Series (Game 1 of 6)

Series tied 3-3

Game 1: Saturday, October 30th
Game 2: Tuesday, November 9th
Game 3: Sunday, January 9th
Game 4: Wednesday, February 2nd
Game 5: Saturday, April 2nd
Game 6: Wednesday, April 6th

Ducks 2

(4-7-1, 9 pts)

Sharks 5

(5-3-1, 11 pts)

10:30 PM ET, October 30, 2010

SAP Center, San Jose, California

1 2 3 T
ANA 0 0 22
SJ 2 3 05

D. Heatley (Sharks - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

J. Thornton (Sharks - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 3

N. Wallin (Sharks - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Ducks-Sharks Preview


After having a limited impact against the Anaheim Ducks in the 2009 playoffs, Joe Thornton seemed to take his frustrations out when the San Jose Sharks dominated the 2009-10 season series. The San Jose captain also turned in quite a performance in his last game to end another rut.

Thornton and the Sharks get their first look of the new season at their Pacific Division rivals Saturday night when the Ducks visit HP Pavilion.

San Jose (4-3-1) won the President's Trophy two seasons ago before falling in six games to Anaheim (4-6-1) in the first round of the playoffs. Thornton was one of the major culprits for the defeat with one goal and four assists in the series.

His six games against the Ducks last season were in total contrast. Thornton amassed five goals and nine assists as the Sharks went 5-1-0, with linemates Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau combining for 12 points.

That top line, though, was going through a rough stretch to open 2010-11, and started Wednesday's 5-2 victory over New Jersey on the bench. When the unit got on the ice, it responded with 13 points.

"I think they read the writing between the lines and responded," coach Todd McLellan said. "They're a team of game-breakers who play desperate. That was something we were waiting for from that line. It was a really good display of leadership."

Thornton notched his fourth career hat trick to end a five-game goal drought and added two assists. Marleau and Heatley each had a goal and three assists.

"Joe's making a conscious effort to go to the net," Marleau said. "Our line did get off a lot of shots. We were having a lot of fun out there, and this is something we can definitely build off."

The Sharks had also dropped their first three home games before Wednesday's win. They outscored the Ducks 12-4 in three home victories last season.

"We'll see if we can carry it over into a big game against Anaheim on the weekend," McLellan said.

Antero Niittymaki appears to have seized San Jose's starting goaltending job over another newcomer, Stanley Cup champion Antti Niemi. Niittymaki is 3-0-1 with a 1.84 goals-against average while Niemi is 1-3-0 with a 4.84 GAA.

Jason Blake scored a power-play goal and Jonas Hiller stopped 25 shots for Anaheim in Friday's 2-1 loss to the Devils. The Ducks, who were playing one home game after a four-game trip, now head back on the road after a frustrating night.

"We're not playing as well as we're supposed to, and this was almost a must-win," said Hiller, who is 3-5-1 despite a .917 save percentage. "We just couldn't find a way. Every time you think you've got it going, we play a game like tonight and lose again. It would be great if we could get a little streak going, but it seems like we go out there every night and no one knows what to expect."

Anaheim leading scorer Ryan Getzlaf was held without a point for only the second time in eight games. The Sharks held Getzlaf in check last season, limiting him to three points in the six meetings.