Preview: Sharks at Ducks
The San Jose Sharks will be glad to face a new opponent when they visit the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday. San Jose began the season with a home-and-home series against Vegas and was outscored 9-2 while being swept.
Marcus Sorensen scored in the Sharks' season-opening 4-1 road loss Wednesday while San Jose's Barclay Goodrow tallied with 5:55 left in the third period two nights later. Anaheim kicked off the 2019-20 campaign Thursday with a 2-1 home victory over Arizona as blue-liner Cam Fowler snapped a tie with 32 seconds remaining in the second period. It was the 14th game-winning goal for Fowler, who passed Scott Niedermayer for the franchise lead among defensemen. Derek Grant also scored and John Gibson made 32 saves as Anaheim held on for its franchise-record third consecutive season-opening victory.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, NBCS California (San Jose), Prime Ticket (Anaheim)
ABOUT THE SHARKS (0-2-0): Erik Karlsson made his season debut Friday after missing the team's opener to be with his wife for the birth of their daughter. The 29-year-old Swedish defenseman likely wishes he waited one more day as he finished with a minus-4 rating while logging 27 minutes, 12 seconds of ice time. Veteran center Joe Thornton, who decided against retirement and returned for his 22nd NHL season, recorded an assist and went 5-1 on faceoffs Friday.
ABOUT THE DUCKS (1-0-0): After one game, Fowler is four goals away from matching his total in 59 contests last season. The 27-year-old has netted 59 tallies in his career and is one shy of tying Niedermayer for most by a defenseman in franchise history. Fowler's goal Thursday helped make Dallas Eakins' debut with the team a success as the former NHL blue-liner coached his first game since Dec. 14, 2014 with Edmonton.
1. Sharks D Jacob Middleton was recalled from the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League on Friday and made his season debut that evening, registering two hits and blocking a shot in 2:13 of action.
2. Grant has appeared in 209 NHL games with six teams but has scored 15 of his 17 goals in 98 contests with Anaheim.
3. San Jose RW Evander Kane will serve the final contest of his three-game suspension for abuse of an official in the team's preseason finale.
PREDICTION: Ducks 3, Sharks 1