Sharks on upswing as they visit resurgent Ducks
Posted on: 31 Jan, 2024 at 08:48 AM
Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
While little has gone right for the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks, both teams have shown life of late as they get set to head into the All-Star break following a meeting Wednesday in Anaheim, Calif.
While the Ducks have earned a point in three consecutive games, including two victories, the Sharks have won four of their last five. That includes a 2-0 victory at home against the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday.
The Ducks earned a 4-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres at home last week then hit the road to take the Dallas Stars into overtime before falling 4-3. In Minnesota on Saturday, they earned a 3-2 victory.
The Ducks remain without dynamic youngster Trevor Zegras, who is in the midst of an injury-plagued season, but some of Anaheim's more established players have risen to the occasion in recent days.
Jakob Silfverberg has four points and three goals in the last three games, while Troy Terry has three goals in his past two games.
Terry had a pair of goals in Saturday's victory for his second multi-goal game of the season and first since a hat trick on Nov. 11. On Saturday at Minnesota, Anaheim trailed 2-1 heading into the third period before getting a goal from Ryan Strome and the game-winner from Terry with just over eight minutes remaining.
The Ducks did not give up a goal over the final two periods as Lukas Dostal made 35 saves.
"I think the guys did a great job boxing out; they made my life a little bit easier," Dostal said. "Minnesota, they have some of the big bodies, so they got in front of the net quite a lot. I think that's their system. But the guys have been blocking a lot of shots and stuff. So it was a great game by our team."
The Sharks started a three-game winning streak with a 5-3 home victory over the Ducks on Jan. 20. San Jose captain Logan Couture made his season debut in that game after a hip and groin injury had him doubting whether he would ever return. He had an assist in that game.
Couture has not registered another point in four games since, but his presence helped San Jose to its best five-game stretch of the season. Before the run of success, the Sharks were on a dismal 1-14-1 run.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Jan Rutta scored goals in Tuesday's victory and Mackenzie Blackwood made 32 saves in his first shutout. Vlasic has scored in consecutive games for the first time this season.
San Jose defenseman Shakir Mukhamadullin played in his second career game and logged 22:08 of ice time. The 2020 first-round draft pick by the New Jersey Devils was acquired in a trade last February.
"I don't know if it's one particular thing but just getting acclimated in every area, really, to play in the NHL," Sharks coach David Quinn said of what he wants to see from Mukhamadullin. "Finding out how to use his body - he's a tall kid but still thin. Learning how to use leverage in his stick and body position and a little bit more anticipation with the puck."
--Field Level Media