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Sharks vs. Ducks preview: Top two teams in Pacific face off

In their final game before a four-day holiday break, the Sharks travel to Anaheim to play the Ducks.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Sharks are on a roll. Now that their number of games played at the Tank and away from it nearly equal each other, it's easier to evaluate where the team stands than it was through the first quarter of the season which was spent almost exclusively on the road. Having just completed a slate of 11 of 13 games at home, San Jose has won nine of their past ten and five in a row, all in regulation or overtime, allowing them to move into sole possession of second place in the division and within seven points of first-place Anaheim.

The mumps-infested Ducks are without Corey Perry, Hampus Lindholm and Francois Beauchemin but have seriously benefited from a comical 16-0-5 record in one-goal games. That won't last and the Sharks still have a chance to surpass the Ducks for the division title by season's end, especially if they can manage to improve to 3-0 against Anaheim with a win in Orange County tonight.

Tale Of The Tape
San Jose Sharks

@

Anaheim Ducks
19-11-4, 42 points
Record 22-8-5, 49 points
2nd in Pacific Rank 1st in Pacific
51.8%
Score-Adj. Fenwick 51.1%
99.5
PDO 100.3
24.5
PP% 17.1
83.9
PK% 80.0

7PM PST | Honda Center | Anaheim, California
TV: CSNCA-HD | Radio: SJSharks.com, 98.5 KFOX
Know Your Enemy: Anaheim Calling, Puq Magazine, Battle Of California

Projected Sharks Lineup

Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Tommy Wingels
Barclay Goodrow - James Sheppard - Melker Karlsson
John Scott - Andrew Desjardins - Tye McGinn

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon - Brent Burns
Scott Hannan - Matt Tennyson

Antti Niemi
Alex Stalock

Projected Ducks Lineup

Patrick Maroon - Ryan Getzlaf - Rene Bourque
Matt Beleskey - Ryan Kesler - Emerson Etem
Andrew Cogliano - Rickard Rakell - Jakob Silfverberg
Dany Heatley - Nate Thompson - Tim Jackman

Cam Fowler - Ben Lovejoy
Clayton Stoner - Sami Vatanen
Mark Fistric - Colby Robak

Frederik Andersen
Ilya Bryzgalov

Last Meeting

Logan Couture scored twice, including a shorthanded goal, and Tommy Wingels had his first career four-point game as the Sharks opened up a 5-1 lead on the Ducks in the second period before a late scare led to an eventual 6-4 win for San Jose sealed by a Matt Nieto empty-netter.

Storylines
  • Assuming he starts tonight, and all indications are that he will, Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen will be making his 21st straight start in net for Anaheim.
  • Rene Bourque is projected to start the game on the Ducks' first line. Yes, that Rene Bourque.
  • Thanks to the NHL's holiday break this will be the Sharks' final game until Saturday when they face the Kings in Los Angeles.