The teams start play tied for fourth in Pacific and trying to make up ground the playoff race. San Jose and Phoenix both have 52 points—eight points behind the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.
San Jose, though, has played four fewer games. Phoenix has won all three games between the teams this season, each by one goal.
The Coyotes avoided a third-straight loss with a 5-3 win Thursday over the St. Louis Blues on coach Wayne Gretzky’s 45th birthday.
Oleg Saprykin scored twice in a three-goal third for Phoenix.
“Our kids just battled,” Gretzky said. “At the end of a road trip, to come back in the third period is a nice confidence builder for the young guys.”
The extended home stand combined with break for next month’s Turin Olympics means the Coyotes will not play on the road until March 7 at Detroit.
The Sharks were shut out for the first time this season on Thursday, falling 2-0 to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
San Jose is 8-2-1 in its last 11 games.
“That comes out of nowhere,” said Sharks coach Ron Wilson of the loss. “That was just a collective dud, with the exception of Nabby. He was on top of his game, and we just wasted it. … It looked like we were hoping Anaheim was tired from competing last night.
“We weren’t involved physically at all. It looked like we wanted an easy game.”
Jonathan Cheechoo’s franchise-record point-scoring streak was snapped at 12 games. He had 10 goals and nine assists in that span.
Cheechoo has five goals, including two game-winners, in 12 career games against the Coyotes.