Programming note: Sharks-Ducks coverage kicks off tonight at 6:30 PT with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California.
ANAHEIM – Joe Pavelski will line up as the Sharks’ third line center on Monday night in Anaheim.
Pavelski has just one goal and two assists in his last 18 games, and is scoreless in his last eight overall. He’ll center TJ Galiardi and James Sheppard against the Ducks, while Tommy Wingels will move up into a top-six role on the left side of center Logan Couture and Marty Havlat.
It’s the first time this season Pavelski will start a game at center, as he has been playing as a winger on one of the Sharks’ top two lines. Pavelski has seven goals and 10 assists in 30 games.
“He has to pick it up, he knows that,” Todd McLellan said. “He’s a very honest guy. He’s not fooling anybody, and not fooling himself. He understands his situation and what he can and can’t bring to the team. We expect more from him, and maybe this will trigger it, putting him back in the middle.”
“I need to get going, as I think a lot of guys need to,” Pavelski said on Monday morning. “As a team we need to. We need to check a little better, and get back to that what we were doing early in the season. A lot of things will take care of themselves then.”
The Sharks were shut out on Saturday in Minnesota, 2-0, and are now last in the NHL in goals-per game (2.20).
Pavelski, who said that he’s fine health-wise, said: “The coaches shuffle the lines, coming off of no goals in the last game. Maybe that’s a little bit more depth through the lineup. We’ve got some good players in here, when we play to our capabilities and are fresh and moving pucks and executing well, we’re a pretty solid team. We’ve got to get back to that as a group. We know it’s there.”
Ryane Clowe remains out, still battling a shoulder injury suffered on March 16 in Los Angeles in the first game of the road trip. McLellan said he might be possible on Wednesday, when the Sharks begin a seven-game homestand against the Ducks.
Thomas Greiss practiced with the team for the second straight day, but remains on injured reserve. He may not be ready this week, though, so Alex Stalock remains.
Antti Niemi will start in goal against the Ducks, expected to face Viktor Fasth.