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Ducks-Sharks Preview

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The Anaheim Ducks have at least one point in seven straight games against the San Jose Sharks. That accomplishment, however, has been by no means easy.

The Ducks hope to continue that success against their Pacific Division rivals on Saturday night at HP Pavilion when the teams meet for the third time in seven days.

Although Dallas currently leads the Pacific, there is little doubt that both Anaheim and San Jose will be part of the race for the rest of the season, making any game between the teams particularly important.

The Ducks (17-15-5) are 3-0-1 this season against the Sharks. The first three games were decided in shootouts before Anaheim won its fifth straight at San Jose, 2-0 on Tuesday.

Anaheim is 5-0-2 in the past seven meetings overall, a stretch that includes four shootouts and each contest decided by either one or two goals. No team has scored more than three goals in any of those seven matchups.

The Sharks' lone win in this season's series was a 2-1 shootout victory at Anaheim on Sunday.

An outstanding defensive effort and Mathieu Schneider's goal with 1:29 left in overtime lifted the Ducks to a 2-1 victory over visiting Colorado on Wednesday.

Chris Pronger also scored and Jonas Hiller needed to make only 11 saves as Anaheim recorded at least one point for the third straight game (2-0-1). The Ducks have won two straight after losing four of five.

"We generated a lot of chances," Schneider said. "And if we do that consistently, we're going to win a lot of games. You can sense that some of the guys have their swagger back a little bit. That little cockiness is important to have on a winning club."

Jean-Sebastien Giguere got the night off after posting his first shutout of the season. He has stopped 57 of 58 shots in his last two starts since he was pulled in the second period of a 5-0 loss to Minnesota on Dec. 14.

Giguere is 5-0-1 with one shutout and a 1.44 goals-against average in his last six starts against San Jose.

While Anaheim has played very good defense lately, it hasn't scored more than two goals in any of the last five games.

Leading scorer Ryan Getzlaf has gone a season high-tying six consecutive games without a goal and left wing Chris Kunitz hasn't scored in seven contests.

San Jose (18-11-5) also hasn't produced much offense lately, scoring five regulation goals in its last four games.

The Sharks gave up a short-handed goal to Shane Doan with 41.5 seconds left in regulation and failed to score in the shootout Thursday in a 3-2 loss to Phoenix.

"We've got some guys who should be ashamed at the way they played," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "There were four or five guys we count on and they weren't ready to play. On a power play we gave up the puck on a faceoff and that's embarrassing."

It was the third straight home loss (0-2-1) for the Sharks, whose six home wins are better than only the Coyotes.

"We have Anaheim on Saturday and we have to get ready for another big game," goalie Evgeni Nabokov told the Sharks' official Web site. "We have to protect home ice."

Star center Joe Thornton has one goal and no assists in his last five games against the Ducks.

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