Sharks vs Coyotes NHL Preview
Tonight the hot San Jose Sharks visit the desert to play the Phoenix Coyotes and even though the game is in Phoenix they have lost two in a row, which is why NHL odds makers have the Sharks as the favorites in tonight’s game.
San Jose Sharks (29-10-7) at Phoenix Coyotes (26-15-5)
Bovada has a moneyline for this game with the Sharks posted at -120 as the favorite and the Coyotes at Even as the slight underdog with a goal total of 5. The puck line for this game has the Sharks at (-1.5) +250 and the Coyotes at (+1.5) -300.
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The Sharks are coming off a win, are 8-2 in their last 10 games with an eight point lead over Phoenix in the Pacific Division while the Coyotes have lost two straight and are 5-2-3 in their last 10 games.
In the last two games between these two teams San Jose has won both with both games going to a shootout.
Even though the Sharks are playing well their offense has struggled only scoring seven goals in their last four games.
If the Sharks’ offense struggles again G Evgeni Nabokov (2.32 GAA 92.3% save percentage) will have to have a good game. He has been Jekyll and Hyde lately, as he has a GAA of 2.95 in his last four starts, but in two of those starts, which they Sharks won, he only allowed one goal in each game. He 1-1-0 with a 4.60 GAA in his last four games in Phoenix and he was pulled in two of those games.
The Phoenix defense, which is legit and has given up an average of 2.35 goals this season, will have to deal with a San Jose offense that ranks fourth in the league averaging 3.13 goals per game.
Phoenix G Ilya Bryzgalov (2.21 GAA 92.1% save percentage) has to play better than he has as of late, as he is only 1-2-2 with a 3.34 GAA in his last six starts, including two losses to the Sharks.
The Coyotes have to contain Patrick Marleau, who leads the Sharks in goals (29) and Joe Thornton, who leads the Sharks in both assists (48) and points (59).
Phoenix has to win this game on defense, as their offense only ranks 25th in the league only averaging 2.52 goals per game.
Wednesday Puck Lines
Pittsburgh Penguins at Calgary Flames
Sydney Crosby and the Penguins head north of the border to play the Calgary Flames and the defending champions need to stop the bleeding, as they are coming off a loss and are only 3-7 in their last 10 games. Calgary leads the Northwest Division and they are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games.
Boston Bruins at Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks have been one of the more disappointing teams so far this season and they are in last place in the Pacific Division. However, they are starting play well and they have won four in a row. The Bruins are in second place in the Northeast Division and even though they have lost two in a row they are 6-4 in their last 10 games.
Thursday Big Games
New Jersey Devils at Phoenix Coyotes
The Devils are 7-3 in their last 10 games and have one of the best defenses in the league only allowing an average of 2.16 goals per game. That is not good for a Coyotes team that has struggled on offense this season ranking 25th in the league in scoring.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Chicago Blackhawks
The Blue Jackets made the playoffs last season, but will have to pick up their play to do so this season, as they are two games under .500. However, they have won three in a row and their offense is starting show signs of life. Chicago leads the Central Division, Columbus is in fourth place, and even though they are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games they have lost two in a row.