Thursday night. It was the Sharks’ third straight regulation win, and the second game of a seven-game homestand. San Jose is 1-0-1 against Detroit in the season series.

Coyotes: Phoenix exploded for six goals in the first period, including two by Radim Vrbata, in beating the Nashville Predators on Thursday, 7-4. Prior to that, the Coyotes had just eight goals during a seven-game losing streak. Jason LaBarbara allowed four goals on 38 shots for the win in net.

Injuries
Sharks: Thomas Greiss (neck) is on injured reserve, and on a conditioning assignment in AHL Worcester. Tim Kennedy (upper body) is on injured reserve. Jason Demers (undisclosed) is out.

Coyotes: Mike Smith (upper body) and Zbenyk Michalek (foot) are on injured reserve. Lauri Korpikoski (upper body) is day-to-day.

Season series
The Sharks are 1-0-1 against Phoenix, with both games at HP Pavilion. On Jan. 24 in their home opener, San Jose scored four times in the third period to win, 5-3. Patrick Marleau scored twice, while Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture also added goals.

On Feb. 9, the teams skated to a scoreless tie through overtime, before the Coyotes won in a shootout, 1-0. Mike Smith and Antti Niemi were each credited with a shutout.

The Sharks are 57-45-7-8 all-time against Phoenix/Winnipeg.

Quoteable
“A lot of times I’m just running around trying to cause chaos.” – Brent Burns, who has goals in three straight games, on playing on the Sharks’ top line