Phoenix Coyotes vs. San Jose Sharks - 12/27/13
San Jose Sharks (23-8-6) at Phoenix Coyotes (19-10-7)
NHL Hockey: Friday, December 27, 2013 at 9:00 pm (Jobing.com Arena)
The Line: Phoenix Coyotes +105 / San Jose Sharks -116 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
It's hard to imagine a club that's 23-8-6 could be third in their division but that just shows how tough the Pacific is this season. A little bump in the road earlier this month sent the Sharks down the standings despite an unbelievable start to the year. The Sharks went into the Christmas break winners of three of their last four with the only loss coming in Los Angeles against the Kings. San Jose was part of a thriller on Monday night when they hosted the Colordao Avalanche at the HP Pavilion. The two clubs went back and forth all night long with neither team able to claim more than a one goal lead. Jason Demers, Brent Burns, and Matt Irwin scored in the first two periods for the Sharks but two Colorado goals in the third left them trailing 4-3 with under two minutes remaining. With just 20 seconds remaining in regulation it was Joe Pavelski's 15th goal of the season that dramatically sent the game into overtime. Antti Niemi stopped Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene in the shootout and the Sharks got goals from Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau to seal the 5-4 win. Now the Sharks will try and follow that up with a win over one of the best home teams in the league on Friday night.
Phoenix enters Friday night's game hoping that the Christmas break and some time off did them good. The Coyotes were really struggle heading into the end of the year as they've seen their record slip to 19-10-7 after losing four of their last five. Phoenix has allowed just 13 goals during the stretch but they only managed to score four goals total in the four losses. Obviously that type of offensive performance isn't going to cut it, especially on Friday night against a Sharks club that can really put the puck in the net. Mike Smith allowed perhaps the most awkward goal of the season as the puck landed on the back of his pants and then rolled off and into the net when he turned around. It cost the Coyotes a point in a 2-1 overtime loss to the lowly Buffalo Sabres on Monday night. It looks like once again this is another year where the Coyotes will be searching for offense at the trading deadline. Smith and the defense can only do so much before they need the offense to carry the weight. San Jose is favored in this one and rightfully so, but it's a fair price either way in this one.
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