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Ducks try to hand Sharks first loss

by Brian Compton

DUCKS (3-1-0) at SHARKS (5-0-0)


Season series: This is the first of five meetings between the teams. The Ducks won five of six meetings against the Sharks last season.

Big story: This Pacific Division rivalry renews with both teams off to great starts. San Jose has stormed out of the gate with five straight wins, while Anaheim has taken three of its first four.

Team scope:

Ducks: It’s rare for a player to make his NHL debut at the age of 30, but Swedish goaltender Viktor Fasth made his first appearance Saturday night, leading the Ducks to a 3-2 shootout victory against the Nashville Predators at the Honda Center. Fasth stopped 19 of 21 shots through overtime before denying all three Nashville shooters in the breakaway competition to help his club earn two more points in the standings.

"I just tried to do my job," Fasth told the team’s website. "The guys in front of me played incredibly good today. They helped me a lot out there, so they made it easy for me. They did a really good job today."

Sharks: San Jose’s torrid start continued with Sunday night’s 4-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks at HP Pavilion. Joe Pavelski scored twice, Antti Niemi made 23 saves and the Sharks killed all seven Vancouver power plays.

"It's been pretty good all season so far," Pavelski said of the penalty kill. "There's just been a minor breakdown here or there where the puck's ended up in the net. We knew we had to just stay with the plan we knew we were going to do, and if we can pressure a little bit more, we'll try to do that.

"We're confident in the group, that we all can kind of chip in and do it. We've got four units that go out there. On the four-minute kill tonight, it was important. No one got tired. We got the clears, we won some faceoffs. That's what you've got to do on PK."

Who’s hot: Daniel Winnik (five goals, one assist) and Saku Koivu (one goal, five assists) have six points in five games for Anaheim. … Sharks forward Patrick Marleau scored two goals in each of the Sharks’ first four games and added his ninth of the season Sunday night. He and Joe Thornton (three goals, 10 assists) each have 13 points through five contests.

Injury report: Sharks defenseman Brent Burns (lower body) and forward Jason Demers (wrist) are out.

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