Ducks and Sharks return to action in Anaheim

While the San Jose Sharks have been itching to play another game since their opener last weekend, the Anaheim Ducks have enjoyed the extra rest after returning from Europe.

The Ducks and Sharks square off tonight in a battle between well-rested clubs at the Honda Center.

Neither Anaheim nor San Jose have played a game since last Saturday, when the Sharks opened their season with a 6-3 home win over the Coyotes and the Ducks wrapped a two-game swing in Europe with a 2-1 shootout triumph versus the Rangers.

Anaheim bested New York in Sweden one day after a loss to Buffalo in Finland. Andrew Cogliano had the Ducks' lone regulation tally on Saturday and Bobby Ryan notched the only goal of the shootout in the fourth round, beating Swede Henrik Lundqvist between the legs.

Ryan said he was actually trying to go low on the glove side, but was fortunate to miss.

"That's kind of my favorite shot," said Ryan. "I think if I had hit my mark I would have missed, because he was already there. So I'll take that lucky break any day."

Jonas Hiller, who needed to make only 14 saves through overtime, then turned aside Artem Anisimov to clinch the two points.

The Ducks have been working on getting back to North American time since their return from overseas.

"Hopefully all of the wrinkles from the jet lag and what not from our trip to Europe are flushed out of us and we're ready to go," head coach Randy Carlyle said on Thursday. "I don't see anybody dragging their butts other than the coaching staff at times."

The time off could also get defenseman Toni Lydman back on the ice as he missed all of the preseason and the first two regular-season games because of shoulder surgery that took place on May 2 to repair a torn labrum. He is possible for tonight.

Anaheim, which will play two straight and four of its next five at home, is 9-8-0 all-time in its Honda Center openers, winning three of the past five. It split six meetings with the Sharks last season, but has lost nine of the past 13 meetings overall.

The Sharks have dropped three of their last four trips to the Honda Center and will hope to keep the momentum from last weekend's three-goal win. Joe Pavelski and Andrew Desjardins both scored twice, while newcomer Michal Handzus also had a goal. Ryane Clowe lit the lamp and Thomas Greiss made 26 saves.

"We concentrated on shooting the puck and getting it on net, that went well for us," said Desjardins after his club unleashed 52 shots on net. "It's a good start to the season and this is a great atmosphere we have here."

Greiss got the start on Saturday because Antero Niittymaki is out due to hip surgery and Antti Niemi is recovering from having a cyst removed. Niemi has not been ruled out of tonight's game, however.

Martin Havlat won't play tonight and also missed the opener as he recovers from shoulder surgery. Patrick Marleau missed three days of practice with the flu, but could play in this game.

The Sharks will play three games in four nights starting with this game as well as seven of their next nine on the road.