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January 29, 2013 | 9:03am ET
Ducks' biggest rival is San Jose?

With the Anaheim Ducks off to a solid start in the early part of the season, tonight's game against the San Jose Sharks could be crucial.

The Ducks are chasing the Sharks in the standings, and as the Orange County Register reports, San Jose could be a bigger rival for Anaheim than the Los Angeles Kings.

"I know L.A.'s right here," Ducks sniper Bobby Ryan told the paper. "But we've played San Jose in the playoffs and I'm sure that added to it. I think that the intensity and the pace of the game, every time we play them, is highly elevated."

The Sharks, led by Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, both of whom lead the NHL in scoring with 13 points each, are off to a perfect 5-0-0 start to the 2013 campaign, and the Ducks have taken notice.

"They're playing pretty good," Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau told the Register. "I know Chicago's (6-0), but these guys haven't even been close. Their big line's got more goals than 75 percent of the teams in the league.

"We're up against it (tonight). We know that. We know how good they're playing. And I know when you get on a roll like that, you're feeling it and everything seems to be going right. We're going to go and give it the old college try."

Ducks winger Daniel Winnik, who leads the team with five goals, spent some time with San Jose last season, and believes the rivalry between the two clubs is heating up.

"It'll be a good first test (tonight)," he said. "Divisional rival. We've got to come out strong."

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