ANAHEIM - As the Ducks inch closer to the highly anticipated start of the 2017-18 regular season, they've had some decent preseason play to lean upon lately.
Anaheim scored three times in the third period and put together a combined shutout from goalies John Gibson and Reto Berra in a 3-0 defeat of the visiting Sharks at Honda Center. It was a second straight win after a comeback 6-4 victory vs. the Coyotes on Monday in Tucson.
Neither team lit the lamp tonight for the first 45 1/2 minutes of play - and a combined 31 shots - until Ducks center Chris Wagner emerged from behind the net and swept a backhand past Sharks goalie Martin Jones.
"We picked up a little energy after that goal," Wagner said. "We started playing more in their end. We got better as the game went on."
The Ducks effectively put the game away with 3:43 left on a beautiful 2-on-1 highlighted by a give-and-go between Antoine Vermette and Ondrej Kase. Vermette's feed to Kase from the left wing was tapped right back to him beautifully by Kase, and Vermette filled the wide open net.
Anaheim slammed the door just 40 seconds later after San Jose sent Jones to the bench for an extra attacker, and Kalle Kossila intercepted a Sharks clearing attempt and shuttled it into the empty net.
"We won the game ugly," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "We did some things tonight and got away with it. Our goaltender made some big stops and then we scored some opportune goals in the third period. After two, we weren't real happy with what was going on. We were slapping the puck around and chasing the game. We came out and got more involved in the third period and scored some dirty goals."
Gibson saved all 15 San Jose shots through two periods, but he gave way at the start of the third to offseason acquisition Berra, whose only action of the preseason came in the opener in San Jose (giving up five goals on 36 shots). Berra was much better tonight in limited action, stopping all nine San Jose shots on goal.
With Gibson and Ryan Miller slated to be the two goalies in Anaheim, Berra will most likely be with San Diego of the AHL to start the season.
"You're always happy after a game like that helping out the goalie," said Ducks defenseman Brandon Montour. "Gibby [John Gibson] and Reto [Berra] played well back there and we moved the puck well. There were a couple little areas we could fix up, but, in the end, a shutout is nice."
The Ducks (3-3-0) close out the preseason Saturday against the Kings in LA, then open the regular season next Thursday vs. the Arizona Coyotes at Honda Center. Limited tickets are still available for that game by visiting anaheimducks.com/tickets.