Mighty Ducks-Sharks Preview
GAME: Anaheim Mighty Ducks (24-18-10) at San Jose Sharks (24-19-8).
TIME: Saturday, 10:30 p.m. EST.
The San Jose Sharks likely hope to wrap things up in regulation when they host the San Jose Sharks in the third meeting between the Pacific Division rivals in 10 days.
The Sharks gave up the tying goal on a penalty shot with just over five minutes left in Thursday's matchup with the Minnesota Wild and failed to score in the shootout en route to a 3-2 loss.
San Jose has lost two of its last three games, with one defeat coming in a shootout and the other in overtime. The Sharks have lost eight of their last nine games that have been decided after regulation.
Their only win in the last five games overall was a 6-4 victory at Anaheim on Wednesday, after which they had to travel back to San Jose and meet the Wild less than 24 hours later.
"Toward the end we were running out of gas but we got a point so I'm not disappointed," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "I'm not going to view this as a loss."
Cousins Joe and Scott Thornton scored for the Sharks, who were shut out on the power play and outshot 32-23.
Jonathan Cheechoo, who had an assist on Joe Thornton's goal, has recorded a point in 16 of the last 17 games. He has been a nemesis for the Mighty Ducks with two hat tricks against them in the last three meetings.
Backup goaltender Vesa Toskala made 30 saves against the Wild and stopped their first four skaters in the shootout before allowing the game-winner to Brian Rolston.
Ducks goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov made 29 saves in Wednesday's loss to the Sharks, but gave up five or more goals for the first time this season. Bryzgalov earned his first two NHL points with assists on Anaheim's first two goals and became just the second goalie this season to get two assists.
In his previous start against San Jose on Jan. 26, Bryzgalov handed the Sharks their first shutout loss of the season and recorded his first NHL shutout in Anaheim's 2-0 victory.
Teemu Selanne, who has 39 goals and 40 assists in 50 career games against San Jose, scored in Wednesday's defeat to extend his point-scoring streak to 13 games. He has seven goals and 14 assists in that span.
Andy McDonald, Chris Kunitz and Dustin Penner also scored Wednesday for the Ducks, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.
Anaheim was 2-for-9 on the power play, but also gave up three extra-man goals to the Sharks.
"We took some inopportune penalties at critical points," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We gave them too many opportunities and too many quality chances."
STANDINGS: Mighty Ducks - 58 points, 3rd place, 16 PB, Pacific Division. Sharks - 56 points, 5th place, 18 PB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Mighty Ducks - Selanne, 25 goals and 50 points; Scott Niedermayer, 33 assists; Todd Fedoruk, 125 PIM. Sharks - Cheechoo, 31 goals; Joe Thornton, 54 assists and 72 points; Mark Smith, 73 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Mighty Ducks - Power play: 17.3 percent (54 for 312), 16th in NHL (tied). Penalty killing: 84.2 percent (287 for 341), 9th (tied). Sharks - Power play: 17.3 percent (54 for 312), 16th (tied). Penalty killing: 79.3 percent (203 for 256), 26th.
GOALTENDERS: Mighty Ducks - Bryzgalov (10-11-1, 1 SO, 2.60 GAA); Jean-Sebastien Giguere (14-7-9, 1, 2.72). Sharks - Evgeni Nabokov (14-13-6, 1, 2.97); Toskala (5-5-2, 3.25).
SEASON SERIES: Sharks, 3-2.
LAST MEETING: Wednesday; Sharks, 6-4. At Anaheim, Calif., Cheechoo had a hat trick and Joe Thornton notched three assists to lead San Jose to victory.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mighty Ducks - 8-10-6 on the road; Sharks - 14-5-5 at home.