Sharks eye fifth straight win, host Ducks

NHL Hockey

The San Jose Sharks look to extend their season-long winning streak to five games on Tuesday night as they host the Anaheim Ducks.

It marks the sixth meeting of the season between the two teams and the first of three in San Jose over the next nine days. The Sharks lead the season series 4-0-1.

San Jose is expected to be without Marc-Edouard Vlasic after the veteran defenseman sustained an upper-body injury over the weekend. Sharks coach Bob Boughner figures to pencil right-handed blueliner Christian Jaros into Vlasic’s place.

San Jose, which is just three points out of playoff position, has swept its last two two-game series matchups against the Minnesota Wild and the Los Angeles Kings. In last weekend’s series in LA, the Sharks outscored the Kings 6-2 over the two games.

“I think we’re making strides,” Sharks captain Logan Couture said after the most recent win. “We’re in a spot right now with 19 games left to make a push and see where we end up, so I’m definitely happy with how we’ve played over the last stretch.”

Saturday’s matchup was a tight one with the score knotted up at 2-2 late in the third period, but Dylan Gambrell’s goal at the 15:23 mark lifted the Sharks to a 3-2 victory. Martin Jones made 35 saves on the evening, following his 30-save shutout one night earlier, to improve his save percentage to .905 on the season.

The Ducks, on the other hand, are looking to snap a three-game skid. In their last outing on Sunday, the Ducks had a 2-1 lead after two periods against the Arizona Coyotes before Arizona’s Jakob Chychrun scored the tying goal with 4:51 left in regulation and then registered the game-winner 1:47 into overtime.

“They were engaged,” Ducks head coach Dallas Eakins said of his team’s effort. “The work was there. We’ve just got to, again, bury our chances.”

Anaheim goalie John Gibson made 28 saves in his first game back between the pipes after missing three with an upper-body injury. Gibson froze a penalty shot by Clayton Keller a mere six seconds before Chychrun buried the game-winner.

“Obviously, we had a good save there,” Eakins said of the end of the game. “They ended up winning the draw and scoring. The penalty shot didn’t rattle us or throw us off-kilter. I thought (Gibson) did a great job holding his net.”

Even with Gibson back in the fold, the Ducks could be without some of their key players Tuesday. Rickard Rakell remains sidelined with an upper-body injury suffered on March 28, and fellow forward Sam Steel has a lower-body injury that has caused him to miss the last three.

Also, Ryan Getzlaf sustained an upper-body injury during Friday’s game against the Coyotes.

–Field Level Media

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