San Jose (15-5-4) at Anaheim (7-10-3)

Fair Currently: Anaheim, CA
Temp: 73° F
  • Game info: 10:00 pm EST Sat Nov 21, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

A stop home helped the San Jose Sharks end a brief rough patch. A visit to Anaheim might help them avoid a third straight loss on the road.

The Sharks look for a fourth consecutive road win over the Ducks when the teams at opposite ends of the Western Conference standings meet Saturday night.

After losing the final two games of a 1-1-1 road swing, San Jose (15-5-4) broke out for a 6-3 home win over Philadelphia on Friday.

Dany Heatley(notes) had a hat trick and Joe Thornton(notes) matched his franchise record with four assists for the Sharks, whose 34 points are the most in the NHL.

“Just moving the puck, skating and creating chances,” said Heatley, who has a league-leading 17 goals.

San Jose now returns to the road for one game. The Sharks suffered a pair of 4-3 losses to Nashville and Chicago in their last two road contests to fall to 8-5-2 away from home.

Though the Ducks (7-10-3) have won three in a row at home overall, San Jose has won three straight regular-season games at Anaheim, including 4-1 on Oct. 3. That was the teams’ first meeting since Anaheim beat San Jose in six games during the first round of last spring’s conference playoffs.

This season, though, the Sharks own the best record in the league while the Ducks’ 17 points are the fewest in the West.

“It’s going to be a big test for us, a divisional rival and one of the hottest team in the league,” Anaheim defenseman James Wisniewski(notes) told the Ducks’ official Web site.

Not many players are hotter than Heatley, who’s scored six goals in his last five games. He had two assists against the Ducks last month, and has six in his last three contests versus Anaheim.

Thornton, meanwhile, recorded his 600th career assist Friday and leads the NHL with 24 in 2009-10. He had a goal and an assist against Anaheim in October.

San Jose’s Evgeni Nabokov(notes) made 26 saves Friday to improve to 13-3-4 with a 2.20 goals-against average. Nabokov, who is 22-16-3 with a 2.25 GAA against the Ducks, could be back in net since backup Thomas Greiss(notes) made his fourth start in the loss at Nashville on Tuesday.

Coming off an 0-3-1 road trip, Anaheim avoided a fifth straight loss with a 4-3 overtime win over Tampa Bay on Thursday.

Ryan Getzlaf(notes) and Teemu Selanne(notes) each had a goal with two assists, and Corey Perry(notes) extended his career-high point streak to 13 games with two assists. The Ducks have won four of their last five home games.

“The win is important,” said captain Scott Niedermayer(notes), who scored the winner. “To get back into that column and start building the wins is important for us.”

Getzlaf has two goals and five assists in his last three games. He’s recorded six assists his last three times facing the Sharks.

Anaheim’s Jonas Hiller(notes) made 21 saves Thursday to improve to 7-7-1 with a 3.02 GAA. He’s only 1-6-0 with a 2.47 GAA against San Jose, leaving open the possibility that Jean-Sebastien Giguere(notes) could get the start in net.

Giguere is 0-3-2 with a 3.38 GAA on the season, but 15-13-2 with a 2.70 GAA lifetime against San Jose.

The Ducks could have forward Saku Koivu(notes) back after he missed the last five games with a lower-body injury. The former Montreal captain has two goals and six assists in his first season with Anaheim.

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Saturday, Nov 21