ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -With the Pacific Division title locked up, the San Jose Sharks can rest some players before heading into the postseason.
"We wanted to get it done and over with," San Jose coach Ron Wilson said Friday night after the Sharks beat Anaheim 3-1. "Now we've got four games where some guys need a little break.
"Like Joe Thornton, Brian Campbell and people like that, you can take their minutes down and give other guys opportunities who haven't been playing much to get in there and get themselves ready for the playoffs."
The Sharks won their third division crown and first since the 2003-04 season. They also finished first in the 2001-02 campaign. San Jose has points in 18 straight games (16-0-2) and hasn't lost in regulation since Feb. 20.
Brian Boucher made 23 saves for the Sharks, who snapped the defending Stanley Cup champion Ducks' 10-game, home-winning streak. San Jose won for the 10th time in 11 road games to improve its NHL-best mark to 27-8-4 away from home.
"Boucher played fantastic," said Sharks forward Jeremy Roenick, who scored the go-ahead goal.
Roenick said winning the division was "humongous, huge."
"Especially being in the division with the Stanley Cup champions. Obviously, it's a good feeling, but it's the first step in the process that we have in our minds right now," he said.
Anaheim, second in the division, has three games remaining and trails San Jose by eight points.
Boucher shut out the Ducks after the first period, and Roenick and Curtis Brown scored second-period goals for the Sharks.
"We just gave it away," Anaheim forward Teemu Selanne said. "I think they wanted it more than us. We didn't play to our level, so that's disappointing for us.
"You have to give credit to those guys. They're playing well."
Anaheim rookie Jonas Hiller stopped 24 shots as he played his fourth straight game in place of Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who has been sidelined by back spasms.
Roenick snapped a 1-1 tie at 11:10 of the second period, and Brown gave the Sharks a two-goal pad six minutes later.
Roenick scored his 14th goal during a power play. Parked near the left post when he got the puck, Roenick knocked it past Hiller during a delayed second penalty call on Samuel Pahlsson.
Brown picked up a loose puck just to the left of the crease and poked it past the sprawling Hiller for his third goal.
The Sharks' Patrick Marleau opened the scoring when he wristed a shot past Hiller at 6:38 of the first period, his 17th goal. Scott Niedermayer evened it at 11:09 of the period with a slap shot down the slot that sailed through a crowd in front. It was Niedermayer's eighth of the season.
Notes: Boucher has allowed just three goals in four games since being signed by the Sharks on Feb. 26. ... The Sharks have home games remaining against Phoenix and Los Angeles. They close out the regular season on the road against the Kings and Dallas Stars. ... Mathieu Schneider's assist on Niedermayer's goal was the 700th point of his career, placing him sixth on the list of U.S.-born players in NHL history. ... Ducks C Ryan Getzlaf missed his third game in a row because of a sore shoulder.
|Patrick Marleau (17) ASST: Joe Pavelski (18), Christian Ehrhoff (21)|
1 - 0 SJS
|PPG - Scott Niedermayer (8) ASST: Mathieu Schneider (27), Bobby Ryan (3)|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Jeremy Roenick (14) ASST: Joe Pavelski (19), Brian Campbell (51)|
2 - 1 SJS
|Curtis Brown (3) ASST: Joe Pavelski (20)|
3 - 1 SJS
|Travis Moen Roughing against Jody Shelley|
|Jody Shelley Roughing against Travis Moen|
|Christian Ehrhoff Hi-sticking against Rob Niedermayer|
|Christian Ehrhoff Holding the stick against Todd Bertuzzi|
|Mathieu Schneider Hooking against Patrick Rissmiller|
|Doug Weight Interference against Joe Pavelski|
|Samuel Pahlsson Hooking against Brian Campbell|
|George Parros Roughing against Jody Shelley|
|Jody Shelley Roughing against George Parros|
|Patrick Marleau Holding against Kent Huskins|