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Ducks look to answer Sharks after streak snapped

Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 12:17 PM

SHARKS (25-8-6) at DUCKS (28-8-5)

TV: CSN-CA, PRIME

Last 10: San Jose 6-3-1; Anaheim 9-1-0

Season series: The San Jose Sharks have handed the Anaheim Ducks two losses this season; 4-3 in a shootout on Nov. 30 and 3-1 on Sunday, both at SAP Center. The teams meet in the back end of a home-and-home Tuesday and play twice more in the final three weeks of the season.

Big story: Dating back to the 2012-13 season, the Sharks have won four straight against their Southern California rivals. San Jose has won four in a row overall and could pull even closer to the Pacific Division leading Ducks with a win. The Sharks currently trail Anaheim by five points with two games in hand.

Team Scope:

Sharks: Bracken Kearns, who has played close to 600 minor-league games and was playing in his eighth regular-season NHL game, notched his first NHL goal in the win Sunday.

"I owe it to this organization. They gave me an opportunity. I don't know how many organizations out there would give a 32-year-old an opportunity like they gave me last year in the playoffs," Kearns said after the game. "You just keep working at it and setting your goals high. I've dreamt about scoring in the NHL since I was a kid so it's an amazing feeling."

Sharks captain Joe Thornton had an assist, the 825th of his career, which tied him for 25th place all-time.

"These four points, they're huge. They're kind of running away with our division right now," Thornton said. "It's going to be another huge one on Tuesday against them … but to get this one at home was huge."

Ducks: The Ducks entered Sunday with a 10-game winning streak, but were only able to muster a third-period goal in the loss.

"I think we came out a little bit flat, which is unfortunate. You're happy with the (winning) streak, but now we've lost one in a row so it's time to kind of take a reality check and get ready for the next one," defenseman Cam Fowler said.

Anaheim will try to stay undefeated in regulation at home. The Ducks own a 14-0-2 record at Honda Center.

"I don't think we were getting the bounces tonight. But that happens when you're on a winning streak like that. We have Tuesday to bounce back against them," said forward Patrick Maroon, who had his team's lone goal.

Who's hot: Thornton has seven assists in four games for the Sharks. Brent Burns has three straight multi-point games, accounting for seven points. … Corey Perry, who had a seven-game goal-scoring streak earlier this month, has five assists in four games for the Ducks. Saku Koivu has three goals and five points in three games.

Injury report: Forwards Raffi Torres (knee), Adam Burish (lower body) and Marty Havlat (lower body) are on injured reserve for the Sharks. Rookie forward Tomas Hertl (knee) is scheduled to undergo surgery this week and will be out at least a month. … Defensemen Luca Sbisa (wrist) and Sheldon Souray (wrist) and goalie Viktor Fasth (lower body) are on IR for the Ducks.

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