In the Crease: Coyotes vs. Sharks

Sharks kick off three-game homestand with Coyotes

In the Crease: Coyotes vs. Sharks
November 2, 2013, 9:45 am
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Dan Boyle is set to return to game action after a scary collision into the boards in St. Louis on Oct. 15. (USATSI)

Inside the Machup

- San Jose is 17-2-3 in their last 22 home games against Phoenix, including a point or more in their last five contests at the Shark Tank (4-0-1).

- The Sharks are the only team in the NHL with four players posting at least 13 points on the season.

- San Jose and Anaheim are the only two NHL teams that are undefeated at home this season (5-0-0 each).

- San Jose has six defensemen with a plus/minus rating of at least plus-two on the season. Only Colorado has more defensemen at plus-two or better with seven.

- The Coyotes finished the month October at 9-3-2, their best mark for that particular month since a 9-1-2 record back in 2000-01. It's also their third-best October in franchise history.

- Last night, Coyotes' head coach Dave Tippett tied Bob Francis for the all-time franchise lead with his 165th victory - accomplishing the feat in 82 fewer games

Programming note: Sharks-Coyotes coverage gets underway today at 7:00 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live, only on Comcast SportsNet California

Where they stand
Sharks: 10-1-2, 22 points, 1st Pacific Division, 2nd Western Conference
Coyotes: 9-3-2, 20 points, 3rd Pacific Division, 4th Western Conference


Goals per game: 3.85 (1st)
Goals-against per game: 1.77 (2nd)
Power play: 22.0 percent (9th)
Penalty kill: 85.0 percent (6th)

Goals per game: 3.36 (3rd)
Goals-against per game: 3.07 (23rd)
Power play: 21.2 percent (12th)
Penalty kill: 81.1 percent (18th)

Probable lines

Patrick Marleau– Logan Couture – Marty Havlat
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Tyler Kennedy
Matt Nieto – Joe Pavelski – Tommy Wingels
John McCarthy – Andrew Desjardins – Mike Brown

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brad Stuart – Dan Boyle
Scott Hannan – Jason Demers

Antti Niemi (confirmed starter)
Alex Stalock

Mikkel Boedker - Mike Ribeiro - Shane Doan
Lauri Korpikoski - Martin Hanzal - Radim Vrbata
Rob Klinkhammer - Antoine Vermette - David Moss
Jordan Szwarz - Andy Miele - Kyle Chipchura

Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Zbynek Michalek
Derek Morris – Keith Yandle
Michael Stone – David Rundblad

Mike Smith (confirmed starter)
Thomas Greiss

Last game

Sharks: In the first meeting since the 2013 playoffs, the Sharks surrendered three one-goal leads in falling to the Kings on Wednesday at Staples Center, 4-3 in overtime. Logan Couture had a goal and an assist, and Joe Pavelski and Marc-Edouard Vlasic also scored, but Anze Kopitar's power play goal in overtime gave Los Angeles the victory. Marty Havlat made his season debut, and Antti Niemi allowed four goals on 23 shots to suffer the defeat in net. The Sharks wrapped up a five-game road trip with a 3-1-1 record.

Coyotes: Shane Doan led Phoenix with a goal and an assist in a 5-4 shootout win over Nashville on Thursday at home. Phoenix erased a three-goal deficit for the first time since Feb. 12, 2012, and former Sharks goalie Thomas Greiss got the win in net with 36 saves on 40 shots. Phoenix has won five of its last six games.

Keep an eye on…

Sharks: Dan Boyle. The defenseman looks primed to return from a two-and-a-half week absence after a scary collision into the boards in St. Louis on Oct. 15 on a hit from behind. Boyle has one goal and one assist in six games, but his presence has been missed most notably on the top unit of the power play, where the Sharks are two for their last 15 over the last five games.

[RELATED: Boyle 'ready to go']

Coyotes: Keith Yandle. The Phoenix defenseman enters the game with a five-game point streak, with nine points total over that span (1g, 8a). Yandle is second only to Oliver Ekman-Larsson in time on ice for the Coyotes, but has just eight points (2g, 6a) and a -6 rating in 34 career games against the Sharks.


Sharks: Raffi Torres (right ACL surgery), Adam Burish (back surgery), and Brent Burns (face) are out.

Coyotes: Rostislav Klesla (lower body), Jeff Halpern (upper body), and David Schlemko (lower body) are out.

Season/All-Time series

In the first game of the season series, the Sharks skated to a 4-1 win at home on Oct. 5. The Pacific Division rivals meet twice more this season, both in Phoenix, including on Dec. 27 at Arena. All-time, the Sharks are 60-46-7-8 all-time vs. the Winnipeg/Phoenix franchise.


“It’s not fun. They definitely don’t make it easy on you. With the injury I had, I was able to come back on the ice fairly quickly. The coaches make sure that you stay in shape, and when you’re out there by yourself, it definitely gets old. Looking to get back with my teammates and get back into this thing.” – Dan Boyle

Burning question

How would you evaluate Tyler Kennedy’s season? Leave your answer in the comments section below.

[RELATED: Kennedy hopes new line leads to more offense]