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Havlat, Sharks host Ducks

The San Jose Sharks appear to have gotten Martin Havlat hopefuls try to win three straight rival Anaheim Ducks.

The Sharks pulled off a blockbuster trade last July, shipping Dany Heatley to the Minnesota Wild for Havlat. The forward tallied just two goals in his first 26 games with the club before missing 39 straight contests with a hamstring injury.

Havlat returned to action on Thursday and was held without a point in a shootout win over the Predators, then scored twice to lift the Sharks to a 3-2 win over the Red Wings on Saturday. His second goal of the game came on a rebound with 1:37 left in overtime.

"He's such an important part of our hockey club and I don't even think we've realized yet how much of an impact he can have," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said of Havlat.

Joe Pavelski added a goal, Patrick Marleau logged an assist for a fourth straight game and Antti Niemi posted 26 saves for the Sharks, who are 3-0-1 in their past four and won two straight for the first time since a three-game win streak from Jan. 21-Feb. 2.

The victory gave the Sharks 82 points on the season, tied with the Kings for ninth in the Western Conference. They are a point behind the Avalanche and Coyotes for the final two playoff spots in the West, while Phoenix is also tied with the Dallas Stars for the top spot in the Pacific Division.

Phoenix and Dallas are both idle until playing each other on Tuesday, meaning the Sharks can jump into first place in the division with a win tonight.

The Ducks will look to play spoiler tonight and avoid a sixth loss in seven games. They sit 12 points behind a playoff spot with nine games to play and are coming off last night's 3-1 setback to the visiting Predators.

Devante Smith-Pelly scored a shorthanded goal for the Ducks, but Jonas Hiller allowed a pair of goals in the third period. Hiller ended with 24 saves in his club-record 32nd straight start.

"We outshot them in the first two periods, but that early goal in the third deflated us," said Smith-Pelly. "We know our situation and have to keep competing. There's also jobs at stake here."

Anaheim now hits the road for a game and has lost five straight as the guest. The Ducks haven't won on the road since Feb. 23 at Carolina.

The Ducks had won four straight versus the Sharks before San Jose logged a 3-1 road win on Jan. 4. Anaheim has won six of the past nine encounters overall as well as three of its past four in San Jose.

The Sharks are hoping to have Tommy Wingels in the lineup for the first time in four games due to an upper-body, while T.J. Galiardi sat out the last contest with an upper-body issue. Michal Handzus has also missed the last four games for the Sharks due to an injury.