The Sharks (10-8-0, 6th Pacific) host the Anaheim Ducks (9-7-3, 4th Pacific) tonight for the second time this season, and will hope to replicate the success of their last meeting. In an early November over time thriller, Joonas Donskoi put the moves all over poor Ryan Miller to put the home team on top in the shoot out.
The Sharks have struggled to find the score sheet as we approach the quarter mark of the season, in my candidate for understatement of the year. The Sharks have allowed the fewest goals in the NHL to date, but have also scored the fewest. Both of these ranks will probably trend toward the mean as San Jose catches up to the rest of the league in games played, but even accounting for that, the boys in blue rank 28th in goals scored per game, ahead of only the Arizona Coyotes, Montreal Canadiens, and Buffalo Sabres.
This should come as no surprise to regular viewers of Sharks hockey. San Jose is sitting on a two game losing streak, right after some dumb writer referred to a stretch of winnable games to come, most recently dropping a 3-1 decision to the Boston Bruins on Saturday night. The Sharks have scored two or fewer goals in five of their last six games, and, while there may have been more on the scoreboard were it not for four consecutive goal reviews going against them, the Sharks' inability to score has become a point of conversation.
The visiting Ducks may be an opportunity to right that ship. Coming off of a close win over the Florida Panthers last night, Anaheim is another team crippled by injuries. The return of Cam Fowler and the emergence of Derek Grant may not be enough to counter the effects of fatigue on a team treading water until the return of their captain. After a bravura performance by John Gibson, who made 50 saves on 52 shots against the Cats last night, back up Reto Berra will likely get the call in San Jose, and we all know how back up goaltenders look in San Jose, don't we?
Yeah, okay, don't answer that.
Kevin Labanc -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski
Joonas Donskoi -- Logan Couture -- Tomas Hertl
Mikkel Boedker -- Chris Tierney -- Jannik Hansen
Timo Meier -- Danny O'Regan -- Joel Ward
Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun
Joakim Ryan -- Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon -- Tim Heed
Scratched: Ryan Carpenter, Dylan DeMelo
Injured: Paul Martin (ankle), Barclay Goodrow (upper body), Melker Karlsson (upper body)
Karlsson will sit the night out with an unspecified upper body injury, paving the way for Labanc to return to the top line. Martin Jones is back in net, he's allowed two or fewer goals in 10 of his last 11 starts.
Rickard Rakell -- Derek Grant -- Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano -- Chris Wagner -- Jakob Silfverberg
Nick Ritchie -- Antoine Vermette -- Kevin Roy
Mike Liambas -- Dennis Rasmussen -- Logan Shaw
Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson
Cam Fowler -- Brandon Montour
Sami Vatanen -- Kevin Bieksa
Scratched: Francois Beauchemin, Jaycob Megna, Korbinian Holzer
Injured: Ryan Miller (lower body), Ryan Getzlaf (face), Patrick Eaves (illness), Ryan Kesler (hip surgery), Jared Boll (lower body), Ondrej Kase (upper body)
Berra will probably start after Gibson's heroics last night, but head coach Randy Carlyle has not confirmed yet. He also referred to Fowler as a "game time decision" but after he participated in this morning's optional skate, he'll likely slot into the line up in place of Beauchemin, who has sat out the second half of back to backs a few times this year.
Where to watch
Broadcast: NBCSCA, FS-W
Stream: NHL.tv / NHL App
Radio: 98.5 KFOX / NHL App / Sharks App