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Sharks-Mighty Ducks Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: San Jose Sharks (28-23-8) at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (28-20-12).

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

A pair of teams on the outside of the playoff picture in the Western Conference face off when the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Mighty Ducks meet for the seventh time this season.

Anaheim is in ninth place in the West, four points back of Edmonton for the final playoff spot, while San Jose sits eight behind the Oilers in 11th place.

Both clubs come into this contest with two losses in three contests following the Olympic break.

The Ducks continued their losing ways in games that go beyond regulation with a 3-2 shootout defeat to Columbus on Sunday. Anaheim has a league-high 12 losses in contests that go into either overtime or a shootout.

"It's disappointing," said Andy McDonald, whose 20th goal tied the score at 2 with 2:24 left in regulation. "I know we came back to tie it when we were down by a goal and go into overtime, but right now that's not good enough. The way this conference is going, it's probably going to be a point difference for that last playoff spot."

Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, though, was pleased with the outcome.

"Any point is going to be very important," he said. "So we should be happy about that."

Anaheim has trailed after the first period in both of its losses after the break.

"We've had to battle back," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "Points are too important now and we've got to find a way to shake ourselves out of those doldrums early."

San Jose suffered a second straight loss on its three-game road trip Saturday, 2-0 to Northwest Division-leading Calgary.

"We've got to realize how important these games are," San Jose defenseman Scott Hannan said. "The way teams can get points nowadays, especially with the amount of games we have left, we can't let these things slip as it's really hard to make up points."

The Sharks were 0-for-6 on the power play Saturday after converting nine of their previous 22 chances. San Jose has killed off 27 straight short-handed situations over its last six games.

These teams have alternated a win and a loss in the first six meetings this season, and have both won twice on the road.

STANDINGS: Sharks - 64 points, 4th place, 19 PB, Pacific Division. Mighty Ducks - 68 points, 3rd place, 15 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Sharks - Jonathan Cheechoo, 35 goals; Joe Thornton, 63 assists and 86 points; Mark Smith, 81 PIM. Mighty Ducks - Teemu Selanne, 27 goals and 57 points; Scott Niedermayer, 35 assists; Todd Fedoruk, 138 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Sharks - Power play: 18.0 percent (65 for 361), 15th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.4 percent (241 for 296), 19th. Mighty Ducks - Power play: 16.6 percent (59 for 356), 21st. Penalty killing: 83.9 percent (324 for 386), 9th.

GOALTENDERS: Sharks - Vesa Toskala (9-6-2, 2.99 GAA); Evgeni Nabokov (14-16-6, 1 SO, 2.93). Mighty Ducks - Giguere (17-9-11, 2, 2.60); Ilya Bryzgalov (11-11-1, 1, 2.53).


LAST MEETING: Feb. 4; Ducks, 2-0. At San Jose, Calif., Giguere made 34 saves, and Fedoruk and Selanne scored for the Ducks.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Sharks - 11-16-3 on the road; Mighty Ducks - 18-9-5 at home.

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