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Preview: Ducks Face Division-Leading Sharks Tonight

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

The Ducks (37-23-11, 85 points) travel to San Jose to complete their 13th set of back-to-back games tonight against the San Jose Sharks (42-21-7, 91 points) at SAP Center (7:30 p.m. PT, Prime Ticket/AM 830). The Ducks have gone 4-1-1 in their last six games and 5-2-1 dating to the end of their bye week on March 3. The club currently ranks third in the league in PK% (85.2%), tied for seventh in fewest goals allowed (174) and sixth in goals against per game (2.45). The Ducks have 11 games remaining on their regular season schedule, including six at home and five on the road.

Following tonight's contest, the Ducks return to Orange County for their penultimate homestand of the regular season, a three-game home stretch that features visits by the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday, Winnipeg Jets next Friday and the New York Rangers next Sunday. Upcoming milestones include Ryan Getzlaf one point shy of 800 career NHL points and Cam Fowler one assist from surpassing Andy McDonald (167) for sole possession of seventh on the franchise's all-time assists list.

Tonight's contest concludes the five-game season series between the California rivals. The Ducks have posted a 2-0-2 record vs. the Sharks thus far, including a pair of 3-2 victories on November 26 at SAP Center and December 9 at Honda Center. These two teams last met on December 27 in Orange County, a 3-2 overtime loss for Anaheim. Four players share the team scoring lead vs. San Jose this season, including Antoine Vermette (3 points, 1g/2a), Ryan Kesler (3 points, 3a), Corey Perry (3 points, 3a) and Nick Ritchie (3 points, 3a). Ryan Getzlaf paces the team in career scoring with 53 points (11g/42a) in 66 games. The Ducks own an all-time record of 60-59-12 vs. the Sharks, having earned points in seven consecutive games (12 points, 5-0-2) dating to Nov. 7, 2015. In San Jose, the Ducks are 29-30-5 with points in the last three (2-0-1).

Andrew Cogliano is scheduled to appear in his 776th consecutive game tonight, which would tie Craig Ramsay (776) for the fourth-longest streak in NHL history. Cogliano's current streak of 775 games (818 including playoff games) is the NHL's longest in more than 23 years, since Steve Larmer's 884th consecutive game took place on April 15, 1993. Cogliano's streak is also the second-longest from the start of a career.

It's a quick turnaround for the Ducks, who saw their two-game winning streak snapped at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres by way of a 10-round shootout last night at Honda Center. Despite the 2-1 setback, the point earned gave the Ducks a one-point edge over the Calgary Flames for second place in the Pacific Division. Anaheim enters tonight's game six points behind San Jose for first place and two points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers (first wild card). The Oilers host the Vancouver Canucks tonight.

The Sharks are coming off a stinging 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues two nights ago at SAP Center, just their third defeat over their last 10 games. Marc-Edouard Vlasic tallied the lone goal for the Sharks, while backup goaltender Aaron Dell made 32 saves. The Sharks were outshot 36-20, matching their season-low for shots on goal.

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