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Sharks aim to stop the bleeding in Anaheim

by Brian Compton /
SHARKS (21-16-5) at DUCKS (22-18-4)


Last 10: San Jose 5-5-0; Anaheim 5-5-0.

Season Series: This is the third of six meetings between the Pacific Division rivals. San Jose is 1-0-1 against Anaheim this season -- the Sharks earned a 5-2 victory on Oct. 30 before dropping a 3-2 overtime decision on Nov. 9.

Big Story: Inconsistency continues to plague San Jose -- it enters Sunday's action with a three-game losing streak. The skid continued on Saturday night, when the Sharks suffered a 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators at HP Pavilion. They've lost four straight at home and have scored just four goals in those losses, including a pair of shutouts.

"I don't know what the answer is," defenseman Dan Boyle said. "The last thing we need on this hockey team is to feel sorry for ourselves. It's very important that we stay together and not go, 'Why us?' or 'Why me?' I think we have to find a way."
Team Scope:

Sharks: A 3-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night resulted in a meeting with Sharks GM Doug Wilson, who has grown frustrated by the inconsistent play by last year's Western Conference runner-ups.

While the effort was better Saturday night, the result was the same as the Sharks continue to slip in the standings.

"I think you lose a game and it feels awful," forward Logan Couture said. "You lose three in a row all at home, in this building, one of the toughest buildings in the League for a team to come in and play, it's just not right. It's embarrassing to lose three in a row."

Ducks: Anaheim bounced back nicely from Wednesday's 4-1 loss to Nashville by cruising to a 6-0 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Honda Center on Friday night. Teemu Selanne and Bobby Ryan each scored twice, while Jonas Hiller made 27 saves for his third shutout of the season. Anaheim has won four of its last five.

"We were down and dropped a dud during the homestand," Ryan said. "It’s an important time of year not to do that. Tonight revealed a lot of character about the team in the way we bounced back. You got a 20-man effort all the way through. It was nice to see guys stick together."

Who's Hot: Hiller is 4-1 in the past five games with a 1.20 goals-against average and .962 save percentage. He moved into a tie for second in the NHL with 20 victories, and ranks fourth in the League with a .926 save percentage. Cam Fowler leads all rookie defensemen with 21 points. He had three assists on Friday, while fellow blueliner Lubomir Visnovsky has 12 points in his last 14 games.

Injury Report: Sharks center Joe Pavelski missed his fifth straight game Saturday with a lower-body injury. John McCarthy (upper body) is also out. … Anaheim will be without world-class center Ryan Getzlaf due to a sinus fracture. Aaron Voros is doubtful due to a fractured orb ital bone.

Stat Pack: San Jose has scored once on 79 shots in its last two games. … Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman appeared in his 700th NHL game Friday night.

Puck Drop: "This is one of those games when you're cruising along when you're at or near first place. You say, 'You know what? We probably deserve a better fate.' But when you've lost some games here in a row, these are games that you have to win and the two points got away from us." -- San Jose coach Todd McLellan after Saturday's 2-1 loss to Nashville

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