Programming note: Coyotes-Sharks coverage gets underway tonight at 7 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live, only on Comcast SportsNet California
Where they stand
Sharks: 2-0-0, 4 pts., T –1st Pacific Division, T – 2nd Western Conference
Coyotes: 1-2-0, 2 pts., 4th Pacific Division, T – 12th Western Conference
Marleau – Thornton – Pavelski
Havlat – Couture – Clowe
Wingels – Handzus – Galiardi
Sheppard – Desjardins – Burish
Vlasic – Stuart
Irwin – Boyle
Murray – Braun
Sullivan – Vermette – Doan
Boedker – Lombardi – Vrbata
Korpikoski – Gordon – Moss
Bissonnette – Bolduc – Chipchura
Ekman-Larsson – Michalek
Yandle – Morris
Stone – Schlemko
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Patrick Marleau. The Sharks’ top line winger already has as many goals in two games (4) than he had in the final 27 combined regular season and playoff games last season. The chemistry between Marleau and Joe Thornton, both at even strength and on the power play, may have been the biggest reason the Sharks cruised to victories in their first two games in Alberta. Marleau is tied with Marian Hossa and Daniel Winnik for the league lead in goals. “It’s good to be off to a good start, and I’ll try and build off of it,” Marleau said after Tuesday’s win.
Coyotes: Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The former first round pick (6th overall) in 2009 is in his third season on the Coyotes’ blue line, and the 21-year-old is one of the top young defensemen in hockey. He’s paired with Zbynek Michalek, in his second tour of duty with Phoenix after an offseason trade with Pittsburgh. “He can do it all and at such a young age, it's pretty amazing the kind of player he is,” Michalek recently told the Arizona Republic.
Sharks: The Sharks used six first period goals, including three on the power play, to win their second game of the season in as many tries on Tuesday in Edmonton, 6-3. Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture scored two each, while Dan Boyle and Marc-Edouard Vlasic also had goals. Joe Thornton had three assists, while Joe Pavelski and TJ Galiardi were credited with two helpers each. Antti Niemi got the win in net with 26 saves.
Coyotes: Steve Sullivan’s hat trick powered the Coyotes’ first win of the season, 5-1 over Columbus on Wednesday night. Oliver Ekman-Larsson added two goals from the blue line, and Mikael Boedker had two assists. Goaltender Mike Smith, who led Phoenix to the Western Conference Finals last season, left the game with a lower body injury just nine minutes into the game, and Jason LaBarbera picked up the win in relief with 21 saves.
This is the first of five meetings between the Sharks and Coyotes. Phoenix will return to HP Pavilion on Feb. 9 and March 30. The Sharks don’t visit Glendale until April 15 and April 24.
‘We’ve still got to work on some things, but tonight showed that teams will pay if they go in the penalty box against us.” – Joe Thornton on the Sharks’ power play, which has five goals through two games.
Now that Scott Gomez is signed, how would you put together the Sharks’ bottom two lines?