Game Day: Phoenix Coyotes @ San Jose Sharks

The Coyotes have packed their bags and set off en route to San Jose, as tonight marks the start of a five-game road trip.  They dropped their last contest against the Canadiens in overtime Thursday night, as a Josh Gorges slapshot found its way behind goaltender Mike Smith at the 1:45 mark of the extra frame.  The Sharks, who took the last game against their division rival Coyotes by a score of 6-3, are 8-1-1 in their last ten games and sport the best shots-per-game ratio of the NHL with an average of 36.

San Jose is also stellar on the power play at home (30%, a league-best rating).  That fateful home opener on October 8th saw the Sharks capitalize three times on the man advantage for half of their goal-tally that night.  However, since that outing, Phoenix has gone on to become the least penalized team in the league.
Quick Hits: Coyotes
♦ Mikkel Boedker scored his second goal of the season against the Canadiens on Thursday.  He, along with Martin Hanzal and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, led the Coyotes offensively with 4 shots on goal each.
♦ In addition to his usual team-leading ice time (21:58), Keith Yandle's cross-ice pass to Raffi Torres for the tying goal against the Habs was the real highlight.
♦ Despite being blanked from the scoresheet Thursday, Radim Vrbata still has seven points in his last five.
Shane Doan scored two goals in that 6-3 loss against San Jose, both on the power play.
Daymond Langkow is not expected back in the lineup this weekend due to family reasons.

Quick Hits: Sharks

Andrew Desjardins and Joe Pavelski were given first and second-star honours respectively in the previous win against Phoenix, for each having collected two goals in the game. Pavelski is currently sixth in the NHL with 9 goals and leads the Sharks with a total of 17 points.
♦ Sharks' goaltender Antti Niemi is 5-1-1 vs. the Coyotes, with a goals-against average of 2.12. He stopped 21 of 22 shots against the Wild on Thursday, improving to 4-0-0.
Patrick Marleau has five points in his last two games, including three goals (two in the game against Minnesota).
♦ Blueliner Dan Boyle played a hefty 25:08, picking up an assist on Marleau's game-opening marker at 2:34 of the second period.