Programming note: Sharks-Ducks coverage starts tonight at 4:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California with Sharks Pregame Live.
Where they stand
Sharks: 4-4-1, 9 points, 4th Pacific Division
Ducks: 7-1-0, 14 points, 1st Pacific Division
Sharks: San Jose lost its fourth straight game in regulation on Saturday, 2-1 to the Buffalo Sabres, who secured just their second win of the season and first in regulation. After two scoreless frames, Buffalo scored twice in the third period before Brent Burns found the net to bring San Jose back to within one goal. The Sharks couldn’t find the tying marker, though, and have lost two of three on home ice (1-2-0).
They begin a three-game road trip today, continuing against the Avalanche on Tuesday and Wild on Thursday.
Ducks: Since losing in Pittsburgh to start the season, Anaheim has reeled off seven straight regulation wins to find itself atop of the Western Conference. The Ducks will be trying to cap off a perfect five-game homestand, after beating Minnesota, St. Louis, Buffalo and Columbus by a combined score of 13-3. They are playing their first Pacific Division opponent tonight.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Matt Nieto. One of the lone bright spots in the Sharks’ loss to Buffalo was the play of the Long Beach native, who skated with Chris Tierney and Tommy Wingels. The 20-year-old Nieto hasn’t scored in his last five games, though, so he’s one of a number of players the Sharks will need more production from as they try and snap out of their losing streak. Perhaps a visit to the area in which he grew up will get him on the scoresheet again.
Ducks: Corey Perry. If the season were to end today, Perry would probably be a Hart Trophy finalist. The Ducks’ sniper has nine goals already to lead the league, including a pair of hat tricks, and 12 points overall, tied with teammate Ryan Getzlaf for second in the NHL in scoring (Dallas’ Tyler Seguin has 13 points). In 52 career games against the Sharks, Perry has 21 goals and 40 points.
Goals per game: 3.00 (T - 10th)
Goals-against per game: 2.89 (18th)
Power play: 21.9 percent (11th)
Penalty kill: 78.6 percent (20th)
Goals per game: 3.50 (T - 3rd)
Goals-against per game: 1.88 (T - 5th)
Power play: 25.0 percent (6th)
Penalty kill: 83.3.percent (13th)
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – James Sheppard
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Matt Nieto – Chris Tierney – Tommy Wingels
John Scott – Adam Burish – Andrew Desjardins
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Mirco Mueller – Brent Burns
Matt Irwin – Scott Hannan
Devante Smith-Pelly – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano – Ryan Kesler – Jakob Silfverberg
Matt Beleskey – William Karlsson – Rickard Rakell
Emerson Etem – Nate Thompson – Tim Jackman
Cam Fowler – Ben Lovejoy
Francois Beauchemin – Hampus Lindholm
Clayton Stoner – Sami Vatanen
Sharks: Tyler Kennedy (upper body) is questionable. Raffi Torres (right knee), Barclay Goodrow (left hand), and Mike Brown (left hand) are out.
Ducks: Kyle Palmieri (high ankle sprain) is day-to-day. Sheldon Souray (torn wrist ligament), Dany Heatley (groin), Bryan Allen (lower body) and Patrick Maroon (knee) are out.
Tonight is the first of five meetings between the California rivals, including three games that will be played at the Honda Center. The Ducks make their first of two visits to SAP Center on Nov. 29, while San Jose will visit Anaheim twice more in late December.
The Sharks are 60-46-4-7 all-time against Anaheim. The Ducks won both games at Honda Center last season.
“We have a great test tomorrow. We play Anaheim, and there’s no better way to get back on track than to beat them. They’re doing well right now so that would be huge for us.” – Matt Nieto, after the Sharks’ loss to Buffalo on Saturday