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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, December 31st (All times Eastern)

San Jose Sharks (25-8-6) at Anaheim Ducks (28-8-5), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - On Sunday, the San Jose Sharks snapped the longest winning streak in the history of the Anaheim Ducks.

Looking to make up more ground in the Pacific Division, the Sharks next try to deal the Ducks their first regulation loss of the season at the Honda Center when the clubs wrap a home-and-home series on Tuesday night.

The Ducks carried a 10-game win streak into San Jose on Sunday, but left town with a 3-1 defeat. It was Anaheim's first loss since a shootout decision to Los Angeles on Dec. 3 and first in regulation since Nov. 26 versus Dallas.

Anaheim had been 11-0-2 in its previous 13 games.

But San Jose came out flying on Sunday. Brent Burns scored just 77 seconds into the game, Logan Couture added another first-period tally and Bracken Kearns netted the first of his career midway through the second period.

Antti Niemi did his part with 30 saves as the Sharks won their fourth in a row and pulled within five points of the Ducks for first place in the division.

"A huge two games," noted Sharks captain Joe Thornton. "We kind of spoke about that before the game. These four points are huge. They're kind of running away with our division right now and tonight we kind of grabbed them and brought them back a little bit. But it's going to be another huge game against them on Tuesday so we'll be ready. But to get this one at home is huge."

It was also a huge night for Kearns and Couture.

The 32-year-old Kearns potted his first career goal in what was his eighth NHL game and second this season.

Couture, meanwhile, snapped an 11-game goal drought to finally notch his 100th career tally.

"It's about time. I'm happy to score. I forgot what it felt like," said Couture, who scored for the first time since Dec. 3 at Toronto.

The Sharks have won their first two meetings with the Ducks this season, both in San Jose, and have won four in a row in this series overall.

Niemi was in net for both wins this season, improving to 9-7-0 with a 2.31 goals against average in his career versus the Ducks.

San Jose improved to 14-1-3 at home this season and is a more modest 11-7-3 on the road.

Anaheim dropped to 14-8-3 on the road and is off to its best start at home in franchise history with a 14-0-2 mark at the Honda Center. The Ducks begin a four-game residency tonight having won five of their last seven at home versus the Sharks.

Patrick Maroon scored in the third period in Sunday's loss and Frederik Anderson made 20 saves.

"I think in the first period, the first five minutes, they came out flying. We knew they were going to do that," Maroon said. "They took it right out of us. They came out hitting and we were flat-footed."

Jonas Hiller may get the start in this rematch for the Ducks and is 7-10-2 lifetime versus the club with a 2.29 GAA.

12/31 11:01:05 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
2nd
CAR 3
TAM 1
 
4th
IND 73
TOR 87
 
3rd
DET 53
CLE 61
 
Half
MIA 50
MIL 54
 
1st
DAL 20
MEM 18
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
CHI
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
WAS
Final
AKR 59
BST 47
 
2nd
KSU 55
CMICH 49
 
2nd
VCU 64
GWU 38
 
Final
TOL 70
UMO 65
 
Final
MICH 58
NEB 44
 
2nd
BGU 53
NILL 41
 
Final
EMICH 76
OHIO 40
 
2nd
VT 56
PITT 60
 
Final
LAS 53
STJOE 48
 
2nd
TULA 51
TULSA 58
 
2nd
UGA 64
VANDY 58
 
2nd
KYST 47
WVU 51
 
2nd
BUF 75
WMICH 67
 
2nd
GEOR 47
XAV 54
 
1st
EVAN 40
INDST 33
 
Half
ORU 43
TABOR 24
 
9:00pm Tonight
OKST
BAY
9:00pm Tonight
PROV 0
DEP 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
ALA
UF
9:00pm Tonight
RUTG 0
MSU 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARK
TENN
9:00pm Tonight
AUB
TEXAM
9:00pm Tonight
UTST
WYO
9:05pm Tonight
SDST
FRES
10:00pm Tonight
CALST
SDCHR
 
10:00pm Tonight
NEV
UNLV
11:00pm Tonight
BSU
COLST
2nd Intermission
PHI 3
ARI 3
 
2nd Intermission
NYI 2
NYR 0
 
3rd
CLB 3
WAS 2
 
3rd
PIT 2
WIN 3
 
2nd
MON 3
DAL 2
 
2nd
FLA 2
DET 5
 
2nd
CAR 3
TAM 1
 
1st Intermission
NAS 0
COL 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
BUF
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
MIN
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
ANA