Anaheim Ducks Line Rushes vs. San Jose Sharks: 11/29/2014


The Anaheim Ducks make a quick trip to northern California to take on the San Jose Sharks at the SAP Center. This is the fourth game of a six-game California swing for the Ducks, who are 2-1-0 thus far and 14-5-5 on the season. The Ducks’ 33 points in the standings are tied for the most in the NHL, and they are second in the Pacific Division right now. The Sharks, on the other hand, are just 10-10-4, and their 24 points put them at 5th in the Pacific Division and 10th in the Western Conference. They have lost their last four games, going 0-2-2, including 0-1-2 on their current six game homestand.

For the Ducks, the team needs more production out of their superstars Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Both players each only have a goal and assist apiece in their previous six games. In that time, Getzlaf is a -5 and Perry is a -4. Ryan Kesler, with an assist on the Ducks’ only goal on Friday, has 12 assists on the season, third on the team. Kesler has 18 points, tied for second most on the team behind Getzlaf, and his six goals are tied for third most on the team. Rickard Rakell is coming back out of the lineup for Tim Jackman, so Devante Smith-Pelly will slide over to center the fourth line once again.

According to Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register, here are the expected lineups for both teams tonight.

Anaheim Ducks Forward Lines:

Matt Beleskey – Getzlaf – Perry
Patrick Maroon – Kesler – Kyle Palmieri
Andrew CoglianoNate ThompsonJakob Silfverberg
Rene Bourque – Smith-Pelly – Jackman

On the Ducks’ defense, Francois Beauchemin was diagnosed to be out for four to six weeks with a broken finger. Clayton Stoner was diagnosed with the mumps virus and is day-to-day. They join Ben Lovejoy (broken finger) and Mark Fistric (lower back, face) on the injury report. With the Ducks decimated on defense, the team acquired veteran Eric Brewer from the Tampa Bay Lightning for a 2015 3rd round pick (acquired from the Edmonton Oilers in the Viktor Fasth deal). The shorthanded Ducks leaned heavily on their talented kids, with Hampus Lindholm playing a whopping 29:25 yesterday and Sami Vatanen logging 27:00. Both were easily career high numbers.

Anaheim Ducks Defense Pairings:

Cam FowlerJosh Manson
Lindholm – Mat Clark
Brewer – Vatanen

For the Sharks, they are coming off a 2-0 shutout loss to the Calgary Flames on Wednesday. Joe Thornton leads the Sharks with 20 points, including a team-high 13 assists. Joe Pavelski, who had a spectacular 2013-2014 campaign with 41 goals and 79 points, has a team-high nine goals and is off to another terrific start to this season. The Sharks may be without Logan Couture, who reported to practice with an illness. In his absence, Patrick Marleau would slide over to center. Tommy Wingels was terrific against Anaheim when the two teams met on October 26th, scoring a goal and recording a whopping ten shots on goal.

San Jose Sharks Forward Lines:

Tye McGinn – Thornton – Pavelski
Wingels – Marleau – Barclay Goodrow
Matt Nieto – James SheppardTomas Hertl
John ScottAndrew DesjardinsMike Brown

On the Sharks’ defense, Brent Burns is third among NHL defensemen in scoring, with 19 points, which seems like he made a successful transition back to defense. However, Burns is also -7 on the season, which is the second worst mark on the team behind Matt Irwin. Mirco Mueller, the rookie defenseman expected to make an impact, will sit the game. Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who won a gold medal with Team Canada last season, is a team-high +10 and is second on the team in ice time (22:23, only behind Burns).

San Jose Sharks Defense Pairings:

Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – Burns
Irwin – Scott Hannan

In net, Frederik Andersen (10-3-4, 2.15 GAA, .922 SV%) will get yet another start in net, despite playing yesterday afternoon against the Chicago Blackhawks. Facing Andersen will be Antti Niemi (7-7-3, 2.49 GAA, .917 SV%). Niemi is 0-2-2 in his last four starts, despite a 1.94 GAA and .919 SV%, because he has only received six goals of support over 247 minutes. Alex Stalock, who has missed the past couple of weeks with a knee injury, will be activated off Injured Reserve and back-up Niemi.

Jason Byun is the editor for Pucks of a Feather. He can be found on Twitter. For more Anaheim Ducks coverage, follow Pucks of a Feather on Twitter or like us on Facebook.