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Back from the Christmas break, the Ducks travel to San Jose tonight to take on their Pacific Division rivals.
The last of five straight road games, Anaheim will be looking to snap a four-game skid tonight. Following a 3-2 shootout loss to the Kings last Thursday, the Ducks are now 0-9-4 during their last 13 contests away from Honda Center.
In the early stages of the 2011-12 season, the Ducks were in a much different positon when they last faced off against San Jose. Anaheim defeated the Sharks twice in mid-October, the second win improving the club's record to 4-1-0.
Since that time though, the Ducks have only managed a 5-18-6 record and currently sit in last place of the Pacific Division with 24 points.
"We are a little desperate at this point," said captain Ryan Getzlaf, pointless in three of his last four games.
While there doesn't seem to be anything pointing to a significant turnaround, new coach Bruce Boudreau thinks getting back on track starts with the team's mental state.
"The difference between winning and losing sometimes is just the attitude and believing you're going to win or believing you're going to lose," said Boudreau, 2-6-2 since taking over.
Jonas Hiller made 32 saves versus the Kings, dropping to 1-7-5 on the road. Hiller turned away 31 shots in a 1-0 victory over the Sharks on Oct. 14 for his lone shutout of the season, and Dan Ellis made 41 saves three days later in a 3-2 victory at San Jose.
Hiller has surrendered two goals in each of his five career starts at San Jose but has gone 2-3-0.
Since posting a 2-5-2 record from Nov. 26-Dec. 13, San Jose (19-10-3) has won four straight behind an average of 4.0 goals and strong goaltending from Antti Niemi.
Niemi, 10-2-0 with a 1.98 goals-against average over his last 12 home games, made 28 saves during Friday's 2-1 shootout win over Los Angeles.
"Going in (to the Christmas break) with a win was important," said coach Todd McLellan, whose team won a season-high five straight Oct. 21-29. "We're starting to feel a little bit better about ourselves again. It's something we want to maintain coming back on the 26th."
Joe Thornton has 14 points over his last seven home meetings with the Ducks, but the Sharks captain only has one goal in his past 16 games overall.
Center Logan Couture has been held without a point in his last six meetings with Anaheim, but he's totaled 11 in as many games this month (eight goals, three assists).
Niemi has gone 3-3-0 with a 2.19 GAA lifetime versus Anaheim.