By Kyle Shohara
|"We take pride in our building. We try to protect our house and not let teams come in here and feel like they have a good chance of winning." -- Cam Fowler
After a successful three-game road trip that saw Anaheim earn five out of a possible six points, the Ducks were back on home ice this morning in preparation for tonight’s matchup against the San Jose Sharks.
Tonight marks the beginning of a five-game homestand for the Ducks that includes two games against the Sharks and Detroit Red Wings, respectively, and one against the Western Conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks – all in a span of eight days.
If the morning skate is any indication, Viktor Fasth will get the start in net while Brandon McMillan and Ben Lovejoy are tonight’s healthy scratches.
‘WE WANT TO BE A GREAT TEAM’
“We have another level we can take our game to,” said Sheldon Souray. “We haven’t been playing great. We’ve been playing pretty good, but we want to be a great team. What a better way to try and show it than against great competition. We have a tough schedule here, but that’s no excuse. It’s a good challenge and it starts tonight. “
HOME ICE ADVANTAGE
The Ducks enter tonight’s game winners of 11 straight at Honda Center. In fact, since the start of 2009-10, there have been only four instances in which a club has won as many as 11 straight home games, and two of those belong to the Ducks.
Cam Fowler: “We take pride in our building. We try to protect our house and not let teams come in here and feel like they have a good chance of winning. I think we’ve done a good job of that lately. It’s something we want to continue with.”
Souray: “We’ve been able to have some success at home because our building’s been into it. We’ve had a loud crowd. We’ve, for the most part, given them something to cheer about. So it’s just kind of been a snowball effect of how the success has grown at home.”
Souray: “For us, it’s just a matter of not going to wait and see what they’re going to do. We’re not going to wait for the next line to go out and create some momentum. Individually, we have to be ready for the start of the game and have the kind of mindset that each one of us can be a difference maker. We’re going to need every guy to step up. We’re playing quality teams and quality competition so we have to have everybody competing hard and bringing their best games.”
FACING THE SHARKS
The Sharks come into tonight’s game with a 1-2-2 record in their last five games and 14 points back of Anaheim in the division. Despite their recent struggles, the Ducks know not to take the Sharks lightly.
Bruce Boudreau: “Every game against San Jose is important. They’ve gone through a little inconsistent stretch now, but at any given moment they can go 10-and-0. Especially in our division, you lose all three to the same team, you’re in trouble. Tonight is a big start to how the rest of the games against San Jose are going to go.”
Fowler: “It’s going to be tough. They’re a team we know wasn’t happy with their last game. They’re going to come in with a little chip on their shoulder. And any time it’s Sharks versus Ducks, there’s that little extra push, that little extra energy. We’re going to be ready and we know we’re playing a good team over there with a lot of skill. We need to make sure we’re ready.”
Palmieri – Getzlaf – Selanne
Etem – Holland – Ryan
Cogliano – Koivu – Winnik
Beleskey – Steckel – Staubitz
Souray – Beauchemin
Allen – Fowler
Sbisa – Lydman