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NHL Preview: San Jose Sharks (2-11-1) at Anaheim Ducks (7-6-0)


HERT SO GOOD Forward Tomáš Hertl leads the Sharks with nine points (2g, 7a), entering Sunday’s game against Anaheim. With his goal on Nov. 9 against Edmonton, the centerman is now just one goal back of Owen Nolan (206) for fifth on the Sharks’ all-time goals list and is one multi-point game back of Nolan for sixth on the team’s all-time multi-point games list (109).. With his pair of helpers on Oct. 17, Hertl (453 points) surpassed Nolan (451) for sixth on San Jose’s all-time points list and moved beyond Jeff Friesen for eighth on the team’s all-time multi-assist games list (38), and his multi-helper game against Pittsburgh tied him with Erik Karlsson for seventh. Hertl entered 2023-24 after posting a career-best 41 assists in 2022-23, a season in which he tallied 63 points (22g, 41 a) in 72 games. It was the second time in his career that he hit the 20-goal plateau in consecutive seasons and the first since 2017-18 (22) and 2018-19 (35).

THE DUKE ABIDES Forward Anthony Duclair registered consecutive first multi-point efforts on Nov. 4 and Nov. 7, posting back-to-back games with both a goal and an assist. Three of those four points came on the power play, including a goal and a helper against Pittsburgh on Saturday (Nov. 4) and another assist Tuesdsay (Nov. 7) against Philadelphia. It’s the seventh time that Duclair has recorded back-to-back multi-point games in his career. He has factored into each of the Sharks’ last four goals. Duclair found the back of the net for the first time as a member of the Sharks on Oct. 19 against the Boston Bruins, with an assist from linemate Tomáš Hertl. Per NHL Edge, Duclair ranks in the 92nd percentile following games Nov. 10 in top skating speed, clocking in at 22.68 mph, and is in the 90th percentile for top shot speed with a 94.08 mph shot against Boston on Oct. 19. Duclair, acquired in a July 1 trade with Florida, had a career-best 31 goals in his last full season in 2021-22, a campaign that finished with 58 points and a plus-19 rating.

BIG MAC Goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood turned two more stellar performances in helping the Sharks earn their first wins of the season, making 38 saves on 39 shots faced Tuesday vs. PHI and following up with a 39-for-41 effort Thursday against EDM. Per NHL PR, his save total Tuesday was the second-most in Sharks history for a goalie in his first win with the club, lesser than only Troy Grosenick’s 45 on Nov. 16, 2014. Blackwood ranked fourth in the NHL following games on Nov. 8 with 75 high-danger saves on the year per NHL Edge and is in the 72nd percentile among league goaltenders with four games with a SV% greater than .900. Blackwood started his Sharks tenure with a remarkable 51-save effort against the Colorado Avalanche on Oct. 14, including stops on his first 48 shots faced in the game. It remains the most by a NHL netminder in any game this season, represents the most by any NHL goalie in a debut with a new team since at least 1955-56, per NHL PR, and was the most by a Sharks netminder in this millennium (Steve Shields – 51, Oct. 14, 1999, 5-1 W at NSH).

WHERE THERE’S A WILL… Forward William Eklund started the year with two points in the first six games, including his first goal of the season against Carolina on Oct. 17, and added his second goal of the campaign on Tuesday (Nov. 7) against Philadelphia, a power play strike that proved to be his first career game-winning goal. With an assist in Thursday’s win over Edmonton (Nov. 9), Eklund has points in back-to-back games as the team heads to Vegas. As of games ending Nov. 7, the Stockholm, Sweden native ranks near the top of the NHL in skating distance (80th percentile) at 33.88 miles and in speed bursts over 20 miles per hour (82nd percentile) with 20. Eklund, the seventh-overall selection in the 2021 NHL Draft, has 11 points (4g, 7a) through 31 career NHL games.

STURM WARNING Nico Sturm has been dominant at the faceoff dot so far this season, leading the NHL at 65.1-percent on draws through games ending Nov. 10 (min. 50 faceoffs) after a 10-for-16 showing against Vegas. He also paces the league at 67.1-percent at even strength and is seventh in shorthanded FOW% with a 57.1-percent clip (min. 20 SH FO). The forward earned his first point of the season with an assist in the Sharks’ win over Edmonton on Nov. 9. Sturm went 17- for-20 (85.0%) Oct. 27 at Carolina, the third-best single-game effort at the dot in his career (min. 10 faceoffs). Sturm’s strong start comes on the heels of posting the 21st-best season in Sharks history at the dot (min. 100 FO) in 2022-23, winning 55.8-percent of his draws on the season.

ZETT SETTER Forward Fabian Zetterlund scratched the goal column for the first time with the Sharks since being acquired as part of the trade that sent Timo Meier to New Jersey in February, opening the scoring in San Jose’s Tuesday (Oct. 17) tilt with Carolina. Adding an assist later in the contest, Zetterlund tallied his first multi-point game in teal and sixth of his career. The Swedish forward followed up with his second goal in teal a week later, scoring on the power play in the Sharks’ contest at Florida (Oct. 24) and enters Nov. 10 at Vegas as the team’s leader with four goals on the season, two coming in November (Nov. 2 vs. VAN and Nov. 9 vs. EDM). Per NHL Edge, Zetterlund ranked in the 98th percentile for top skating speed, a 23.19 mph burst (0:50, second period) on Nov. 2 vs. Vancouver, is in the 92nd percentile for speed bursts over 20 mph (30), and 81st percentile for top shot speed (91.40 mph), as of games ending Nov. 10.

