Unbeaten Sharks take on Ducks

11:12 AM, Jan 29, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - The undefeated San Jose Sharks got some extra rest after engaging in a physical contest over the weekend. They'll try to extend their best start in franchise history on Tuesday night against the Anaheim Ducks, who are also off to an impressive beginning to the season.

The Sharks are 5-0-0 for the first time in club history after notching a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. Joe Pavelski had a pair of goals in the third contest of a six-game homestand for San Jose.

Patrick Marleau, who had notched four straight two-goal games to begin the season, and Joe Thornton both had a goal and an assist as they lead the NHL with 13 points each.

Antti Niemi turned away 23 shots in the triumph to earn his 100th career win.

Ryan Clowe engaged in a first-period fight and also picked up a game misconduct in the second period on the way to begin assessed a total of 35 penalty minutes in a game that featured a number of fights and rough stuff.

"Every time we play Vancouver it's like that. They don't like us, we don't like them," Sharks forward Logan Couture said. "We expect a battle, and sometimes games get out of hand a little bit. If they're going to put us on the power play, we'll take it."

The Sharks will try to keep their cool on Tuesday as they hope to snap a three-game slide at home to the Ducks, who won the season series 5-1 last season and have captured nine of the past 13 encounters overall.

Anaheim has won three of its first four to begin the season, picking up road wins at Vancouver and Calgary before getting blanked 5-0 by the Canucks in their home opener on Friday. The Ducks did bounce back in front of their home crowd the following day, earning a 3-2 shootout win over the Nashville Predators.

After Jonas Hiller got the start in the first three games, 30-year-old Swede Viktor Fasth made his NHL debut on Saturday and came up with 19 saves before stopping all three skaters he faced in the shootout.

Fasth was signed as an undrafted free agent on May 21 after serving as the starting goaltender for the Swedish national team at the World Championship.

"He's as cool as a cucumber," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "That's the demeanor you have to have to be successful. He was pretty relaxed. It was a great debut for him."

Corey Perry scored the lone shootout goal for the Ducks, who got regulation goals from Bobby Ryan and Daniel Winnik to post their best start to a season since opening the 2006-07 campaign 3-0-1.

Winnik, meanwhile, is the first player in Ducks history to score five goals through the first four games of a season. He skated in 21 games with the Sharks last season after being acquired from the Colorado Avalanche at the trade deadline.

The Sports Network

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