In the fifth and final regular season matchup of the season, the Anaheim Ducks (22-6-4) head to HP Pavillion to face the San Jose Sharks (14-11-6). The Sharks won 5-3 on Monday in Anaheim and will look to complete the home-and-home sweep of the Ducks tonight.
San Jose played very well Monday night but decided to make the game intersting by letting the Ducks chip away at a three goal lead. The Ducks got to within one goal twice, but San Jose’s resiliency proved too much for Anaheim to handle and they eventually took home the win. Credit the Sharks for their gutsy performace, especially in a building where the Ducks just simply do not lose.
On the other hand the Ducks deserve credit in that game as well for not falling apart even when they found themselves down 3-0 early on in the game. This evening’s game should be no different with both teams looking to prove a point in the hotly contested Western Conference, and Pacific Division, races.
This regular season series has been a great one with both teams putting up quite the fight, even in their losing efforts. Tonight is the ‘rubber match’ (baseball lingo for deciding game in a series) between the two teams with each having won two games, although one of Anaheim’s losses came in overtime so technically the record does not quite show that. Either way though the two points available tonight are huge for both teams.
Leading the series for the Sharks in the series are Brent Burns, Martin Havlat and Joe Pavelski who each have three total points. Pavelski is one of two guys with two goals scored in the four games with the other being Logan Couture. Burns and Havlat each have one goal and two assists.
The Anaheim Ducks have two guys with five points in the four games played so far in Francois Beauchemin and Ryan Getzlaf. Both have scored at least a point in each game of the series. Beauchemin has a team-leading four goals while Getzlaf holds the team lead with four assists. Beauchemin has also scored four out of his five total goals this season against the Sharks. The obvious thing to point out here is that the Sharks need to stop these two if they want a chance at another win tonight.
Tonight’s game is another big one for San Jose beacuse winning this first game of a seven-game homestand would not only be a great confidence booster for the other six games but it will definitely go a long way to securing a spot in the playoffs.