CZECH THIS OUT Defenseman Jan Rutta tied his career high with five blocked shots in San Jose’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning (Oct. 26), the fourth time in his career he has stepped in the way of a full handful of shots in one contest. Rutta ranks third on San Jose with 26 blocked shots on the year. According to NHL Edge, Rutta also fired the ninth-fastest shot by a skater this season, clocking in at 100.11 mph at 5:43 of the first period against Boston (Oct. 19).

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE The Sharks acquired D Calen Addison from Minnesota on Wednesday (Nov. 8) in exchange for F Adam Raska and the team’s 2026 fifth-round pick. In 92 NHL games, Addison has tallied 38 points (5g, 33a). At the time of the trade, the Brandon, Manitoba native had five helpers through 12 games. He is coming off a career year in which he posted 29 points (3g, 26a), leading Wild defensemen in assists and finishing second among the group in scoring.

PLAYING THE HITS Defenseman Kyle Burroughs has been among the league’s best in taking the body on the season, concluding Thursday’s game against Edmonton (Nov. 9) ranked T-15th among NHL defensemen with 27 hits. Burroughs’ 5.86 hits-per-60 is second among Sharks blue-liners. He also ranks second among Sharks defensemen with 27 blocked shots on the season. The Vancouver native has logged a career-high 20:23 TOI per game played since joining San Jose on a three-year deal, signed over the offseason, and is on pace for career bests in hits and blocked shots. His 23:31 TOI against Pittsburgh on Saturday was his most as a Shark.


TONIGHT’S GAME: The Anaheim Ducks host the final contest of a five-game homestand tonight vs. the San Jose Sharks at Honda Center (5 p.m. PT, TV: Bally Sports SoCal, AUDIO: Ducks Stream). Anaheim enters tonight’s game with wins in six of the last eight contests (6-2-0), scoring 29 goals in that span while killing 29-of-34 penalties (85.3%). Anaheim has also killed 15 straight penalties dating to Oct. 30 (span of five games), their longest stretch this season. Tonight continues a stretch of six games in a span of 10 days (second game) through Nov. 19 and a stretch of 11 games in 21 days to close out November. The Ducks enter tonight’s contest 7-6-0 this season while opponents have a combined 50-29-4 record entering at the start of games. The Ducks continue their 14-game November schedule (10 home, four road), posting a 158-138-66 record in the month all-time. Following tonight’s game, the Ducks will begin a two-game road trip and the first contest of a back-to-back matchup Tuesday, Nov. 14 at the Nashville Predators (5 p.m. PT). Anaheim also visits the Colorado Avalanche Wednesday, Nov. 15 (6 p.m. PT).

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT: The Ducks are carrying the most 20-and-under players in the NHL this season (4). Three of the Ducks’ players 20-and-under (Carlsson, McTavish, Mintyukov) have combined for 13-17=30 points this season, the most combined points and goals of any team with players 20-and-under this season (Columbus, 17 and Chicago, 15). Anaheim has the highest-scoring 20-and-under forward and defenseman in the NHL and three players in the top-6 in scoring among players 20-and-under. Mason McTavish (20) leads all NHL players 20-and-under in points (6-8=14), the only player 20 and under to rank in the top-75 of league scoring. Pavel Mintyukov (19) paces all defensemen 20 and younger in points (1-8=9) and assists. Leo Carlsson (18) ranks tied for second among 20-and-under players in goals (6) and seventh with 6-1=7 points. Columbus is the only other club with two players in the top-10.

CARDIAC COMEBACKS: Anaheim’s five comeback wins co-lead the NHL this season, with all five of the comeback victories coming during the club’s six-game win streak Oct. 24-Nov. 5. The Ducks are the third club in NHL history to post at least five third-period comeback victories throughout a win streak of any length, joining the 2018-19 Sabres (6 in 10 GP) and 2013-14 Penguins (5 in 15 GP). The Ducks are also one of two teams this season (also Toronto) to record multiple two-goal, third period comeback wins. The Ducks also co-lead the NHL with five comeback wins overall. DUCKS-SHARKS: Anaheim and San Jose open a four-game season series tonight at Honda Center, the first of two games in Orange County. The Ducks have won eight of their last 10 games against San Jose (8-2-0). In the 2022-23 season series, Anaheim won three of four games, including s 6-5 shootout win (Nov. 1) and 5-4 shootout win (Nov.5) in San Jose, as well as a 5-4 overtime win in Orange County (Jan. 6). Mason McTavish (3-3=6) led the Ducks in scoring and co-led in goals along with Adam Henrique while Troy Terry paced the team in assists (4). The Ducks own a 75-68-12 all-time record vs. the Sharks, including an 37-34-7 mark in Orange County. Cam Fowler leads active Ducks skaters in career scoring (4-18=22) and assists vs. the Sharks while Henrique (9-10=19 in 24 GP) paces the club in career goals. The two teams next meet Jan. 20 at SAP Center (7 p.m.), they continue the series Jan. 31 at Honda Center (7 p.m.). and then close out the season series Feb. 29 at SAP Center (7:30 p.m.).

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