After losing four straight games, the Sharks have to find a way to get back in the win column against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night.
San Jose dropped its fourth straight game on Thursday, losing to the Pacific Division-worst Los Angeles Kings. Top-line center Logan Couture was a late scratch from Thursday’s lineup due to flu-like symptoms, further hampering a lineup already missing top goal-scorer Joe Pavelski and defenseman Erik Karlsson.
But Couture took part in pregame warm-ups Friday, and will take the opening face-off.
After gaining zero points in the last four games, San Jose remains in second place in the Pacific Division. The Sharks are five points behind the Calgary Flames and five points ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights.
The Ducks, much like the Kings, haven’t exactly had the season they hoped for -- thanks in large part to injuries the roster has sustained throughout the course of the season. With just 69 points on the season, Anaheim sits nine points out of the second wild card spot. The Ducks have won three of their last six games, but are coming off a 3-0 shutout at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets.
This is the fourth and final time the Sharks and Ducks will play each other this season, with the Sharks leading the season series 2-1-0. In 139 total meetings between the franchises, San Jose has a 72-54-4-9 record against Anaheim.
Sharks projected lines and pairs
Timo Meier – Logan Couture – Gustav Nyquist
Evander Kane – Tomas Hertl – Joonas Donskoi
Marcus Sorensen – Joe Thornton – Kevin Labanc
Lukas Radil – Barclay Goodrow – Melker Karlsson
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Tim Heed
Joakim Ryan – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – Justin Braun
Aaron Dell – projected starter
Ducks projected lines and pairs
Nick Ritchie – Ryan Getzlaf – Daniel Sprong
Rickard Rakell – Devin Shore – Jakob Silfverberg
Corey Perry – Adam Henrique – Troy Terry
Max Jones – Derek Grant – Carter Rowney
Hampus Lindholm – Josh Manson
Cam Fowler – Andy Welinski
Jaycob Megna – Korbinian Holzer
John Gibson – projected starter