Ducks at Sharks
The Anaheim Ducks are in a familiar -- albeit uncomfortable -- position, having lost the opening two games at home for the third time in their last five postseason appearances. The Ducks will have to find a way to claw back into their Western Conference first-round series on the road against a Pacific Division rival when they head north to face the San Jose Sharks on Monday night.
Anaheim closed the season with five consecutive wins to overtake the Sharks by one point for second place in the division, but San Jose quickly stole home-ice advantage with a 3-0 win in the series opener before putting the Ducks on the ropes with a 3-2 victory in Saturday's Game 2. "We've been down (0-2) before. They have to win four. The series isn't over," Anaheim defenseman Brandon Montour said. "It's tough to lose two at home, but we'll come back and play hard in the next game." The Sharks are 5-0-1 against the Ducks this season and have limited them to two regulation goals or fewer in eight consecutive meetings, but they are not taking anything for granted. "We've all been around this league a long time and know that team over there has been in this position before and they have been able to claw their way back into a series," San Jose forward Logan Couture said. "We know how important the next game is."
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, CNBC, Sportsnet1, TVAS2, Prime Ticket (Anaheim), NBCS California (San Jose)
ABOUT THE DUCKS: Anaheim, which entered the postseason with the fewest goals of any of the 16 teams, now must attempt to duplicate last season's series against Edmonton, when it dropped the first two at home before rally to prevail in seven games. “Sure, we can draw on that,” said Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm, who scored one goal and set up another Saturday. “People have not been believing in us all year but we know what we’re capable of.” Rickard Rakell, the team's leading goal (34) and overall scorer, has been limited to two shots on goal through the first two games.
ABOUT THE SHARKS: Goaltender Martin Jones won only once in his final five starts of the regulation season but he has turned away 53 of 55 shots in the series and has surrendered only seven goals in five matchups against the Ducks this season. Captain Joe Pavelski, who has collected three assists in the first two games, said a key factor for San Jose was to not get rattled by the relentless physical play of Anaheim. "Nothing we haven't taken before," Pavelski said. "Maybe they are coming a little bit harder. Be poised. Make some plays. Stick to what we are trying to do."
1. Ducks G John Gibson has lost six consecutive starts to the Sharks.
2. Couture had a goal and an assist in Game 2 after collecting four points in four games in the regular-season series.
3. Injured Ducks D Cam Fowler will not accompany the team to San Jose, coach Randy Carlyle said.