SAN JOSE - The San Jose Sharks went 3-0-1 in their first four games against the Anaheim Ducks this season, facing No. 1 goaltender Frederik Andersen each time.
The Sharks will face backup goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov at SAP Center on Thursday when they face the Ducks for last time in the regular season.
"We've got 28 games left in 52 days," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "You're not running with Freddy. We've got [Bryzgalov] here for a reason. He's had great success wherever he's played except for Philadelphia. Now we put him in a really tough situation. We'll see how he makes out."
Andersen is coming off a 17-save shutout Tuesday against the Vancouver Canucks, but he'll rest against San Jose and be fresh for Anaheim's game Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks at Honda Center.
Bryzgalov is 1-2-0 with a 3.70 goals-against average and .854 save percentage in four appearances for the Ducks this season. He is 10-11-4 with a 2.35 GAA and two shutouts in his career against San Jose. Bryzgalov is coming off his first win of the season after making 14 saves in a 5-1 victory against the New Jersey Devils on Jan. 16.
Anaheim (32-10-6) leads the NHL with 70 points and has won six straight games and eight of its past nine. But the Ducks have had little success this season against San Jose (25-17-6), which trails them by 14 points in the Pacific Division.
"Special teams have played well for us in those situations, and I think the games have been emotional and we've been able to control our emotions maybe a little better than they have," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "I don't know where it will go tonight, but they've given us opportunities on the power play and we've been able to take advantage of it."
The Sharks have scored six power-play goals to Anaheim’s one in the series. San Jose has gone on the power play 20 times against Anaheim, including eight times in its 3-0 victory on Dec. 31 at Honda Center. The Ducks have had 16 power plays against San Jose.
"Sometimes the game gets emotional," Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano said. "You have to be smart in certain situations when the game goes that way. It seems like sometimes it happens with them for whatever reason. I think it's our job to just worry about hockey. We've had a few games this year, especially one where it ended up in a brawl and things got out of hand. For whatever reason we don't do well in those games. We don't win them. Guys might do well in a few fights, but we don't react well. We just want to play hockey."
The Ducks and Sharks combined for 165 penalty minutes on Oct. 26 at Honda Center in their first game against each other this season, a 4-1 San Jose victory.
Anaheim has already played one game after the All-Star break, defeating the Canucks 4-0.
This will be the Sharks' first post-break game, and they hope to pick up where they left off Jan. 21 in a high-energy 4-2 victory against the Los Angeles Kings at SAP Center.
"It helps tonight that we're playing Anaheim, another rival," Sharks center Logan Couture said. "They're a team where the fans are into it. It's always tough when you're coming off a layoff. We're a veteran team. I think we know what to expect. We've had some good practices the last couple days. We need to come out and start on time."
Here are the projected lineups:
Patrick Maroon - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Matt Beleskey - Ryan Kesler - Kyle Palmieri
Andrew Cogliano - Rickard Rakell - Jakob Silfverberg
Rene Bourque - Nate Thompson - Devante Smith-Pelly
Cam Fowler - Ben Lovejoy
Hampus Lindholm - Francois Beauchemin
Clayton Stoner - Sami Vatanen
Scratched: Tim Jackman, Colby Robak
Injured: Eric Brewer (foot)
Melker Karlsson - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Matt Nieto
Tomas Hertl - James Sheppard - Barclay Goodrow
John Scott - Andrew Desjardins - Tye McGinn
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon - Matt Tennyson
Matt Irwin - Scott Hannan
Scratched: Mirco Mueller, Daniil Tarasov
Injured: Raffi Torres (knee), Mike Brown (lower body), Tommy Wingels (left hand), Justin Braun (left hand), Tyler Kennedy (lower body)
Status report: The Sharks called up Tarasov on Thursday from Worcester of the American Hockey League. He leads Worcester in points (25) and is tied for third in goals (10). "We feel he can come up and give us some skill," McLellan said. "He has to play in the right spot to have some success. I don't view him being a fourth line player. If he can fall into that second or third line roll and provide some skill and skate to keep up with the National Hockey League level, he'll be a good player for us." ... Kennedy hasn't skated since being injured during practice on Tuesday and is day-to-day. ... Smith-Pelly returns to the lineup, replacing Jackman, after being a healthy scratch the past two games. "He was playing fine," Boudreau said. "We got 13 forwards and they're all playing fairly well right now. You just want to make sure that [nobody] stays out of the lineup too long. Keep everybody fresh."
Who's hot: Pavelski has a two-game goal streak and a three-game point streak (2-2-4). He leads the Sharks in goals (27), power-play goals (12), game-winning goals (4) and shots (155). He is tied with Couture for the team lead in points with 42. ... Couture had two goals and an assist against the Kings and has four points (3-1-4) over his past three games. ... Maroon has a two-game goal streak and a four-game point streak (3-3-6). ... Palmieri has a goal in each of his past two games. ... Getzlaf has five points (3-2-5) over his past five games. He leads the Ducks in points (50) and assists (35) and ranks third in goals (15).