The Anaheim Ducks won’t have to wait long for another chance to increase their Pacific Division lead.
Anaheim goes for a home-and-home sweep of the San Jose Sharks as the teams meet at the Honda Center on Wednesday.
The Ducks (33-13-8) defeated the Sharks 7-4 on Tuesday, padding their lead over San Jose (34-19-1) to five points. Travis Moen recorded his second two-goal game this season, and Rob Niedermayer added a goal and two assists.
“We knew this was a huge two games for us,” Rob Niedermayer said. “It doesn’t mean much unless we follow it up with a big game tomorrow. Everything is so tight in our division. Every game seems huge, even now. We know it’s a big one tomorrow.”
San Jose pulled within 6-4 in the third period as Patrick Marleau scored his team-leading 28th goal and assisted on two tallies by Jonathan Cheechoo. But Ryan Getzlaf’s empty-net goal with 1:37 to play capped the scoring for Anaheim.
“It seemed like any time we had a breakdown, they buried it,” Marleau said. “We need to redeem ourselves tomorrow. We squandered an opportunity, but we’ve got another chance.”
Anaheim’s Teemu Selanne was held without a point for the third straight road game. The 10-time All-Star has tallied 37 points in 27 home games, and leads the Ducks with 31 goals and 62 points overall.
When Selanne records a point on home ice, the Ducks are 16-3-2. They’re just 2-1-3 there, though, when he’s held off the scoresheet. Selanne’s 42 career goals against San Jose are his most against one team in his career.
San Jose’s Joe Thornton had two assists Tuesday, giving him six during a four-game streak. The reigning Hart and Art Ross Trophy winner has failed to score a goal in his last five games, and has only three in his last 14.
Thornton has recorded a goal and three assists in three home games versus the Ducks, but failed to record a point in a 5-0 loss in Anaheim on Nov. 21.
San Jose, which kicks off a season-high eight-game road trip with this contest, will try to avoid losing consecutive games away from HP Pavilion for the first time since Oct. 25-26 and just the second time this season.
The Sharks’ 16 road wins tie them with Dallas for second most in the Western Conference and are two less than Nashville, owners of the league’s best record.