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GAME: San Jose Sharks (9-7-9-2) at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (9-10-4-5).TIME: Wednesday, 10:30 p.m. EST.
With a chance to pull into a tie atop the Pacific Division, the San Jose Sharks take on the struggling Anaheim Mighty Ducks at the Arrowhead Pond.
The Sharks will be looking to start another winning streak after beating Dallas 2-1 on Saturday night. San Jose had been 0-1-1 since winning five in a row to jump into the crowded race for the Pacific lead.
Now the Sharks are within two points of the first-place Los Angeles Kings, who visit Atlanta on Wednesday.
"They didn't get many opportunities," San Jose coach Ron Wilson said after the win over the Stars. "Our guys are playing so hard it's fun to be around them. We went at it hard and kept at it. Too many times we've hooked the fish but let them off the hook. Tonight we landed the fish."
No player has been more responsible for San Jose's surge than Vesa Toskala, who made 15 saves Saturday. Toskala backstopped the Sharks' win streak, relieving the injured Evgeni Nabokov after the first period of a 5-0 victory Nov. 21 at Phoenix, and allowed just four goals as San Jose won the next four games.
Nabokov hopes to return in time for Wednesday's game, but may back up the red-hot Toskala, who has lowered his goals-against average to 1.85.
Toskala has helped the Sharks' penalty-killing units clamp down on opponents. San Jose has allowed one power-play goal in 35 chances over its last nine games.
The stumbling Ducks broke a three-game losing streak Sunday with a 4-0 victory over the Stars. Martin Gerber made 32 saves for his third career shutout for Anaheim, which hasn't won two in a row since a three-game winning streak from Nov. 9-16.
Despite its poor play of late, Anaheim is only four points out of first place in the Pacific. The Ducks are still in contention due in part to the struggles of the Stars, who have endured a surprisingly poor season and are in last place in the division. Dallas, winner of four of the last five Pacific titles, has lost four straight.
Gerber got the nod Sunday instead of playoff MVP Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who was lifted during each of Anaheim's previous two games after giving up four goals at Detroit -- and five more in Atlanta. Giguere is 0-4-1 with a 3.85 goals-against average and an .884 save percentage in his last five starts.
"You never blame one guy. It happens to the whole team. So the team has to carry the burden," Gerber said. "The only thing we have to focus on is to go to the playoffs. It doesn't matter who plays how many minutes or how many games."
Anaheim and San Jose meet again Saturday at HP Pavilion.
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