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Ducks 3, Sharks 1

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -Andy McDonald had two assists and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 30 saves to help lead the Anaheim Ducks to a 3-1 victory Friday over the San Jose Sharks.

McDonald set up a first-period goal by Chris Kunitz and a third-period insurance goal by Chris Pronger as the first-place Ducks increased their lead over the third-place Sharks to nine points in the Pacific Division.

Dustin Penner also scored for the Ducks, who have won five of the seven meetings between the teams this season. Penner had a pair of goals in a 3-2 Anaheim win in San Jose on Monday.

The teams will conclude their eight-game season series at Anaheim on April 4.

The Ducks had played 23 of their past 35 games on the road before starting an eight-game homestand Friday, matching the longest in team history.

Penner helped Anaheim start the extended homestand on a good note, knocking a loose puck in the crease past San Jose goalie Evgeni Nabokov for his fourth goal in three games, giving the Ducks a 1-0 lead on an early power play.

McDonald sped down the right wing and swiftly cut back with the puck before sending a pass to Kunitz in the slot for a goal making it 2-0 late in the first.

Craig Rivet sent a shot from the point past Giguere to draw San Jose within a goal with 16:05 to play. Rivet was making his debut for San Jose after being acquired from Montreal on Feb. 25. His arrival had been delayed because of visa issues.

Newly acquired forward Bill Guerin was serving a hooking penalty for San Jose when Pronger blasted in a slap shot giving the Ducks a two-goal cushion with 6:10 to play.

Guerin is still waiting for his first point with the Sharks. He had 28 goals and 47 points with St. Louis before being acquired in trade Tuesday.

Notes: The Sharks' leading goal scorer, Patrick Marleau (29 goals) missed a second game while recovering from an "upper-body" injury. ... Ducks center Todd Marchant remains sidelined with an abdominal strain. ... Forward Brad May, acquired by Anaheim in a trade from Colorado on Tuesday also missed the game after suffering a lower-body injury and not returning on Thursday.



20:00 - END OF GAME

19:12 - ANA PEN - Chris Pronger - 2 min. delay of game.

13:50 - ANAHEIM GOAL - POWER PLAY - CHRIS PRONGER (11).  Pronger rips a slap shot from the point to regain Anaheim's two goal advantage on the power play.  Assists go to Corey Perry and Andy McDonald.

12:06 - SJ PEN - B. Guerin - 2 min. for hooking.  Anaheim is 1-for-4 in the game on the power play.

10:00 - ANA PEN - T. Moen - 2 min. tripping.  San Jose is 0-for-4 on the power play.

3:55 - SAN JOSE GOAL - CRAIG RIVET (7).  Rivet gets a wrist shot through traffic from the point to cut Anaheim's lead to 2-1.  The assists go to Matt Carle and Joe Thornton.

0:00 - The third period is under way at Honda Center.


20:00 - END OF 2ND PERIOD.  SHOTS: ANA 4-10, SJ 5-20

18:10 - ANA PEN - C. Kunitz - 2 min. interference.  San Jose is 0-for-3 on the power play tonight.

15:03 - SJ PEN - J. Thornton - 2 min. charging.  Anaheim is 1-for-3 on the power play.

4:43 - ANA PEN - T. Selanne - 2 min. tripping.

3:57 - SJ PEN - M. Vlasic - 2 min. interference.  Anaheim is 1-for-2 on the power play in the game.

2:29 - Anaheim's Corey Perry and SJ's Matt Carle each go off for roughing.

0:00 - The second period is under way.


20:00 - END OF 1ST PERIOD - SHOTS: ANA 10, SJ 15

18:29 - ANAHEIM GOAL - CHRIS KUNITZ (22).  Andy McDonald fakes a trip around the net, stops, curls and slides a pass to Kunitz streaking to the far post.  Kunitz finishes to give Anaheim a 2-0 lead.  McDonald gets the lone assist.

13:38 - ANA PEN - 26 S. Pahlsson - 2 min. for cross checking.  SJ will have 34 seconds of 2-man advantage.

12:12 - ANA PEN - 25 C. Pronger - 2 min. for hooking.  SJ is operating at 23% (2nd NHL) with the man advantage and Anaheim is killing at 83.9% (T-7th)

5:46 - SJ PEN - 26 S. Bernier - 2 min. boarding.  Anaheim is 1-for-1 on the power play tonight.

5:00 - ANAHEIM GOAL - POWER PLAY - DUSTIN PENNER (23).  Once again, as he has in the past two games, Penner uses his 6-4, 243 pound frame to get position in front of the opponent net and slides home a rebound to give Anaheim an early 1-0 lead.  The assists go to Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne.

