Sharks vs. Ducks: Anaheim Quacks Into Town as Sharks Look To Build Momentum
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A familiar foe comes calling tonight as the Sharks will host the Anaheim Ducks at the Shark Tank. These two teams need no introduction as this intrastate rivalry kicks off for the 2010 NHL Season.
The Sharks will look to notch another W for the fourth time in five games tonight after dispatching the reeling New Jersey Devils 5-2.
The top line was the story of the game against the Devils, as captain Joe Thornton netted a hat trick and matched a career high with five points. It was his first hat trick since scoring the trifecta against Phoenix March 25, 2008 and Jumbo's fourth hat trick in his career.
Joe Thornton has started the season on a tear, and among NHL players 31 or younger at the start of the season, he leads all players with 943 points.
Marleau and Heatley each scored against the Devils as the top line got untracked while playing for the first time together all season.
"We just moved a lot better than I'd have thought," Thornton said of his line. "We jumped on loose pucks and we held defensemen off. But yeah, for all three of us to score was nice."
The Ducks know plenty about this top line and knows how to play them, so this matchup will be a good litmus test. Conversely for an up and down Sharks defensive corps this season, the Ducks top line will also prove to be a huge challenge.
The Ducks recently dropped their contest against the very same Devils as Patrick Elias was able to score the game-winner late in the third period.
Jonas Hiller would post 25 saves in the loss, only to give up the game winner. Jason Blake would add the tally for the Ducks.
"Every time you think we're going to get it going, we play a game like tonight and lose again," Hiller said.
Anaheim has had an up and down season themselves and also have not played well on the road with a 2-5-0 to reflect their unsteady play.
The Sharks nearly missed the series sweep last year, winning five of their six matchups in the 2009-2010 NHL Season.
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