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Sharks-Mighty Ducks Preview @NHL
Sharks-Mighty Ducks Preview

GAME: San Jose Sharks (7-5-1) at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (7-6-1).

TIME: Friday, 10:30 p.m. EST.

Rookie Nolan Schaefer has provided the solution to the San Jose Sharks' battered group of goaltenders.

Schaefer tries to remain unbeaten and help the Sharks extend their season-high winning streak to five games when they visit the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

The 25-year-old Schaefer made his first appearance in goal on Oct. 26, when Vesa Toskala injured his groin during a 5-4 overtime victory at Dallas. Starter Evgeni Nabokov has been on injured reserve since Oct. 21 due to upper body stiffness.

Schaefer has stepped in and won all three starts since the game in Dallas. He notched his fourth straight victory by stopping 21 shots in San Jose's 3-2 overtime victory over Nashville on Wednesday.

The Sharks notched their fourth straight one-goal victory as Alyn McCauley scored a short-handed goal 1:44 into overtime.

San Jose has had some thrilling finishes during its winning streak, prevailing twice in overtime, once on a goal with four seconds left in regulation and once in a shootout.

"The feel on the bench is that something good's going to happen," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "Generally speaking, we hang in there."

San Jose right wing Jonathan Cheechoo enters with a six-game points streak (four goals, five assists). Cheechoo has two goals and no assists in 10 career games against the Mighty Ducks.

Anaheim had a four-game winning streak snapped with a 4-3 loss at Colorado on Thursday. Joffrey Lupul scored twice for the Mighty Ducks, who failed to recover after allowing three goals in a seven-minute stretch bridging the first and second periods.

The Ducks welcomed left wing Travis Moen back to action Thursday. Moen logged just over six minutes after missing three games due to a strained right knee.

Center Ryan Getzlaf also saw action for the first time since Oct. 23 after missing five games due to a shoulder strain.

STANDINGS THrough Nov. 3): Sharks - 15 points, 2nd place (tied), 3 PB, Pacific Division. Mighty Ducks - 15 points, 2nd place (tied), 3 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Sharks - Patrick Marleau, 7 goals, 9 assists and 16 points; Mark Smith, 24 PIM. Mighty Ducks - Teemu Selanne, 9 goals and 16 points; Rob Niedermayer, 9 assists; Kip Brennan, 35 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 3): Sharks - Power play: 15.1 percent (13 for 86), 22nd (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.6 percent (57 for 69), 14th. Mighty Ducks - Power play: 19.3 percent (17 for 88), 13th. Penalty killing: 80.5 percent (83 for 103), 18th.

GOALTENDERS: Sharks - Schaefer (4-0-0, 0 SO, 2.44 GAA); Toskala (0-3-0, 0, 5.07). Mighty Ducks - Jean-Sebastien Giguere (6-2-1, 0 SO, 2.55 GAA); Ilya Bryzgalov (1-4-0, 0, 3.27).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Sharks, 4-2.

LAST MEETING: March 19, 2004; Sharks, 4-2. At Anaheim, Calif., Alexander Korolyuk scored a pair of third-period goals and Nils Ekman had three assists for San Jose. Giguere fell to 3-9 in his career against the Sharks after allowing both goals in relief of Martin Gerber.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Sharks - 3-5-1 on the road; Mighty Ducks - 6-1-0 at home.

Associated Press

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