Scouting the Sharks.

The Sharks and Ducks meet Sunday for the third time this season, under circumstances very different from any this season or last.

Anaheim has gone 4-1 in its last five games to pull season-high four games over .500. San Jose (21-15-5) has lost two straight, four of six, and just got a tongue-lashing from GM Doug Wilson.

More interesting than how each team is playing is how each team got to this point. Since the teams last met on Nov. 9, rookie forward Logan Couture has 13 goals and eight assists in 29 games to become the Sharks’ leading goal-scorer. They have six forwards (and one defenseman, Dan Boyle) entering play Saturday with at least 27 points – something no other NHL team can claim.

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Ducks 2, Kings 1, SO.

Saku Koivu has perfected the 6-on-4, third-period, game-tying goal.

On Saturday, he also found the perfect shootout move.

A late power-play goal by Koivu sent the Ducks into overtime for the second straight night. But unlike after Friday’s shootout loss to Vancouver, Anaheim was in a celebratory mood after Koivu lifted a forehand past Jonathan Quick in the third shootout round against the Kings.

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Sharks 5, Ducks 2.

The gap between first and last in the Pacific Division isn’t getting any smaller, literally or figuratively.


The Ducks are now a full 16 points behind the first-place San Jose Sharks after losing 5-2 on Saturday, their second loss in San Jose in the last nine days. Unlike in their 4-1 loss at HP Pavilion on Dec. 17, in which they kept it close early then fell behind late, the Ducks were outworked early and often, falling behind 5-0 with six minutes still to play in the middle period.

Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere stuck this one out after getting hit hard, allowing goals to Patrick Marleau (twice), Dany Heatley, Ryane Clowe and Jamie McGinn. Kyle Chipchura and Bobby Ryan scored in the second and third periods, respectively, to turn a blowout into a mere downer.

Chipchura scored his second goal of the season, and second as a Duck, by checking former Duck Kent Huskins to the ice, stealing the puck, and skating in unobstructed with 1:04 left in the second period.

Ryan had to work a little harder for his 17th goal of the season, crashing the net for the rebound of a Corey Perry shot, then whacking it in between the legs of Evgeni Nabokov (32 saves) at 4:39 of the third period.

Ryan Getzlaf left the game in the second period after sustaining a cut on his leg in traffic, but color analyst Brian Hayward said after the game that the injury isn’t serious.

Duck killer Joe Thornton had three assists and Sharks captain Rob Blake added two. George Parros, Chipchura, and Matt Beleskey all dropped the gloves for the Ducks, fighting Frazer McLaren, Scott Nichol and Jed Ortmeyer, respectively.

The Ducks (15-16-7) return home to face the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night at Honda Center.