The San Jose Sharks (10-8) will face the visiting Anaheim Ducks (9-7-3) in the team’s final game of their three-game home stand. This is the second time these Pacific division rivals will meet this season, with San Jose taking the first outing 2-1 on Nov. 4 thanks to a Joonas Donskoi shootout winner.
Heading into this matchup, the Ducks are on a two-game winning streak after defeating the Boston Bruins and the Florida Panthers. The Sharks faced those same opponents, last week, but saw a different outcome, dropping the two games. That’s not a great sign for the Sharks tonight.
Logan Couture and Rickard Rakell lead their clubs in points (15), but neither place among the NHL’s top 65 point-scorers. Couture has been San Jose’s best scoring option this season, scoring 10 goals that put him in the current top 25 in the league. Both teams have been searching for answers on how to fix their scoring woes, as the Sharks presently rank 28th in goals per game and 29th in power play percentage, while the Ducks are 21st in goals and 28th in power play.
So far, the most consistent quality has been the team’s stifling defense — leading the NHL in goals against average (2.3) — guided by goalie Martin Jones. He’s been an absolute workhorse, with his 2.13 goals against average ranks second in the league and his .926 save percentage in the top 10 among goaltenders.
Aaron Dell started against the Bruins on Saturday so look for ‘Joner,’ with much needed rest, to be in net for the Sharks tonight.
San Jose needs to end this two-game skid, while Anaheim aims to extend their win streak to three games. The first match-up ended in a shootout, so anything could happen in this one.
The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time (10:30 P.M. ET) at SAP Center.