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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, April 9th (All times Eastern)

San Jose Sharks (49-21-9) at Anaheim Ducks (51-20-8), 10:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Anaheim Ducks have a chance to wrap up their second straight Pacific Division title and set a new franchise record on Wednesday night when they host the rival San Jose Sharks.

The Ducks own a three-point lead over the Sharks for first place in the division with three games left to play for both clubs. Anaheim, though, can clinch the Pacific crown with a victory tonight as they own the current tiebreaker with 10 more non-shootout victories.

San Jose missed a chance to grab first place in the standings as it lost 3-0 to the Nashville Predators on Saturday. The setback didn't appear costly the following day as Anaheim lost a 4-2 decision in Edmonton, but the Ducks capitalized on their other game in hand by defeating the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 on Monday.

"On paper, it sounds really good," said Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau on Monday of clinching. "But the fact we play San Jose the next game, L.A. the next game after that, and Colorado, it's not going to be an easy thing. We've got to play a lot like we played tonight if we want to have success on Wednesday and beyond."

With starter Jonas Hiller having allowed 11 goals over a personal 0-2-1 skid and backup goaltender Frederik Andersen out with an upper-body injury, John Gibson made his NHL debut in net and posted an 18-save shutout.

At 20 years and 297 days old, Gibson became the youngest goaltender since Buffalo's Darren Puppa in 1985 to record a shutout in his NHL debut, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Gibson also became the first NHL goaltender of any age to notch a shutout in his debut since Al Montoya for Phoenix on April 1, 2009.

"The team played really well in front of me and made my job easier," said Gibson, a highly-touted prospect who was taken in the second round of the 2011 draft. "I only had to make regular saves and if there was any rebounds they cleared it out."

Daniel Winnik, Kyle Palmieri and Matt Beleskey all scored for the Ducks, who stopped a two-game losing streak and reached 110 points on the season to match the previous club single-season record set in 2006-07.

Anaheim also is one point behind the St. Louis Blues for the top seed in the Western Conference with three games to play.

The Sharks have been idle since suffering their fourth shutout loss of the season. Antti Niemi was beaten three times on 24 shots, with all three goals yielded in a span of less than 10 minutes of the second period.

San Jose had won the first two of a three-game homestand and host Colorado on Friday before ending the regular season the following day at Phoenix.

"It's the time of year where you can't have baggage," said Sharks coach Todd McLellan. "You can't carry things forward."

Still, the Sharks face an uphill battle to pass the Ducks, leaving them a likely first-round matchup with the third-place Los Angeles Kings.

The Sharks have won three of four versus the Ducks this season, but all three victories came at home and they lost a 6-3 decision in their lone previous trip to Anaheim on Dec. 31.

The Ducks have won eight of the last 11 meetings at home overall.

04/09 11:06:51 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 115
ATL 100
Final
CAR 3
NJD 1
5:00pm Tonight
CAR
BOS
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUKE
GONZ
 
Final
NYY 2
BAL 10
Final
TAM 6
BOS 9
Final
MIA 1
HOU 1
Final
MIN 7
PHI 1
Final
DET 4
STL 3
Final
PIT 8
TOR 3
Final
TOR 3
ATL 5
Final
NYM 10
WAS 2
Final
CIN 9
CHC 5
Final
MIL 2
CLE 3
Final
CHC 18
COL 4
Final
CWS 4
OAK 10
Final
TEX 2
SDP 3
Final
SEA 8
SFG 9
Final
ARI 5
KAN 10
Final
ANA 4
LOS 5
1:05pm Today
PHI
DET
 
1:05pm Today
WAS
MIA
 
1:05pm Today
BAL
MIN
 
1:05pm Today
STL
NYM
 
1:05pm Today
HOU
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
ATL
PIT
 
1:05pm Today
BOS
TAM
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
BAL
 
3:10pm Today
ANA
CIN
 
4:05pm Today
KAN
CHC
 
4:05pm Today
CLE
CWS
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
LOS
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
MIL
 
4:05pm Today
SDP
SEA
 
4:05pm Today
LOS
TEX
 
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
COL
 
Final
CHA 115
ATL 100
Final
CHI 111
NYK 80
Final
MIL 95
GSW 108
Final
UTA 94
OKC 89
Final
POR 120
DEN 114
12:30pm Today
WAS
HOU
 
3:30pm Today
BRK
LAL
 
4:00pm Today
NOP
MIN
 
4:30pm Today
CLE
PHI
 
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
DET
 
6:00pm Tonight
BOS
LAC
 
7:00pm Tonight
IND
DAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
SAN
MEM
 
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
OKC
 
Final
WISC 85
ARZ 78
Final
YALE 78
CAN 73
Final
KENT 68
ND 66
2:20pm Today
LOU
MSU
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUKE
GONZ
 
Final
WAS 3
NAS 4
Final
NYI 2
ANA 3
Final
PIT 3
ARI 2
Final
BOS 4
NYR 2
Final
PHI 2
SJS 3
Final
DET 4
TAM 0
Final
MON 3
FLA 2
Final
CAR 3
NJD 1
Final
TOR 4
OTT 3
Final
STL 2
CLB 4
Final
MIN 4
LOS 1
Final
COL 5
BUF 3
Final
VAN 3
DAL 4
3:00pm Today
NYR
WAS
5:00pm Tonight
CAR
BOS
 
5:00pm Tonight
NAS
CAL
 
5:00pm Tonight
NYI
DET
 
5:00pm Tonight
OTT
FLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
ANA
 
7:30pm Tonight
WIN
CHI
 
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
SJS