Tonight’s match will be the third of the five-game season series between the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks and the first in Orange County. The Sharks winless so far this season against Anaheim (0-1-1) with the single point earned against the Ducks coming on October 25 in a 2-1 overtime loss. Ryan Kesler leads the Ducks in scoring so far this season with 11 goals and 23 assists but has only recorded 16 points in 40 games against San Jose in his career.
The Ducks recent defensive woes might be just what the doctor ordered for the goal-starved San Jose Sharks. Anaheim has given up 13 goals in their last two games: an 8-3 drubbing versus the Calgary Flames before storming back against the Carolina Hurricanes to win 6-5 on Ondrej Kase’s shootout winner.
— NHL (@NHL) December 8, 2016
The Sharks are coming off a bad loss to the Ottawa Senators. Despite outshooting Ottawa 37-16 and dominating in Corsi-for events, the Sharks never led in Wednesday’s game. Captain Joe Pavelski was especially snakebitten. His 11 attempts on net paced San Jose and seven of those attempts landed on netminder Mike Condon with only an assist to show for the effort.
Preliminary signs also point to the Sharks being without the services of defenseman David Schlemko for the second straight game.
Mirco Mueller is on my flight to Orange County this morning. My reporter instincts are telling me that means he was called up
— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzNHL) December 9, 2016
With the San Jose Barracuda and Sharks playing a hockey doubleheader on Saturday at SAP Center, it’s a good bet that Mueller isn’t looking to spend the day in Disneyland. He’ll likely be the extra body in case one of the defenders from Wednesday’s game cannot go against the Ducks.
San Jose Sharks at Anaheim Ducks
Honda Center – 7:00 p.m. PST
Broadcast channels – CSN Bay Area
Radio: Sharks Radio Network
2016-17 Season Series: 0-1-1
October 25 – Ducks 2 Sharks 1 (OT)
November 26 Ducks 3 Sharks 2
San Jose Sharks – 15-10-1 (31 Points)
Road Record: 6-6-1
Hot Players: Martin Jones, Brent Burns
Key Injuries: Tomas Hertl, David Schlemko
Patrick Marleau – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Melker Karlsson – Logan Couture – Joel Ward
Mikkel Boedker – Chris Tierney – Joonas Donskoi
Michael Haley – Tommy Wingels – Kevin Labanc
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Brain
Brenden Dillon – Dylan DeMelo
Martin Jones (Likely)
Anaheim Ducks – 13-9-5 (31 points)
Home Record: 8-4-1
Hot Players: Ryan Kesler, Corey Perry
Key Injuries: Simon Despres, Nate Thompson, Rickard Rakell, Clayton Stoner
Nick Ritchie – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano – Ryan Kesler – Jakob Silfverberg
Logan Shaw – Antoine Vermette – Ondrej Kase
Joseph Cramarossa – Stefan Noesen – Jared Boll
Cam Fowler – Sami Vatanen
Hampus Lindholm – Josh Manson
Shea Theodore – Kevin Bieksa
Looking like a Jonathan Bernier start for Ducks tonight against Sharks.
— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) December 9, 2016
2)Andrew Cogliano has never missed a game in his NHL career. He is the NHL’s active Ironman with 731 consecutive games played. The streak started with his first NHL contest back on October 4, 2007, when the winger skated with the Edmonton Oilers. The streak is the sixth longest in NHL history.
3)The Sharks will have their hands full in the face-off dot. The Ducks lead the NHL in face-off win percentage (56.9%) and the Sharks have struggled all year, ranking 22nd (48.8%) in the league.
4)Sharks special teams have been polar opposites away from Northern California: On the road, the power play has scored only three goals in 35 attempts on the man advantage, ranking 28th. However, the road penalty kill is tied for 8th in the NHL away from SAP Center, allowing six goals in the 37 times the Sharks have been shorthanded (83.8%).
5)The Ducks average 12.6 penalty minutes per game, currently the highest in the NHL.