Programming note: Sharks-Ducks coverage gets underway at 7 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live, only on Comcast SportsNet California
Where they stand
Sharks: 17-3-5, 39 points, 1st Pacific Division, 2nd Western Conference
Ducks: 18-7-3, 39 points, 2nd Pacific Division, 4th Western Conference
Goals per game: 3.44 (T – 2nd)
Goals-against per game: 2.12 (5th)
Power play: 19.6 percent (13th)
Penalty kill: 83.6 percent (12th)
Goals per game: 3.11 (5th)
Goals-against per game: 2.54 (14th)
Power play: 15.6 percent (22nd)
Penalty kill: 78.6 percent (23rd)
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Brent Burns
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Tommy Wingels
Marty Havlat – Joe Pavelski – Tyler Kennedy
James Sheppard – Andrew Desjardins – Mike Brown
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Matt Irwin – Dan Boyle
Scott Hannan – Brad Stuart
Antti Niemi (confirmed starter)
Dustin Penner – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano – Saku Koivu – Daniel Winnik
Matt Beleskey – Mathieu Perreault – Kyle Palmieri
Pat Maroon – Nick Bonino – Tim Jackman
Cam Fowler – Ben Lovejoy
Sami Vatanen – Mark Fistric
Nolan Yonkman – Hampus Lindholm
Sharks: Brent Burns’ four-point night (3g, 1a) led the Sharks to a 6-3 win over St. Louis on Friday afternoon. Joe Thornton (1g, 2a) and Logan Couture (3a) had three-point nights, and Antti Niemi made 21 saves. The Sharks end a five-game homestand tonight against the Ducks, after winning the first four. Overall, San Jose is 7-1-1 in its last nine games.
Ducks: Anaheim improved to 10-0-1 at home with a 5-2 win against Calgary on Friday afternoon. Dustin Penner had two goals in the win, and Saku Koivu returned from a 15-game absence with an upper body injury. Frederik Andersen was the winning goaltender with 19 saves. The Ducks are just 8-7-2 on the road.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Justin Braun. The Sharks defenseman blocked eight shots on Friday against St. Louis, and is tied for second in the NHL with a +17 rating. Braun is back with partner Marc-Edouard Vlasic after a stint with Brad Stuart, and that pair will likely see the Ryan Getzlaf line most of the night.
Ducks: Dustin Penner. Penner, who signed a one-year contract with Anaheim in the offseason, is the only player in the league whose plus/minus is better than Braun’s (+18). Penner is playing the wing with Getzlaf and Corey Perry, and has 20 points (9g, 11a) in 21 games.
Sharks: Raffi Torres (right ACL surgery) and Adam Burish (back surgery) are out.
Ducks: Sheldon Souray (right wrist), Jakob Silfverberg (broken hand), Francois Beauchemin (upper body), Luca Sbisa (right wrist), Viktor Fasth (lower body) are out. Bryan Allen (lower body) is questionable. Teemu Selanne (healthy) did not make the trip.
San Jose and Anaheim are meeting for the first of five games. Anaheim returns on Dec. 29, and the Sharks make their first visit to the Honda Center two days later on New Year’s Eve.
The Sharks are 57-45-4-7 all-time against the Ducks, but the Ducks have an 8-3-1 advantage in the last 12.
“We'll show up and finish the homestand properly, because when we get on the road, it won't get any easier." – Todd McLellan
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