In the Crease: Sharks seek perfect homestand against Ducks

Highlights: Burns' hat trick lifts Sharks over Blues

In the Crease: Sharks seek perfect homestand against Ducks
November 30, 2013, 12:00 pm
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The Ducks improved to 10-0-1 at home with a 5-2 win against Calgary on Friday afternoon. (USATSI)

Programming note: Sharks-Ducks coverage gets underway at 7 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live, only on Comcast SportsNet California

Where they stand
Sharks: 17-3-5, 39 points, 1st Pacific Division, 2nd Western Conference
Ducks: 18-7-3, 39 points, 2nd Pacific Division, 4th Western Conference

Vitals

Sharks
Goals per game: 3.44 (T – 2nd)
Goals-against per game: 2.12 (5th)
Power play: 19.6 percent (13th)
Penalty kill: 83.6 percent (12th)

Ducks
Goals per game: 3.11 (5th)
Goals-against per game: 2.54 (14th)
Power play: 15.6 percent (22nd)
Penalty kill: 78.6 percent (23rd)

Probable lines

Sharks
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Brent Burns
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Tommy Wingels
Marty Havlat – Joe Pavelski – Tyler Kennedy
James Sheppard – Andrew Desjardins – Mike Brown

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Matt Irwin – Dan Boyle
Scott Hannan – Brad Stuart

Antti Niemi (confirmed starter)
Alex Stalock

Ducks
Dustin Penner – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano – Saku Koivu – Daniel Winnik
Matt Beleskey – Mathieu Perreault – Kyle Palmieri
Pat Maroon – Nick Bonino – Tim Jackman

Cam Fowler – Ben Lovejoy
Sami Vatanen – Mark Fistric
Nolan Yonkman – Hampus Lindholm

Jonas Hiller
Frederik Andersen

The latest

Sharks: Brent Burns’ four-point night (3g, 1a) led the Sharks to a 6-3 win over St. Louis on Friday afternoon. Joe Thornton (1g, 2a) and Logan Couture (3a) had three-point nights, and Antti Niemi made 21 saves. The Sharks end a five-game homestand tonight against the Ducks, after winning the first four. Overall, San Jose is 7-1-1 in its last nine games.

Ducks: Anaheim improved to 10-0-1 at home with a 5-2 win against Calgary on Friday afternoon. Dustin Penner had two goals in the win, and Saku Koivu returned from a 15-game absence with an upper body injury. Frederik Andersen was the winning goaltender with 19 saves. The Ducks are just 8-7-2 on the road.

Keep an eye on…

Sharks: Justin Braun. The Sharks defenseman blocked eight shots on Friday against St. Louis, and is tied for second in the NHL with a +17 rating. Braun is back with partner Marc-Edouard Vlasic after a stint with Brad Stuart, and that pair will likely see the Ryan Getzlaf line most of the night.

Ducks: Dustin Penner. Penner, who signed a one-year contract with Anaheim in the offseason, is the only player in the league whose plus/minus is better than Braun’s (+18). Penner is playing the wing with Getzlaf and Corey Perry, and has 20 points (9g, 11a) in 21 games.

Injuries/Scratches

Sharks: Raffi Torres (right ACL surgery) and Adam Burish (back surgery) are out.

Ducks: Sheldon Souray (right wrist), Jakob Silfverberg (broken hand), Francois Beauchemin (upper body), Luca Sbisa (right wrist), Viktor Fasth (lower body) are out. Bryan Allen (lower body) is questionable. Teemu Selanne (healthy) did not make the trip.

Season/All-Time series

San Jose and Anaheim are meeting for the first of five games. Anaheim returns on Dec. 29, and the Sharks make their first visit to the Honda Center two days later on New Year’s Eve.

The Sharks are 57-45-4-7 all-time against the Ducks, but the Ducks have an 8-3-1 advantage in the last 12.

Quoteable

“We'll show up and finish the homestand properly, because when we get on the road, it won't get any easier." – Todd McLellan

Burning question

Which Ducks player do you most love to hate? Leave your answer in the comments section below.