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Streaking Ducks visit Sharks to begin home-and-home
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks have both been tough to beat in their own arena this season.
The two Pacific Division rivals will get to put each other to the test with a home-and-home series that begins on Sunday night in San Jose.
The Ducks are off to their best start at home in franchise history and remain the lone team without a regulation loss as the hosting club, moving to 14-0-2 following last night's overtime win against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Anaheim, which will host San Jose on Tuesday, has added a decent 14-7-3 record on the road and leads the Sharks and Los Angeles Kings by seven points for first place in the division.
The Ducks are also in the midst of a club-record 10-game winning streak that has helped them tie the Chicago Blackhawks for the most points in the NHL with 61.
Anaheim was in danger of having its winning run halted last night, giving up a game-tying goal to Phoenix with less than a minute left in regulation. However, Saku Koivu scored his second goal of the game 51 seconds into overtime, redirecting a shot on net by Ben Lovejoy.
"We had a 2-0 lead, and they got a lucky bounce on the first goal," said Koivu. "It's one of those things where you try and regroup and quick as you can. You knew there was a good chance there would be overtime, so you start thinking about that."
Koivu also had an assist and Andrew Cogliano scored to extend the league's longest win streak since the Pittsburgh Penguins ripped off 15 in a row from March 2-30 of last season.
Jonas Hiller made 23 saves to match a club record with his eighth straight win. He evened the mark set by Viktor Fasth from Jan. 26-Feb. 16 of last season.
"It's something to be proud of. We wanted this 10th win. This was a big one," said Lovejoy.
The Sharks, meanwhile, have been bested just once at home in regulation, going 13-1-3 in San Jose. However, the club is just 11-7-3 on the road and won for only the second time in its last seven games as the guest with Friday's 4-3 shootout decision over Phoenix.
Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau scored in regulation and Marleau added the winning shootout goal. Antti Niemi added 34 saves in San Jose's third victory in a row -- all in a shootout.
The Sharks are 6-5 in the tie-breaking format this season.
"On the road, sometimes it's easy to have games get away from you. You have to have the will to keep fighting through it and I thought our guys did that," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. "A month ago we were talking about how poor we were in the shootouts. The same guys who were missing then are now scoring."
Pavelski isn't missing much either. He has a goal in three straight and has scored seven over his last eight games.
Pavelski had the deciding shootout tally in a 4-3 home win over Anaheim on Nov. 30. Marleau added a goal and an assist, while Niemi made 28 saves.
Hiller stopped 32 shots and Lovejoy was one of three goal-scorers for the Ducks, who have lost three in a row to the Sharks as well as three straight and eight of its last 12 in San Jose.
12/29 10:59:30 ET