The Anaheim Ducks' scoring troubles have waned, but they're on the cusp of their worst road start in franchise history.
Facing the San Jose Sharks poses a problem.
The Ducks look to continue their resurgence and end an eight-game road losing streak to the Sharks on Saturday night.
Anaheim (4-7-2) finished last season with the best record in the Western Conference and was eliminated in the conference finals in seven games. However, the team sputtered to a 1-7-2 start to 2015-16 that included scoring just 10 goals while being shut out five times - one fewer than the last two seasons combined.
The Ducks' season kicked off with a 2-0 loss at San Jose, and they've gone 0-4-1 on the road since. Another defeat would saddle them with their worst road start to a season. They lost 13 straight away from home from Oct. 29-Dec. 22, 2011 - the last season they missed the playoffs.
Anaheim is starting to turn things around - at least at home - scoring 10 goals during a three-game winning streak.
Ryan Getzlaf's return provided a lift Friday. He had three assists in a 4-2 win over Columbus after missing four games following an appendectomy.
"He didn't look like he missed a beat out there," defenseman Cam Fowler said. "He gave the team a spark, so we were happy to have him back in. He's the straw that stirs the drink around here. Guys feed off his energy and his playmaking ability."
Getzlaf, though, has no points and is a minus-7 over the last three meetings with the Sharks (7-6-0) after collecting 11 points over the previous six.
Corey Perry has also put together three straight pointless efforts against San Jose, including a minus-4 rating. The right wing, however, has six points in five games after setting up three goals Friday.
The Sharks have split six games at home following Thursday's 5-2 win over Florida.
"We had good jump right from the drop of the puck," coach Peter DeBoer told the team's official website. "We got the first goal, the first two goals, which was key. We wanted a good start. We did a lot of good things."
Special teams, though, remain a concern. The power play is 0 for 15 at home on the season and 2 for 24 over the last 10 games overall, while the penalty kill has allowed 11 goals on 33 attempts over that span. The unit is among the worst in the NHL, surrendering goals on 25.0 percent of opposing power plays.
"Special teams are still a work in progress," DeBoer said.
Joe Pavelski has six goals and two assists during a seven-game point streak. He has 13 points in his last 13 meetings with the Ducks but was held without one Oct. 10.
Patrick Marleau scored twice in that win, but his goal against the Panthers was only his second in 11 games since. He has seven points in his last four home meetings with Anaheim and 50 in 54 career matchups, including playoffs.