Ducks welcome Sharks in December finale

( - The Anaheim Ducks hope to have Corey Perry back in the lineup on Wednesday night as they close out December with a home matchup against the rival San Jose Sharks.

Perry has missed the past 10 games due to a sprained knee sustained on Dec. 5 against Minnesota. Despite that lengthy absence, he still ranks second on the Ducks with 14 goals.

Perry has been practicing this week along with fellow injured Ducks Tim Jackman and Kyle Palmieri and is expected to be a game-time decision for tonight.

"[Perry's] looking better every day, so is Palmy and so is Jackman," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau told his club's website. "I'm going to talk to the trainers later, but probably won't know a definitive answer until (Wednesday) morning.

Palmieri has missed the last five games with a shoulder issue, while Jackman has sat out the past two after taking a blow to the head from San Jose's John Scott in a meeting last Monday.

Scott appeared to strike Jackman with both his glove and the butt end of his stick in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Ducks. Anaheim won't get a chance for retribution as Scott will serve the third contest of a four-game suspension for the incident tonight.

The Ducks had lost their first two meetings with the Sharks this season before the win on Dec. 22. Frederik Andersen made 30 saves and Ryan Kesler scored 58 seconds into overtime, while San Jose's Antti Niemi ended with 29 saves.

Andersen had lost each of his previous four starts versus the Sharks and has a 3.85 goals against average and .878 save percentage in the five meetings.

Anaheim has won 10 of its past 14 at home versus San Jose.

Andersen set a club record in Sunday's 2-1 overtime victory against the Vancouver Canucks, making 13 saves for his 10th win of December. That set a Ducks mark for the most victories by a goaltender in a single month.

Anaheim had to rally to get its goaltender the win, with defenseman Francois Beauchemin tying the game on a goal at the 6:52 mark of the third period and fellow blueliner Cam Fowler winning it 2:42 into overtime.

"When we came in after the second period, we had a bit of time to settle ourselves down and realize we were trending in the right direction," said Fowler. "We knew that if we stuck with it, and especially took care of things in our own end, things would go for us. We just needed to settle down a little bit."

The Ducks opened up an eight-game homestand with their fifth straight victory at Honda Center. They also are 10-2-1 in December and lead the second-place Canucks by nine points in the Pacific Division.

San Jose is 11 points back of Anaheim and lost its third straight game last night, bested 3-1 by Vancouver. That loss snapped the Sharks' eight-game winning streak at home.

Alex Stalock made 18 saves and Joe Thornton scored on a penalty shot early in the second period. That came after Joe Pavelski had an attempt on his own penalty shot in the first period ring off the crossbar.

"I didn't think we were particularly any good and the score indicated that," Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said. "Right now we aren't reaching deep enough."

The Sharks will now try to avoid their third four-game slide of the season and first since Nov. 18-26.

After Stalock made his first start last night since Dec. 11, Niemi figures to get the call tonight and is 12-9-1 lifetime versus the Ducks with a 2.60 GAA and .907 save percentage.