The Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks were not expected to skate before their game Sunday at Honda Center.
This is the first of an intriguing five-game run against Stanley Cup Playoff teams from last season for Anaheim, which will go for its eighth straight win. The Ducks matched their franchise-best start at 7-1-0, and a win would equal the 2006-07 Cup-winning team for points (16) through the first nine games of the season.
It's the first matchup this season between the Northern and Southern California rivals.
"When they're on top of their game, they're really good," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said Saturday of San Jose. "They still have the great depth of great forwards. What they don't have is [defensemen] Dan Boyle or Brad Stuart back on the point. That's probably their only real losses at this stage. [Forward] Raffi Torres is hurt, but he was hurt all of last year."
San Jose hasn't been on top of its game. The Sharks lost their fourth straight Saturday, to the Buffalo Sabres, the first time they have lost that many in regulation since an 0-6-0 streak in January of 2011. San Jose has allowed four or more goals in three of its four losses.
Here are the projected lineups:
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture - James Sheppard
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Matt Nieto – Chris Tierney – Tommy Wingels
John Scott – Adam Burish – Andrew Desjardins
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Mirco Mueller – Brent Burns
Matt Irwin – Scott Hannan
Injured: Tyler Kennedy (upper body), Mike Brown (hand), Raffi Torres (knee), Barclay Goodrow (hand)
Scratched: Jason Demers, Tye McGinn
Devante Smith-Pelly – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano – Ryan Kesler – Jakob Silfverberg
Matt Beleskey – William Karlsson – Rickard Rakell
Emerson Etem – Nate Thompson – Tim Jackman
Cam Fowler – Ben Lovejoy
Hampus Lindholm – Francois Beauchemin
Clayton Stoner – Sami Vatanen
Injured: Bryan Allen (lower body), Dany Heatley (groin), Kyle Palmieri (ankle), Patrick Maroon (knee)
Scratched: Mark Fistric, Chris Wagner
Status report: Andersen would be the logical choice to go back in net after Gibson stopped 16 of 17 shots Friday. Andersen has won six straight starts to match his career high. Niemi is expected to start for the Sharks after Stalock played Saturday.
Who's hot: Perry is the fastest player in Ducks history to nine goals. Perry and Getzlaf have matched Paul Kariya for the franchise record for most points (12) through the first eight games. Burns increased his NHL-leading points total among defensemen to nine Saturday.