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DUCKS (28-7-5) at SHARKS (24-8-6)
TV: NHLN-CA, PRIME, CSN-CA
Last 10: Anaheim 10-0-0; San Jose 5-4-1
Season series: Anaheim and San Jose play the second of a five-game season set tonight. The Ducks dropped a 4-3 shootout decision in the series opener on Nov. 30 at SAP Center. Anaheim has gone 52-52-10 all-time against San Jose, including a 27-25-5 mark in the Bay Area. The season series continues with a New Year’s Eve contest this Tuesday at Honda Center, while the final two games will be played on Mar. 20 in San Jose and Apr. 9 in Anaheim.
Big story: The NHL-leading Ducks enter tonight's game riding a club-record 10-game win streak, the first team to win 10 in a row since Pittsburgh from Mar. 2-30, 2013 (15). Anaheim is just the third team from the Western Conference to win 10 straight since the 2005-06 season (start of the shootout era), joining Chicago (11) in 2012-13 and San Jose (11) in 2007-08. The Ducks’ 61 points through 40 games in the second-highest in team history, one point shy of the best mark at this juncture (28-6-6 for 62 points in 2006-07). Anaheim also has a 13-game point streak (11-0-2), three shy of the club record (12-0-4 from Oct. 6-Nov. 9, 2006). Tonight’s game concludes the team’s seventh set of back-to-back games this season. The Ducks are 9-2-2 in such contests, including 4-0-2 in the second game.
Ducks: Anaheim beat the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 in overtime Saturday night after blowing a 2-0 lead with less than five minutes left in the third period.
Saku Koivu scored the game-winner, his second goal of the game, 51 seconds into overtime to give the Ducks their franchise-best 10th straight win, the longest such streak in the league since the Pittsburgh Penguins won 15 in a row in March.
"I think it's neat," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Anytime you can get to be part of something that nobody else has done, I think it's a special occasion. I don't make light of it. I think No. 10 is magic when you get into streaks, because it doesn't happen very often."
Koivu finished with three points, including his 11th career shorthanded tally, and 250th career NHL goal.
"I wish I could play every shift for the rest of my career with him," defenseman Ben Lovejoy said. "He’s that good in all facets of the ice. He’s so good defensively. He makes everything easier, and he had a big game tonight."
Sharks: San Jose coach Todd McLellan will continue to tweak his lines in the absence of injured rookie Tomas Hertl, who will be out for more than a month with a knee injury. The Sharks will also be without Martin Havlat, who will miss his third straight game with a lower-body injury.
Joe Pavelski, who normally plays center, will likely stay in Hertl's spot as left wing on the top line with Brent Burns and Joe Thornton, who leads the NHL with 37 assists. That trio has five goals in the past three games.
McLellan moved left wing Matt Nieto up to the second line with Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau at practice Saturday, according to the San Jose Mercury News, and had Tommy Wingels centering Tyler Kennedy and James Sheppard on the third line.
"I really like our club when we're three deep down the middle," McLellan said. "I think it's obvious -- the playoffs last year, the stretch to finish the season, the beginning of the year -- that that's the best-case scenario for us when everybody's healthy.
"You have to make do with what you have. And we're trying to find ways to win games, one at a time, night after night."
Who's hot: Koivu has seven points in his past five games after a three-point night against Phoenix. He has a goal in each of the past two games. … Thornton has eight assists in his past six games. Pavelski has four goals his past five games.
Injury report: Anaheim defensemen Luca Sbisa (hand) and Sheldon Souray (wrist) and goaltender Viktor Fasth (lower body) are out. … In addition to being without Hertl and Havlat, forwards Adam Burish (lower body) and Raffi Torres (knee) are on injured reserve.
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