Ducks-Sharks Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 25, 2011
The San Jose Sharks carried plenty of momentum into the holiday weekend. A home matchup against the woeful Anaheim Ducks could help them pick up right where they left off. On the verge of matching its longest winning streak of the season, San Jose looks to extend Anaheim's franchise-worst road losing streak to 14 games Monday night. Since posting a 2-5-2 record from Nov. 26-Dec. 13, San Jose (19-10-3) has won four straight behind an average of 4.0 goals and strong goaltending from Antti Niemi. Niemi, 10-2-0 with a 1.98 goals-against average over his last 12 home games, made 28 saves during Friday's 2-1 shootout win over Los Angeles. "Going in (to the Christmas break) with a win was important," said coach Todd McLellan, whose team won a season-high five straight Oct. 21-29. "We're starting to feel a little bit better about ourselves again. It's something we want to maintain coming back on the 26th." A visit from the Ducks (9-19-6) might help the Sharks do just that. Though Anaheim has taken three straight in this series, including two this season in mid-October, it has been outscored 45-22 during an 0-9-4 skid on the road. The Ducks' 24 points are the second-fewest in the league, ahead of only Columbus (22). Anaheim has dropped four straight and 15 of 18 overall following Thursday's 3-2 shootout loss at Los Angeles. "We are a little desperate at this point," said captain Ryan Getzlaf, pointless in three of his last four games. While there doesn't seem to be anything pointing to a significant turnaround, new coach Bruce Boudreau thinks getting back on track starts with the team's mental state. "The difference between winning and losing sometimes is just the attitude and believing you're going to win or believing you're going to lose," Boudreau, 2-6-2 since taking over, told the team's official website. Jonas Hiller made 32 saves versus the Kings, dropping to 1-7-5 on the road. Hiller turned away 31 shots in a 1-0 victory over the Sharks on Oct. 14 for his lone shutout of the season, and Dan Ellis made 41 saves three days later in a 3-2 victory at San Jose. Hiller has surrendered two goals in each of his five career starts at San Jose but has gone 2-3-0. Joe Thornton has 14 points over his last seven home meetings with the Ducks, but the Sharks captain only has one goal in his past 16 games overall. Center Logan Couture has been held without a point in his last six meetings with Anaheim, but he's totaled 11 in as many games this month (eight goals, three assists). Niemi has gone 3-3-0 with a 2.19 GAA lifetime versus Anaheim. Though things are certainly looking up for the Sharks, their short-handed efforts are somewhat of a concern. San Jose has given up nine power-play goals in 31 chances (29.0 percent) over its last 10 games. "We have to get the kill when we get a chance," forward Joe Pavelski said. "We're not satisfied with giving one up. That's not how we are and we can't be like that. (We can't) say 'we weren't in good spots, it didn't happen for us,' - it has to happen."
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Grizzlies want Kevin Durant in free agency

WATCH: Karl-Anthony Towns throws down monster dunk

Dos Anjos: McGregor will 'break like a girl' at UFC 196

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell hit in groin by LeBron pass

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin


Doc Rivers: Warriors have 'swagger' of defending champion

Damian Lillard added as a finalist for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team

Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Fighter says sex before fight partly to blame for loss

Kevin McHale: James Harden being out of shape hurt Rockets early

WATCH: Kevin Love re-injures left shoulder

Johnny Manziel’s grandpa on ex-girlfriend: ‘The girl has her problems’

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker