With 14 goals in two games, the San Jose Sharks are on a roll. So too is the team that sits at the bottom of the Pacific Division.
The Sharks look to improve to 5-0 against the Anaheim Ducks this season when the division rivals meet Thursday night at HP Pavilion.
San Jose (33-10-8) took over the NHL points lead with 74 on the strength of dominant performances on consecutive nights. The Sharks won 9-1 at home over Calgary on Monday before posting a 5-1 victory at Los Angeles the next night.
“When you’re scoring 14 goals in two games, there’s no way only one line is going to carry that load,” coach Todd McLellan said after Tuesday’s win. “I thought for the most part, our (second, third and fourth) lines were really sharp tonight. We expect a push from them, and they had a real strong one.”
Patrick Marleau(notes) scored twice to increase his league-leading total to 34 goals and Ryan Clowe added two for his first multi-goal game since Nov. 22, 2008. Marleau has nine goals and four assists in 10 games this month while Clowe has recorded three goals and two assists during the Sharks’ three-game win streak.
“Everyone is going hard right now,” Clowe said. “That’s why we’re having so much success. We’ve got everyone firing on all cylinders. Nobody had a night off. We expect to get everyone’s best this season, and that’s going to continue down the stretch.”
San Jose has enjoyed nothing but success against Anaheim (23-20-7) this season, winning once by one goal and three times by three. Evgeni Nabokov(notes) started all four games and posted a 1.50 goals-against average, making him 8-2 with a 1.70 GAA in his last 10 starts against the Ducks.
The Sharks won two of those games against Jonas Hiller(notes), who is 1-7-0 with a 2.54 GAA versus San Jose. Hiller, though, has been playing some of his best hockey to lead the Ducks to seven wins in eight games, posting a 2.65 GAA in that span.
Staked to a 4-0 lead after one period Tuesday, Hiller nearly gave it back but Anaheim held on for a 5-4 victory over Buffalo. The Sabres scored twice in the first minute of the second period and pulled within 4-3 heading to the third before Troy Bodie’s(notes) late goal gave the Ducks some breathing room.
“If you have four goals, it’s dangerous, you are kind of like a little loose in your mind and you have to do something,” said Hiller, who made 41 saves. “They scored two quick goals to get back in the game.”
“Tonight wasn’t the prettiest effort the whole game but we were able to get that early lead and hold it,” Getzlaf said.
Marleau has four goals and three assists versus Anaheim this season.