NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, November 30th
(All times Eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (18-7-3) at San Jose Sharks (17-3-5), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Anaheim Ducks have got winning at home down to a
science. It's picking up victories on the road that has given the club trouble
The Ducks look to solve those road issues on Saturday night as they visit the
San Jose Sharks in a battle for first place in the Pacific Division.
Anaheim is tied atop the division standings with San Jose, with both teams
having notched 39 points on the season. The Ducks could be well ahead if not
for an 8-7-2 road mark compared to a 10-0-1 record as the hosting club.
The Ducks remained the only team left in the NHL with a regulation defeat at
home when they bested the Calgary Flames 5-2 on Friday night. Dustin Penner
scored twice, while Andrew Cogliano and Corey Perry notched a goal and an
Sami Vatanen also scored and Frederik Anderson improved to 7-1-0 in eight
games this season after making 19 saves. Saku Koivu had an assist in his
return from a 15-game absence caused by a concussion.
"We want to get some confidence to take into next week because we've got some
pretty stiff competition," said Penner. "We're going to need the team feeling
as confident as possible."
Penner was referring to an upcoming four-game stretch that begins tonight.
After taking on the Sharks, the Ducks return home to face the Los Angeles
Kings, who are three points back of Anaheim in the division, on Tuesday before
visiting Western Conference powerhouses Chicago and St. Louis on back-to-back
nights starting on Friday.
Getting on track as the road club will be key. While the Ducks are off to
their best home start in franchise history, they have lost five of their last
six on the road.
Things don't get any easier tonight as the Sharks are looking to complete a
five-game homestand perfect after besting the Blues 6-3 on Friday night. Brent
Burns keyed his club's seventh victory in eight games with his first career
Burns lit the lamp twice as part of a four-goal first period for San Jose and
added a power-play goal in the third.
"We knew it was going to be a big game against these guys," said Burns. "Two
teams that we both feel were at the top of our game, so it was big. It was
Joe Thornton, Tommy Wingels and Tomas Hertl also scored in the victory while
Antti Niemi stopped 21-of-24 shots he faced in net. Thornton and Joe Pavelski
also had two assists, while Logan Couture notched three helpers.
San Jose improved to 9-1-2 as the hosting club this season and has won its
past two at home versus Anaheim.
The Ducks have won eight of the last 12 meetings overall.
11/30 10:43:07 ET