Ducks knock off Sharks again, narrow Pacific deficit
(TSX / STATS) -- SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Anaheim Ducks appear determined to make it a race for the Pacific Division.
Never mind that the visitors played the night before while the hosts were idle. The Ducks came into a sold-out SAP Center and dictated play en route to a 2-1 victory.
"We really showed tonight that our compete level was really high and we wanted it more than them," said Anaheim goalie Jonathan Bernier, who made 33 saves.
Anaheim moved to within four points of San Jose after completing a 3-0-2 series domination. The Sharks lost two in a row in regulation for the first time since Jan. 11 and Jan. 14.
"We had a lot of chances, a lot of chances," Sharks forward Joel Ward said. "We just couldn't crack it home. We just came up short. I think we did everything pretty good; we just couldn't score."
In addition, San Jose lost the services of top-line left wing Jannik Hansen just past the midway point of the final period. The trade deadline acquisition went straight to the locker room with 9:45 left in regulation, and medical staff followed close behind.
After the game, coach Peter DeBoer said he did not have an update.
San Jose pulled goalie Martin Jones with 2:28 left but couldn't manage another shot despite employing the extra attacker.
"We were better tonight than against St. Louis," Sharks scorer Logan Couture said. "Every game you take positives. Obviously they're playing back-to-backs, and in that third period we had a lot of Grade-A chances. We should score."
Jakob Silfverberg's breakaway goal at 13:29 accounted for the only scoring in the middle period and stood as the winning goal.
"It was a big goal for our team," Silfverberg said. "Obviously there were some chances back and forth after that too. But we knew it was a big goal."
Silfverberg blocked Paul Martin's attempted drive just inside the Anaheim blue line and broke free behind the San Jose defense. Silfverberg scored his 20th goal with a wrist shot over Jones' glove.
"It's a tough break to give up that one to that guy with that shot," Couture said. "He picks his corners pretty good."
Martin said, "Obviously I made the mistake on the one that cost us a goal, but I think the way we played is the way we want to play, especially in the second and the third. We just weren't able to find the back of the net."
The Ducks and Sharks traded goals in the first period, which was played more in the San Jose end as Anaheim's 11-8 edge in shots would attest.
It took just 39 seconds for Anaheim trade-deadline acquisition Patrick Eaves to whip his 24th goal of the season over the left glove of Jones. He scored after a feed from the opposite boards from Ryan Getzlaf glanced off the stick of Joe Pavelski in the slot.
"We came out and started the way we wanted to," Getzlaf said. "It doesn't always happen that way where you get a goal, but we got in on the forecheck and those are good things for our group."
Ryan Kesler drew iron on a breakaway at 6:30 and Silfverberg came close with a pair of in-close chances after the Ducks killed his hooking penalty of Brent Burns.
The Sharks cashed in on a 5-on-3 power play late in the period when Logan Couture wristed his 25th goal past Bernier. Joe Thornton had the set-up from behind the net 41 seconds after Anaheim defenseman Cam Fowler gave the hosts a two-man advantage.
NOTES: C Ryan Getzlaf collected his 800th career point with a primary assist on Anaheim's first goal. ... Backup G Jonathan Bernier made his 10th start in Anaheim's last 11 games as starting G John Gibson continues to nurse a lower-body injury. ... San Jose continues to play without regulars D David Schlemko and F Melker Karlsson, both out with lower-body injuries. ... The Sharks next play Monday at Dallas to open a four-game road trip. ... Anaheim next hosts Edmonton on Wednesday. ... Anaheim C Andrew Cogliano appeared in his 776th consecutive game, tying him with Craig Ramsay for fourth all-time. ... San Jose C Logan Couture appeared in his 500th career game. ... C Ryan Carpenter was the Sharks' lone healthy scratch. ... D Korbinian Holzer, RW Jared Boll and C Logan Shaw did not dress for the Ducks.
Updated March 19, 2017