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Preview: Ducks Conclude Back-to-Back Set Tonight in San Jose

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

After coming up short in a 5-3 defeat last night, the Ducks (6-6-1, 13 points) finish off the tail-end of a back-to-back set tonight against the San Jose Sharks (7-5-0, 14 points) at SAP Center. (7:30 p.m. PT, TV: Prime Ticket, Radio: AM 830). Tonight's game is one of only two in an 11-game stretch to be played away from Honda Center, and both happen to take place in San Jose (also November 20). This is the first matchup against a Pacific Division opponent since the Ducks faced the Calgary Flames on October 9, the longest stretch this season without playing a team from the Pacific. The Ducks are 2-1-0 in back-to-backs this season, having swept their first set with victories on October 28 at Tampa Bay (4-1) and October 29 at Carolina (4-3 shootout).

This opens a four-game season series between the Ducks and Sharks, and the first of two held in San Jose. The Ducks went 3-0-2 against their in-state rivals last season, including a pair of 3-2 victories on Nov. 26, 2016 at SAP Center and Dec. 9, 2016 at Honda Center. Corey Perry leads active Ducks in career scoring against the Sharks with 48 points (24g/24a) in 65 games. All time, the Ducks own a record of 61-59-12 vs. San Jose, having earned points in the last eight in a row (14 points, 6-0-2) dating to Nov. 7, 2015. Anaheim is 30-30-5 all-time in San Jose with points in four straight (3-0-1).

Andrew Cogliano continues to pace the Ducks in scoring this season with nine points (3g/6a) in 13 games. Ondrej Kase earned his eighth point of the season last night (assist) and brings a career-best three-game point streak into tonight's game (3 points, 2g/1a). Meanwhile, veteran center Derek Grant has seven points (3g/4a) in his past seven games and rides a career-high three-game point streak (3 points, 1g/2a).

San Jose enters tonight's game on a three-game winning streak with victories over the Buffalo Sabres on October 28 (3-2), Toronto Maple Leafs on October 30 (3-2) and Nashville Predators on November 1 (4-1). This is the third game of a five-game homestand for the Sharks, which continues next Wednesday against Tampa Bay and November 11 against Vancouver. Logan Couture paces the Sharks in scoring this season with 12 points (8g/4a) in 12 games. The 28-year-old center was named the NHL's Third Star of the Week for the week ending on October 22 after he posted seven points (5g/2a) and a plus-3 rating in three games. During that span, Couture racked up a four-point game (2g/2a) on October 17 vs. Montreal (the third four-point game of his career) and his second career hat trick on October 21 against the New York Rangers.

Three potential milestones can take place tonight when the Ducks face the Sharks.

Perry is one game shy of 900 career NHL games, all with the Ducks. Perry would become the second Duck to reach 900 games behind only Teemu Selanne, who finished his career with 966 games with Anaheim. Selected by Anaheim in the first round (28th overall) of the 2003 NHL Draft, Perry has gone on to record 351 goals and 373 assists for 724 points in 899 career NHL regular season games.

Cogliano needs one more appearance to reach 800 consecutive NHL games, having never missed a game in his NHL career dating to Oct. 4, 2007 with Edmonton. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only two players in the NHL, MLB and NBA have appeared in 800 consecutive games to start their career: Doug Jarvis (964 NHL games with Montreal, Washington, Hartford from 1975-88) and Johnny Kerr (844 NBA games with Syracuse, Philadelphia and Baltimore from 1954-65). Jarvis and Kerr are the only two players to begin a career with 800 consecutive games or more. Cogliano's current streak of 799 games (859 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.

Randy Carlyle, the winningest coach in Ducks history, is one game shy of reaching 800 career NHL games as an NHL head coach. Now in his ninth season as the bench boss of the Ducks (2005-2012, 2016-present), Carlyle has been the head coach behind 611 of those 799 games, going 325-211-75.

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