The San Jose Sharks fan faithfuls have waited patiently for this special day to happen for a long time. Tonight the Sharks welcome into town the Phoenix Coyotes for the second straight year for their home opener. Last season’s opener, the Sharks defeated the Coyotes 6-3 on October 8, 2011. In that contest, both Pavelski and Desjardins lit the lamp twice, while Handzus and Clowe each chipped with a goal of their own. The winning goalie of the night was Thomas Griess in which he stopped 26 of 29 shots he faced. To not discount the goaltender for Phoenix, Mike Smith was the busier of the two as he turned away 46 of 52.
Tonight’s matchup will be the first of five meetings scheduled between these two clubs.
San Jose could have a new in their lineup tonight as the Sharks organization and veteran player Scott Gomez agreed to terms on a 1 year deal as of yesterday. With two years remaining on his contract with the Montreal Canadiens, Gomez was bought out by them before the start of the new season and ultimately became a unrestricted free agent.
“Everyone who plays in the NHL, you challenge yourself every day and you want to prove that you can contribute,” Gomez told the Mercury News on Wednesday. “But the main things is I want to come here, I want to help out and I want to win another Stanley Cup.”
San Jose is coming home with back to back wins on their recent western Canada road trip. They defeated the Calgary Flames by a 4-1 final and steamrolled over the Edmonton Oilers to a decisive 6-3 victory. Marleau and Couture each scored two goals apiece, while Boyle and Vlasic each scored in their win over the Oilers. As for the visiting Coyotes, their season has not started on the right foot as they took back to back losses from both the Chicago Blackhawks and the Dallas Stars. They did in fact turn that around by defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-1. In that contest veteran forward Steve Sullivan scored a hat trick and young star defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson tallied a pair of goals.
Who’s Hot Report:
Besides Sullivan and Ekman-Larsson, four other Coyotes also have three points through the club’s first three games – Shane Doan, Radim Vrbata, Antoine Vermette, and Mikkel Boedker are the others. Couture, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau each have five points through San Jose’s first two games.
The Injury Front:
Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith was forced to leave early in Wednesday’s game due to a lower-body injury. The Coyotes termed the injury minor and said after the game that Smith will make the trip to San Jose. He’s listed as day-to-day, but the Coyotes will bring up Chad Johnson from Portland of the AHL as an emergency call-up.
2011-2012 Season Series Statistics: Phoenix Coyotes defeated San Jose Sharks 4-1-1
Tonight’s contest has a 7:30p PST puck drop and can been seen on Comcast Sportsnet California HD and can be heard on 98.5 KFOX
LET’S GO SHARKS!!!!!!!!
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