Coyotes sorely in need of a win as Sharks hit town
Saturday, 02.04.2012 / 9:07 AM
Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff WriterSHARKS (29-14-6) at COYOTES (22-21-8)
TV: CSN-CA (HD), FS-A PLUS (HD)
San Jose 6-3-1; Phoenix 3-4-3
This is the third of six meetings. The teams split the first two matchups.
It's starting to get late early in Phoenix. The Coyotes have dropped seven of their last nine and 13 of 17 since just before Christmas. They sit in 12th place in the Western Conference, five points back of the eight-place Minnesota Wild. There's still time for the Coyotes to turn things around, and a win against the powerful Sharks could do wonders for their confidence.
While enjoying a 2-0 lead in the early stages against the Stars on Thursday, Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle
swept the puck into his own net from the high slot to give the Stars life.
Instead of wavering, the Sharks responded with two goals in the next four minutes and rolled to a 5-2 victory. Coach Todd McLellan said it was "real important" to bounce back quickly after Boyle put the puck in his own net.
"Especially to do it on the power play," McLellan added, referring to Patrick Marleau
's goal that made it 3-1. "I think our power play's starting to look more like it should. There's some motion. We're shooting it a little bit more, and you sense a more confident group when they go on the ice. It was nice to see them get it back right away."
Things were looking good early against the Ducks on Tuesday. Ray Whitney buried his 16th of the season in the first period, and the Coyotes went to the intermission leading 1-0.
That would be the end of the good feelings for Phoenix. Andrew Cogliano scored three goals in the first 13:50 of the second period, and the Ducks rolled to a 4-1 victory.
"We had control of the game early and we let it get away," captain Shane Doan said. "We never capitalized on our opportunities."
San Jose's Logan Couture
has been on fire. In his last five games, he has 3 goals and 5 assists.
Defenseman Jason Demers
has a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. Tommy Wingels
(upper body) and Martin Havlat
(hamstring) are out. … Phoenix defenseman Derek Morris has a lower-body injury. Defenseman David Schlemko (foot) is on injured reserve.
The Sharks' power play, ranked 10th, has been heating up, going 5-for-13 in San Jose's past five games.
"I got a couple bounces off a couple shin pads and just kind of swatted at it, trying to get it out of harm's way. (Stuff) happens. But it's a little easier to swallow this one than the last one." -- Boyle, who scored on his own goaltender in overtime of a playoff game in 2010, to the San Jose Mercury News' David Pollak about his own goal Thursday against the Stars