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Ducks aim to look sharp tonight in preseason finale against Sharks

Ducks aim to look sharp tonight in preseason finale against Sharks
Team captain Ryan Getzlaf will return to action Saturday night in the Ducks' final preseason game. (Chris Carlson / Associated Press)

It’s still preseason, but if there’s ever urgency to a game that doesn’t count in the standings for the Ducks, Saturday night’s exhibition finale against the San Jose Sharks at Honda Center is it.

On the heels of four consecutive preseason losses, two ti the Kings, Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said the 7 p.m. meeting against the traditionally fast-starting Sharks was a litmus test.

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"It's not going to have the passion that Thursday will have," Boudreau said of the Ducks' regular-season opener at Pittsburgh. "But we want to make sure our systems are doing things right. We want to compete. We want to win."

Boudreau said Saturday that centers Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler and Nate Thompson, who had each sat out previous preseason games, would play against San Jose.

On Friday, Boudreau said defenseman Cam Fowler, who plays on the first defensive pairing with Ben Lovejoy, might not be able to play Thursday because of a lower-body injury suffered during a fall at Thursday’s practice.

Lovejoy has played alongside Hampus Lindholm and Bryan Allen in the past, so the replacement pairing for Thursday might also be on display Saturday night.

"We're looking at it like it's our first game," Lovejoy said. "We want to set the tone for our season. We did not do that last year and it cost us our first game [a blowout loss in Colorado]. We want to be emotionally and physically invested. We know that the Sharks are a notoriously hot starting team. We want to prove to ourselves that we're going to be in midseason form and ready to go."

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