After spending nearly three weeks on the road, the San Jose Sharks return home to play the same team they faced when they were last at HP Pavilion.
The Sharks look to gain some ground in the Pacific Division when they host the division-leading Anaheim Ducks on Monday.
After finishing its longest road trip of the season with a 4-4 record, San Jose (38-23-1) is in sixth place in the Western Conference and trails the Ducks (36-17-10) by five points in the Pacific. The Dallas Stars are tied with the Sharks for second in the division.
The Sharks are 2-3-0 against Anaheim this season, including a 7-4 loss Feb. 6 in their last home game and a 3-2 victory to open the eight-game trip the following night.
San Jose right wing Jonathan Cheechoo has five goals and one assists in four games versus the Ducks this season, while center Patrick Marleau has three goals and three assists in three home matchups with Anaheim.
The Ducks have won two of their three visits to HP Pavilion this season, but have dropped six of their last nine road games overall, scoring only four total goals in those six losses.
San Jose’s road trip concluded with a 7-4 loss to Calgary on Saturday, when the Sharks allowed four unanswered goals - three in the final period - to squander a 4-3 lead.
“It’s definitely a game that we felt like we should have at least got a point out of,” said San Jose right wing Mike Grier, who had a goal and an assist. “We went up 3-2 and then again 4-3, but we gave up the goals within 10 seconds afterward and then in the last minute of the (second) period.
“Those situations shouldn’t happen and even the go-ahead goal in the first minute of the third period, we’ve got to be smarter as a team.”
Anaheim snapped a three-game losing streak on Sunday, defeating Colorado 5-3 at home. Scott Niedermayer scored the go-ahead goal with 3:23 remaining in regulation, and set up a power-play tally by Chris Pronger 48 seconds later.
“They got a late goal on a power play, but the response from our veteran group was probably the key,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “We had all kinds of opportunities, and territorially we had the advantage. But the scoreboard didn’t indicate that.”
Former Sharks right wing Teemu Selanne had a goal and assist for Anaheim on Sunday to give him five goals and six assists in his last six games, but he is scoreless in his last four visits to San Jose.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere has started the last eight games in goal for the Ducks, including a 23-save effort in Sunday’s victory. Giguere is 2-1-0 with a 3.06 goals-against average against the Sharks this season, but has struggled in his career at San Jose, going 4-7-0 with a 3.72 GAA.