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Preview: Ducks Take on Sharks at the 'Tank'

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

The Ducks (2-3-1, 5 pts.) return to the road to take on the San Jose Sharks (3-3-0, 6 pts.) tonight at SAP Center (7 p.m. PDT, NBCSN/AM 830). Anaheim has won two consecutive games (2-0-0) and earned standings points in three of the past four (2-1-1, 5 pts.), both season highs. Tonight marks Anaheim's sixth road game of the early season, tied with Carolina for tops in the NHL.

This contest serves as the first of five against Anaheim's Northern California rivals this season. The Ducks own an all-time record of 58-59-10 vs. the Sharks, having won the last three in a row dating to Nov. 7, 2015 (W, 1-0). In San Jose, the Ducks are 28-30-5 with a win in the most recent meeting in the aforementioned Nov. 7 game. Anaheim is led in scoring (among active skaters) by Ryan Getzlaf's 51 points (10g/41a) in 62 career games. The Ducks will make two additional trips to San Jose on Nov. 26 (7:30 p.m. PST) and March 18 (7:30 p.m. PST). Anaheim will also host its Pacific Division rival for two games on Dec. 9 (7 p.m. PST) and Dec. 27 (7 p.m. PST) at Honda Center.

This game also opens the club's second set of back-to-back games in 2016-17. The Ducks are 0-1-1 in back-to-backs this season after going 14-5-3 in such contests last year. In total, the Ducks will play 14 sets of back-to-back games in 2016-17, an increase of three from the previous season.

The Ducks are coming off their second consecutive victory, a 4-2 final against the Vancouver Canucks two nights ago in the home opener at Honda Center. Four different Ducks tallied goals in the win, including Corey Perry, whose 668th and 669th career NHL points matched Paul Kariya (333g/336a=669) for third place on the franchise's all-time scoring list. John Gibson turned aside 17-of-19 shots to post his second win of the season.

After starting the season 2-0-0, the Sharks have lost three of the past four over the course of a five-game road trip that concluded with a 3-0 shutout loss in Detroit on Saturday. Despite the recent slide, defenseman Brent Burns continues to shine. The burly - and bearded - blueliner leads the Sharks in scoring with nine points (3g/6a) through six games. Burns had a five-game point streak to begin the season before San Jose's 3-0 setback against the Red Wings.

Anaheim's October schedule includes nine regular-season games, tied for the fewest in an opening month in club history (also 1998-99). The Ducks' three home games in October also match 1998-99 as the team's fewest played in the first month of a season. Following tonight's game, the Ducks will complete the back-to-back set tomorrow at Honda Center against the Nashville Predators (7:30 p.m. PDT).

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