National Hockey League
Preview
Arizona at San Jose
When: 10:30 PM ET, Saturday, April 9, 2016
Where: SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, California

San Jose hosts the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams after the Sharks' 5-4 loss to Winnipeg on Thursday cemented their third-place standing in the Pacific Division. San Jose, which is an NHL-best 28-10-3 on the road but 17-20-3 at home, visits Los Angeles or Anaheim - whichever team does not win the Pacific - in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and captain Joe Pavelski said it doesn't really matter where the Sharks start.

"Once the playoffs hit, you're trying to find ways to win,'' Pavelski told reporters. "You're going to have to gut out a few wins on the road, you're going to have to be solid at home. This group believes we are going to be solid at home." The Sharks will be healthier come playoff time as defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic (knee) and left wing Matt Nieto (hand) are close to returning, but coach Peter DeBoer said he will not rush them. "I'm not going to (play them) at risking their availability for the start of the playoffs," DeBoer told reporters. "For me, that's not a necessity they play Saturday. In a perfect world, it would be nice. But that's not going to be the deciding factor." Arizona will miss the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, but has a promising future with Anthony Duclair (20 goals in his first full season) and rookie Max Domi (18).

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona, CSN California Plus (San Jose)

ABOUT THE COYOTES (35-38-8): Captain Shane Doan wraps up his 20th NHL season - all with the Winnipeg/Phoenix/Arizona franchise - and his 28 goals this campaign increased his career total to 396. "He’s in our plans for as long as he wants to continue to play,” general manager Don Maloney told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “We certainly expect him next year. We’ve talked to Shane a number of times (and) we’ll sit down early in the offseason and get a deal done for next year.” The Coyotes will also continue building around defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, whose 34 assists and 55 points are career highs.

ABOUT THE SHARKS (45-30-6): Pavelski is tied for fifth in the NHL with 37 goals - matching his total from a year ago - and has 115 in the last three seasons. Joe Thornton is second in the league with 62 assists and his 19 goals mark his most since scoring 21 in 2010-11. Defenseman Brent Burns reached career highs with 27 goals and 47 assists while Patrick Marleau (25 goals), Tomas Hertl (21) and Joel Ward (21) add scoring depth.

OVERTIME

1. Doan is the franchise leader in games (1,465), points (945) and goals, and needs five assists to surpass Thomas Steen (553) for No. 1 in that category.

2. Pavelski and Thornton are each a team-best plus-25 while Marleau is a club-worst minus-22.

3. San Jose won three of the first four meetings in the five-game season series, including 3-0 on March 20 behind 25 saves by James Reimer.

PREDICTION: Sharks 3, Coyotes 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Arizona 35-38-7-1 L3 22-15-4-0 13-23-3-1 0-3-0-1 35-35-7-0 16-9-2-1
San Jose 45-30-3-3 L1 17-20-1-2 28-10-2-1 6-2-0-0 39-28-3-3 15-9-2-1
Last Meeting
Arizona San Jose
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
3/20/16 ARI 0 SJ 3 25 33 0-4 36 25 2-5
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Arizona K. Aulie 0
San Jose J. Donskoi 2
Goals Player  
Arizona K. Aulie 0
San Jose T. Hertl 1
Assists Player  
Arizona K. Aulie 0
San Jose J. Donskoi 2
Saves Player  
Arizona M. Smith 33
San Jose J. Reimer 25
Season
Total Points Player  
Arizona O. Ekman-Larsson 56
San Jose J. Thornton 84
Goals Player  
Arizona S. Doan 28
San Jose J. Pavelski 40
Assists Player  
Arizona M. Domi 35
San Jose J. Thornton 65
Saves Player  
Arizona L. Domingue 1075
San Jose M. Jones 1668
Quickchart Matchup
Arizona Off vs  San Jose Def
2.57 GF
2.56 GA
27.7 Shots
27.5 Shots
53 PP
46 PK
San Jose Off vs  Arizona Def
2.91 GF
3 GA
30.4 Shots
31 Shots
61 PP
68 PK