UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
NHL

Sharks-Ducks Preview

The Anaheim Ducks have already secured the title of winningest team this year.

They can grab win No. 50 of 2014 Wednesday night when they host the Pacific Division rival San Jose Sharks.

Since welcoming the New Year following a victory over San Jose on Dec. 31, 2013, the Ducks (24-8-6) have rattled off a league-best 49 regular season wins, including 24 in 38 tries this season.

Much of that recent success can be credited to captain Ryan Getzlaf, who has 13 points in his last eight games. He tallied two assists Sunday in Anaheim's 2-1 overtime win over Vancouver.

"Ryan will be the first to tell you he started slowly," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "But once he started to pick it up, he's carried a 'put the team on his back' type thing, which is what captains and great leaders do. I consider Getzy both of those.

"He's doing it everywhere. He's setting up defensemen, he's setting up forwards, he's scoring the big goal by himself. He's doing what he's paid to do."

Getzlaf's outstanding play has filled the scoring void left by Corey Perry, who will likely miss his 11th consecutive game Wednesday as he continues to deal with a knee injury. Perry had scored 14 goals through 23 games prior to the injury.

The Ducks sit atop the NHL with 54 points and can extend that lead as they continue their long stint in Anaheim, where they are 12-3-3.

The Sharks (19-13-5) mark the second opponent of Anaheim's eight-game homestand, and they enter the Honda Center in the midst of a three-game losing streak. They have scored only four goals over the skid, capped by a penalty shot goal from Joe Thornton in their 3-1 loss to Vancouver on Tuesday.

"For me, there's a price our team has to pay to win," coach Todd McLellan said. "Right now, we're not reaching deep enough, we're not digging deep enough. We want everything on sale."

San Jose has shown a significant reliance on offense this season, as the Sharks have secured at least a point in all but four games where they score two or more goals.

They have failed to reach that two-goal mark in each of their last two losses.

"You get concerned always when you lose games," Joe Pavelski said. "Win as many as you want, but lose one or two, it turns the other way. It's on each guy in here to turn his game up, simplify it and get back to what makes us successful."

Pavelski leads the team with 17 goals and has been especially productive against the Ducks, scoring in all three matchups this season to extend his point streak in the series to seven games.

San Jose took its first two meetings with Anaheim this season before a 3-2 overtime loss on Dec. 22.

Antti Niemi figures to start in net for San Jose after he sat behind backup Alex Stalock on Tuesday. Niemi is 7-1-1 with a 2.44 goals-against average in his last nine starts overall, and 2-0-1 with a 2.65 mark this season against Anaheim.

The Ducks will likely counter with Frederik Andersen, who needed to make only 13 saves Sunday for his 20th win. He had lost his first four starts against the Sharks behind a 4.41 GAA before stopping 30 shots in the overtime victory earlier this month.

Promoted Stories
Comments

More NHL

SI.com

Drag this icon to your bookmark bar.
Then delete your old SI.com bookmark.

SI.com

Click the share icon to bookmark us.