Unlike last season, when a final-week duel between the Ducks and Sharks hammered the final nail into the coffin of San Jose's division hopes, the two California rivals will conclude their regular season series against each other relatively early on this year. Tonight's matchup, only the second at SAP Center in 2014-15, will be the last time the Sharks and Ducks meet until a potential playoff round. And while Anaheim's 14-point lead on San Jose in the division is probably insurmountable, making the lack of late-season games to potentially gain ground rather irrelevant, the Sharks need to win this game to keep warding off the Canucks, Kings and Flames.
Tale Of The Tape
|32-10-6, 70 points
||Record||25-17-6, 56 points|
|1st in Pacific||Rank||2nd in Pacific
7PM PST | SAP Center | San Jose, California
TV: NBCSN | Radio: SJSharks.com, 98.5 KFOX
Know Your Enemy: Anaheim Calling, Puq Magazine, Battle Of California
Projected Sharks Lineup
Joe Pavelski - Joe Thornton - Melker Karlsson
Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Matt Nieto
Tomas Hertl - James Sheppard - Barclay Goodrow
John Scott - Andrew Desjardins - Tye McGinn
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon - Matt Tennyson
Matt Irwin - Scott Hannan
Projected Ducks Lineup
Patrick Maroon - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Matt Beleskey - Ryan Kesler - Kyle Palmieri
Andrew Cogliano - Rickard Rakell - Jakob Silfverberg
Rene Bourque - Nate Thompson - Tim Jackman
Cam Fowler - Ben Lovejoy
Hampus Lindholm - Francois Beauchemin
Clayton Stoner - Sami Vatanen
Joe Pavelski scored twice and Logan Couture added an empty-netter as the Sharks shut out the Ducks in Anaheim on New Year's Eve. It was a bittersweet victory as the Sharks ended up losing Joe Thornton to a shoulder injury for the following four games thanks to a hit by Clayton Stoner.
- San Jose is a combined 5-1-1 against Anaheim and Los Angeles this season, including a 3-0-1 record versus the Ducks.
- Daniil Tarasov, who has 25 points in 41 games with Worcester this season, was recalled to replace the injured Tyler Kennedy but likely won't be playing tonight.
- Bruce Boudreau wouldn't confirm his starting goaltender but indicated there's a good chance Ilya Bryzgalov gets the call on the first half of a back-to-back.