4:36 - SJ PEN - 4 K. McLaren - 2 min. roughing.  Anaheim is operating at 21.4% on the power play this season (T-3rd NHL).  SJ is killing at 83.7% (11th NHL).

0:00 - The contest is under way at Honda Center.


Starters: ANA - G 35 JS Giguere, D 23 F. Beauchemin, D 27 S. Niedermayer, RW 44 R. Niedermayer, C 26 S. Pahlsson, LW 32 T. Moen  SJ -G 20 Evgeni Nabokov, D 18 M. Carle, D 52 C. Rivet, RW 14 J. Cheechoo, C 19 J. Thornton, RW 9 M. Michalek

Scratches: ANA - 5 D R. Jackman, 16 RW G. Parros, C 22 T. Marchant, 24 LW B. May  SJ - D 5 R. Davison, C 12 P. Marleau, D 22 S. Hannan

Referees: 33 K. Pollock, 15 S. Auger

Linesmen: 77 T. Nowak, 86 B. Kovachik


Chris Kunitz
The Ducks will look to bounce back from a tough overtime loss at Los Angeles last night when they face another Pacifiic Division rival, San Jose, tonight at Honda Center. The Sharks stand seven points behind the Ducks in the race for the division title, which Anaheim is looking to win for the first time in its history.

It's the second time this week the two are facing off, as the Ducks picked up an important 3-2 win at San Jose on Monday.

To avoid falling further back in the Pacific Division, the Sharks acquired one of hockey's marquee names at Tuesday's trading deadline. After failing to record a point in his debut, Bill Guerin will try again to produce against one the league's best teams.

Guerin looks to help the struggling Sharks gain ground on the Ducks as San Jose starts a key three-game road trip.

Playing his first game after being acquired from St. Louis in a deadline-day deal, Guerin logged more than 20 minutes of ice time and had three shots on goal, but San Jose fell to Central Division-leading Nashville 4-3 in a shootout on Wednesday.

Still, Guerin - who had 28 goals and 47 points as the Blues' leading scorer - was excited to play for a contender.

"I feel comfortable (already)," said Guerin, who played left wing on the Sharks' top line with reigning MVP Joe Thornton and Jonathan Cheechoo, last season's goal-scoring leader. "I didn't have my best game, but I like the way our team played. We've got a lot of talent."

Normally a right wing, Guerin didn't have a point in three games versus Anaheim while with the Blues. His 24 assists and 38 points in his career against the Ducks, though, are the most he's had against one team in both categories.

Steve Bernier and Matt Carle scored power-play goals in the first period to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead. Rookie defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic's first goal since Dec. 28 tied the score 3-all with less than 5 minutes to play in regulation, but San Jose (38-24-2) failed to score on Predators goaltender Tomas Vokoun in three of four rounds in the shootout.

The loss was the Sharks' third in a row and sixth in eight games, and that slide dropped them into third place in the Pacific. With 78 points, San Jose trails Dallas by two and Anaheim by seven.

After this contest, San Jose plays at Dallas on Sunday and at Minnesota on Tuesday. The Sharks are tied with Nashville and Buffalo for the league lead with 20 road wins, but they are just 2-4-0 in their last six away from HP Pavilion.

Thornton, also last season's Art Ross Trophy winner, has tallied two assists in each of his last three games against the Ducks. He also has a five-game point streak against them with a goal and eight assists in that span.

Anaheim (37-17-11) will have to bounce back quickly after a bad loss. With a 4-3 overtime defeat at Los Angeles on Thursday night, the Ducks were denied their first three-game win streak since early December.

Dustin Penner, Scott Niedermayer and Andy McDonald staked Anaheim to a 3-1 lead with 4:21 to play in the second period. Backup goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, though, gave up three straight goals - including Michael Cammalleri's power-play tally 3:17 into overtime.

"We can't let a team come back like that, and that's what we've been doing lately. So it's very frustrating," Niedermayer said. "We didn't play a consistent game all night."

Jean-Sebastien Giguere likely will be back in net for this contest, looking to reach 30 wins for the second straight season. He's 16-2-5 with a 2.11 goals-against average at home, and made 23 saves in Anaheim's 5-0 win over San Jose - one of three shutouts he's had at Honda Center in 2006-07.

The Ducks have won four of six meetings with the Sharks this season, including a 4-2 victory Monday night in San Jose.

- Associated Press contributed to this report

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