The Arizona Coyotes are climbing back into the playoff race with a strong run against its Pacific Division rivals and look to continue the surge when they visit the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night. The Coyotes are 3-1-2 during a six-game stretch versus the Pacific after knocking off the Edmonton Oilers in their last two games and can move to 3-0-0 against the Sharks with a win Tuesday.
“It’s been a good start,” Arizona forward Jamie McGinn told reporters after the 2-1 triumph in Edmonton on Sunday. “I think we’re eight out of a possible 12 points, but we want to keep it going.” The Coyotes hope to take advantage of the injury-plagued Sharks, who saw their three-game winning streak come to an end with a 3-2 loss against Anaheim on Saturday. San Jose was down three regulars up front in Saturday’s loss, but could get forward Melker Karlsson (lower-body) back Tuesday and top-pair defenseman Marc Edouard Vlasic is expected to play after missing the third period against Anaheim with an undisclosed injury. Defenseman Brent Burns leads the Sharks with eight goals and was named the NHL’s third star of the week on Monday.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona, CSN California (San Jose)
ABOUT THE COYOTES (8-10-2): Radim Vrbata, the NHL’s all-time leader in shootout tallies, scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season in Sunday’s victory and shares the top spot with Max Domi at 14 points. Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who played a big part in limiting the league’s leading scorer Connor McDavid to two shots on Sunday, has assists in two straight games to push his total to 10 points. Goalie Mike Smith allowed two or fewer goals in four of his five starts during November after a leg injury kept him out almost a month.
ABOUT THE SHARKS (12-9-1): Burns had two points in three consecutive games before being blanked against Anaheim while captain Joe Pavelski is working on a six-game point streak and shares the team lead with Burns at 20. Key offseason free-agent signing Mikkel Boedker has just two points (two goals) in 22 games to start the season and was benched in the third period Sunday. “Trying to find my way, playing hard and trying to make things happen,” Boedker told the San Jose Mercury News recently. “Right now, it’s not going the right way.”
1. San Jose G Martin Jones is 4-2-1 with a 1.44 goals-against average, .941 save percentage and two shutouts in seven all-time games against Arizona.
2. Arizona’s veteran RW Shane Doan is two goals shy of 400 in his career.
3. The Sharks are 5-for-40 on the power play in November after converting 7-of-29 in October.
PREDICTION: Sharks 4, Coyotes 3