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At the Rink: Sharks at Ducks

by Abbey Mastracco

ANAHEIM -- The San Jose Sharks will have a bit of a special weapon in the lineup when they face the Anaheim Ducks on Friday (10 p.m. ET; CSN-CA, PRIME, FS-SD) at Honda Center and try to win their eighth straight on the road.

Left wing Micheal Haley has six shots on goal and zero points in seven games but the Sharks (14-10-0) are 3-0-0 on the road with him in the lineup.

Haley was recalled from San Jose of the American Hockey League on Friday and skated on the fourth line with center Dainius Zubrus and right wing Mike Brown.

"We're playing a big, physical team," DeBoer said. "I looked at our road record from the last trip with Haley in the lineup and he brings some elements there that help on the road in tough buildings. We're at that time of the year where we're getting healthier. We've got some tough decisions to make and some guys now are understanding that those opportunities aren't just going to automatically be there. You've got to make the most of them."

Sharks defenseman Justin Braun said he couldn't identify one factor in their success on the road but pointed to their resiliency.

"Maybe we're playing a simpler game or there's been a little bit tighter checking on the road," he said. "But there's nothing I can really put my finger on because we've won so many different ways."

The Ducks (9-12-5) would love to end the Sharks' streak, as well as pick up points in the standings. After going 8-4-3 in November, they started December with a 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"I just think that we have to find that desperation to realize that we don't have much time to kind of sit back and think that we're going to turn it on at some point and make a push," Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler said. "We have to take every game like it's the end of the year and we're fighting for a [Stanley Cup] Playoff spot. We have to do that right now if we want to turn this thing around have some success."

The Ducks are four points behind the Arizona Coyotes for third place in the Pacific Division, five points behind the second-place Sharks.

"These are huge games for us," Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano said. "These are as big as they get, even in December. They feel like March games and April games for us right now because of where we are and who we're playing."

Here are the projected lineups:


Melker Karlsson - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski

Joonas Donskoi - Patrick Marleau - Joel Ward

Matt Nieto - Tomas Hertl - Tommy Wingels

Micheal Haley - Dainius Zubrus - Mike Brown

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun

Paul Martin - Brent Burns

Brenden Dillon - Matt Tennyson

Martin Jones

Alex Stalock

Injured: Logan Couture (fibula), Ben Smith (upper-body)

Scratched: Chris Tierney


Rickard Rakell - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Nick Ritchie - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg

Carl Hagelin - Shawn Horcoff - Andrew Cogliano

Mike Santorelli - Nate Thompson - Chris Stewart

Hampus Lindholm - Kevin Bieksa

Cam Fowler - Josh Manson

Sami Vatanen - Clayton Stoner

John Gibson

Anton Khudobin

Injured: Jiri Sekac (ankle), Simon Despres (concussion symptoms)

Scratched: Frederik Andersen, Korbinian Holzer, Patrick Maroon

Status report: Tierney is expected to be scratched for the first time this season. … Gibson was the first goalie off the ice for Anaheim and Khudobin is expected to back him up. When asked if Andersen is ready to back up, Boudreau said, "He's not going to." Andersen hasn't played since Nov. 21 because of the flu.

Who's hot: Perry has six points in his past five games and goals in two straight. … Getzlaf has eight assists in his past five games. … Gibson has a 1.87 goals-against average and .932 save percentage in five games since being called up from San Diego of the AHL. … The Sharks have scored at least one power-play goal in their past four games, their longest streak since scoring one in five straight from Oct. 30 to Nov. 9, 2014. … Burns has four goals and two assists in his past five games.

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