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Ducks-Sharks Preview @NHLdotcom

Even with Scott Niedermayer back in the lineup, the Anaheim Ducks couldn't find a way to beat the San Jose Sharks in the teams' most recent meeting.

The Ducks have another chance to top the Sharks for the third time this season and avoid a fourth straight loss overall as the Pacific Division rivals conclude their home-and-home series Tuesday night in San Jose.

San Jose (18-10-4), which is tied with Dallas for the Pacific lead, won 2-1 in a shootout at Anaheim on Sunday for its seventh victory in its last nine games.

It was the fourth straight meeting between the clubs - third this season - in which the outcome was decided in a shootout.

"There are always really good games against Anaheim," said Sharks center Joe Thornton, who scored the winner in the shootout Sunday. "Every game we come here or they come up to us, it's always an exciting, low-scoring game. We've been having a lot of shootouts against them, so it's nice to win one."

Sunday's loss for Anaheim (15-15-5) was its first in three meetings with San Jose this season. The Ducks, which won 3-2 at home over the Sharks on Nov. 9 and 2-1 at San Jose on Nov. 17, will try for a fourth consecutive road victory in the series Tuesday.

Anaheim could benefit from a productive night from Niedermayer, who played his first game Sunday after sitting out the first part of the season contemplating retirement.

Niedermayer - last season's Conn Smythe Trophy winner who helped the Ducks win the franchise's first Stanley Cup - took one shot and took one penalty in nearly 24 minutes of ice time.

"Getting the first one under your belt is always a big step," said the 34-year-old defenseman, who begins his 16th NHL season after posting career highs with 15 goals and 54 assists in 2006-07. "The next two games are back-to-back, so that will be another bit of a test. But it's all part of it, and I've just got to be smart and know what I'm comfortable with out there."

The Ducks haven't looked comfortable on offense of late. Though two of its last three losses have been decided by one goal each, Anaheim has been outscored 10-5 during its current skid.

Rookie Bobby Ryan scored his second goal, and veteran Doug Weight added an assist in his first game with Ducks since being traded from St. Louis for Andy McDonald on Friday.

"I ran out of steam a little bit," said Weight, who had four goals and seven assists with St. Louis. "I was excited all night for two nights (after the trade) and I was excited all afternoon. I will get some rest. I'll get my legs under me."

Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 36 saves after allowing three goals on nine shots in Anaheim's 5-2 loss to Minnesota on Friday, but still lost his third in a row and had a four-game winning streak versus the Sharks end.

San Jose, which hasn't won consecutive games against Anaheim in a season since 2003-04, managed to earn the victory Sunday despite going a season-worst 0-for-8 on the power play. The Sharks had scored with the man advantage in each of their previous three games.

Evgeni Nabokov, who has a 1.99 goals-against average in starting every game for the Sharks, made 30 saves Sunday. Rookie Torrey Mitchell scored his fifth goal - his third against Anaheim.

Mitchell scored the lone goal for the Sharks in their home loss to the Ducks last month.

The teams meet again in San Jose on Saturday.

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