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Sharks at Ducks: Lines, gamethread, and where to watch

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Remain seated, please. Permanecer sentados, por favor.

February 11, 2018; Anaheim, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (8) reacts after scoring a goal against Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson (36) during the shootout period at Honda Center.
February 11, 2018; Anaheim, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (8) reacts after scoring a goal against Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson (36) during the shootout period at Honda Center.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

This is it, friendos. The San Jose Sharks (45-27-10, 3rd Pacific) begin that most hallowed of all quests for the glittering Chalice of his Excellency Lord Stanley this very night, venturing far into the depths of that wretched hive of scum and villainy, Anaheim, California, to vanquish its eternal guardians, the Ducks (44-25-13, 2nd Pacific). Sorry, the Vegas pregame ceremony last night really got to me.

The Sharks and Ducks last met in the playoffs in 2009 after the Sharks won the Presidents' Trophy for the NHL's best regular season record, but nobody remembers what happened that year because everyone in the world was out bowling at the time. This time around, the Sharks will attempt to stymie a Ducks team that ended the regular season on fire. With five games remaining, Anaheim trailed our Sharkies by seven points. The Ducks closed out the season 5-0-0, the Sharks 1-4-0 and Game 1 travels southward. However, as Kyle wrote earlier today, the concept of regular season success carrying over into the playoffs is pretty overblown.

The effect of home ice has also been hotly debated over the course of a seven game series, but for this match up, the data are controversial. The Ducks are riding a seven game winning streak at home, part of a 26-10-5 record over the season, and a ridiculous 14-1-2 since 23 Jan. The Sharks, however, have bucked this trend, winning both games in Anaheim during the season. Considering, though, that their last meeting was in February, when the Ducks were just beginning to check players out of various southern California hospitals, that record may not hold as much water as we'd like.

Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer has said that all of his players are ready and available except for Joe Thornton, who has no knees. That means a career playoff debut for Evander Kane. Kane has played nine seasons in the NHL, a total of 574 games with four teams. The pace of playoff hockey in the NHL is starkly different than the regular 82, but I have a feeling Kane will be up to the task.

As mentioned in a very silly article earlier today, where a bunch of schmucks make jokes about Dallas Stars forwards for some reason, this series' goal tending match up will be key. John Gibson's health is in question, but he will start tonight after missing the last two games of the regular season. Before that, though, Gibson holds a 6-1-1 record, a 1.85 GAA, and a .938 save percentage in his last eight starts. His very small sample against San Jose this season is less impressive: 0-1-1, 3.59 GAA, .885 save percentage. We can hope that Gibson shows up tonight.

There's plenty more content previewing the road ahead on our main page, whether you're looking for a thoughtful, analytical take on the series ahead, or just need to get friggin' pumped.

Sharks Lines

Evander Kane -- Joe Pavelski -- Joonas Donskoi

Tomas Hertl -- Logan Couture -- Mikkel Boedker

Timo Meier -- Chris Tierney -- Kevin Labanc

Marcus Sorensen -- Eric Fehr -- Melker Karlsson

Paul Martin -- Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon -- Dylan DeMelo

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Joel Ward, Barclay Goodrow, Jannik Hansen, Dylan Gambrell, Antoine Bibeau, Joakim Ryan

Injured: Joe Thornton (knee)

Ducks Lines

Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano -- Ryan Kesler -- Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie -- Adam Henrique -- Ondrej Kase

Antoine Vermette -- Derek Grant -- J.T. Brown

Josh Manson -- Hampus Lindholm

Francois Beauchemin -- Brandon Montour

Marcus Pettersson -- Andy Welinski

John Gibson

Ryan Miller

Scratched: Jason Chimera, Korbinian Holzer, Chris Kelly, Troy Terry

Injured: Patrick Eaves (illness), Kevin Bieksa (hand), Cam Fowler (shoulder)

Where to watch

Broadcast: USA, SN 360, TVAS2, PRIME, NBCSCA

Stream: NHL.tv / NHL App

Radio: 98.5 KFOX / NHL App / Sharks App