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Ducks, last to start season, visit Sharks

by Eric Gilmore

DUCKS (0-0-0) at SHARKS (1-0-0)


SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks would like to forget most of what happened last season when they missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2003, but they don't mind revisiting their series against the Pacific Division champion Anaheim Ducks.

The Sharks went 4-0-1 against Anaheim, and hope to pick up where they left off when they face the Ducks on Saturday night in their home-opener at SAP Center.

"They're a good team," Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said after the morning skate. "We know they're going to show up. I think that's helped us get ready for them. We played really well as a team against them. So that has to continue. You need all your lines going against a team like this. You got to play them hard defensively."

Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic agreed.

"It's a new season, but we know we can beat good teams and they were a good team last year, and they're one of the elite teams this year as well," he said. "So we'll be ready."

The Ducks finished with 109 points last season and reached the Western Conference Final, but they struggled against San Jose.

"Honestly, if I knew that answer I might have been able to stop them from having that much success," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "They played well against us. We didn't play well against them. And when we did play well against them they played better. So hopefully it's a new year and things have changed a little bit."'

The Sharks under new coach Peter DeBoer opened the season Wednesday with a 5-1 victory against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center.

"I think energy's going to be there, so that's not a thing," Boudreau said. "You just want to see good plays. We're going to have to play quick. We watched [the Sharks] play the other night and they were really fast. The pace is going to be picked up a lot from training camp and so we have to be ready to up our pace."

All of the games last season between the Sharks and Ducks were physical. They'll play each other this time one week after Ducks third-line right wing Jakob Silfverberg took a hit to the head from Sharks forward Raffi Torres in an exhibition game at Honda Center. Torres was suspended 41 games.

"I don't think it's ever out of your mind, but I don't warn the San Jose Sharks on what Raffi Torres does," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "He's got his suspension, it's handed down to him, and we won't see him for a long time. So that's good."

Here are the projected lineups:


Carl Hagelin - Ryan Getzlaf - Chris Stewart

Jiri Sekac - Rickard Rakell - Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg

Patrick Maroon - Shawn Horcoff - Mike Santorelli

Hampus Lindholm - Kevin Bieksa

Cam Fowler - Simon Despres

Clayton Stoner - Sami Vatanen

Frederik Andersen

Anton Khudobin

Injured: Nate Thompson (shoulder)

Scratched: Tim Jackman, Josh Manson, Chris Wagner


Joonas Donskoi - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski

Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Joel Ward

Matt Nieto - Tomas Hertl - Tommy Wingels

Barclay Goodrow - Chris Tierney - Mike Brown

Paul Martin - Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon - Matt Tennyson

Martin Jones

Alex Stalock

Injured: None

Scratched: Dylan DeMelo, Ben Smith, Raffi Torres (suspended)

Status report: Silfverberg took part in the morning skate and will be in the lineup. ... As expected, Getzlaf will center the top line and Perry will skate on the second line. Boudreau split them up to add more depth to the lineup. … DeBoer made no changes to the Sharks lineup after a dominant victory against Los Angeles. … Jones, who allowed one goal against his former team Wednesday, will make his second start.

Who's hot: Perry scored four goals during the preseason, tying for third in the NHL. ... Getzlaf has 49 points (10 goals, 39 assists) in 58 career games against San Jose. … Pavelski, who led the Sharks in goals and points last season, had a three-point night against the Kings (one goal, two assists). ... Thornton had a goal and an assist against.

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