When the Anaheim Ducks and the San Jose Sharks met last Friday, both were scuffling below their expectations.
Now, they've won a combined seven in a row, but that will change when the Pacific Division rivals meet Saturday in San Jose.
Anaheim's 3-2 shootout victory over the Sharks (11-7-2) on Nov. 9 started the defending Stanley Cup champion Ducks (9-8-3) on a three-game winning streak that included a home-and-home sweep of the Los Angeles Kings.
Leading scorer Ryan Getzlaf has heated up with 10 points in the last six games and Corey Perry had two goals and an assist in the Ducks' 6-3 win in Los Angeles Thursday.
That came after two straight shootout victories and produced the first three-game run of the season for the Ducks, who went on seven different spurts of at least three wins last season.
"There's definitely something building," Perry said. "When you start a streak, guys get more confidence and things start going your way. That's what we've got to keep working on - playing our game and keep playing the same way on the road as we do at home."
That will be the challenge at San Jose - where Anaheim has won its last three games - but the Sharks won four straight over a six-day stretch following the loss to the Ducks last weekend.
Three times the opponent was Phoenix, with San Jose outscoring the Coyotes 15-1, capped by a 6-0 win Thursday.
"We've won four straight but we've played really well nine straight games now," said Sharks coach Ron Wilson, whose team is 6-2-1 over that span. "It's the details and sometimes you need to be a little lucky."
Over this stretch, points have been coming from everywhere. Struggling captain Patrick Marleau has six points in the last three games, including the 500th of his career, while center Jeremy Roenick scored his 501st career goal Thursday, leaving him one behind Joe Mullen for second place among American-born players.
Former MVP Joe Thornton has eight points during a five-game point streak, center Joe Pavelski scored twice Thursday and rookie Devin Setoguchi had at least one goal in each of the four straight wins.
"Anytime you can get all four lines rolling you're going to win a lot of hockey games that way," Pavelski said.
There isn't much doubt about the goaltending matchup. Evgeni Nabokov has started all of San Jose's games this year, while Jean-Sebastien Giguere will likely be in net for Anaheim.
The Ducks will be playing their first game without backup Ilya Bryzgalov on the roster. They placed the 27-year-old goaltender, whom they had unsuccessfully tried to trade, on waivers Friday and promoted Jonas Hiller to back up Giguere.
"He's a quality person who helped us win," Ducks general manager Brian Burke said of Bryzgalov. "He deserves to go somewhere else and play."
Bryzgalov was 26-23-8 with a 2.48 goals-against average in parts of five seasons with Anaheim.