Ducks wrap home-and-home with Sharks aiming to halt skid
(Sports Network) - The first-place Anaheim Ducks will try to halt their longest losing streak of the season when they visit the San Jose Sharks for Wednesday's Pacific Division battle at HP Pavilion.
The Ducks have lost three straight in regulation on the heels of a 12-game point streak that lasted from Feb. 27-March 20. Anaheim's previous worst losing streak of the season came within that point streak when the Ducks dropped consecutive shootout decisions to Phoenix on March 2 and 4.
Anaheim was swept by Detroit in a two-game home set over the weekend and then lost the opener of a home-and-home with the Sharks on Monday. The Ducks went 2-3 on the five-game homestand, falling to 13-4-0 as the host this season.
Martin Havlat, Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns each recorded a goal and an assist as the Sharks built an early three-goal lead and held on for the 5-3 win in Anaheim.
San Jose led 3-0 after Havlat scored just 34 seconds into the second period, but the Ducks would cut the lead to one goal on two separate occasions. James Sheppard's goal at 10:04 of the third period proved to be the game-winner and Dan Boyle sealed the Sharks' third win in their past 10 games with an empty- netter.
Antti Niemi made 24 games against the Pacific Division leaders, while Viktor Fasth was beaten four times on 38 shots against to take the loss.
Francois Beauchemin, Emerson Etem and Corey Perry each scored in a losing effort.
"We didn't play very well," Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Some things we have to address."
Despite its recent struggles, Anaheim still holds a 10-point lead over Los Angeles for the top spot in the Pacific. The Ducks will try to get their division title quest back on track when they open a four-game road trip Wednesday in San Jose.
The Ducks are 9-2-4 as the road club this season and they had won three straight in San Jose before the Sharks notched a 3-2 shootout win on Jan. 29. The next three games of the season series were played in Anaheim, with the Ducks winning the first two before San Jose claimed the opener of this home- and-home.
Anaheim has won eight of 11 overall in the series against the Sharks.
San Jose, which is tied with Nashville for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference playoff race, is beginning an important seven-game homestand on Wednesday. The Sharks are 8-1-4 as the host this season compared to a 6-10-2 mark on the road.
03/27 10:58:33 ET