With a lineup that featured a heavy dose of NHL regulars, the Ducks kept their foot on the gas and never looked back in a 2-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Wednesday. Corey Perry and Joseph Cramarossa scored for Anaheim, but it was Jonathan Bernier who stole the show with his 22-save shutout performance to give the Ducks their first win of the preseason (1-4-1). Martin Jones made 19 saves for San Jose, who lost for the first time in four preseason contests (3-1-0).
The game marked the preseason debuts for Perry and fellow World Cup of Hockey participants Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler, who all flew from Orange County earlier today to join the rest of the team in San Jose.
After controlling the first half of the opening period, the Ducks went on their first of four power plays when Sharks center Melker Karlsson was whistled for a delay-of-game penalty for shooting the puck over the glass at 10:04. Jakob Silfverberg had the Ducks' best chance with the man advantage, but whiffed on a cross-ice pass from Perry, who found Silfverberg alone at the far post.
Bernier's first test of the night came minutes later when Sharks right wing Joonas Donskoi unloaded a slap shot from the high slot that the 28-year-old goaltender managed to glove down.
With 6:44 remaining in the opening period, Jared Boll and center Michael Haley got acquainted with one another with a heavyweight bout that saw both players land several blows including an uppercut from Boll.
Jones had to come up with several key stops in the minutes that followed, including a dazzling left-skate save on Mason Raymond.
Perhaps his biggest save came in the closing seconds of the period, when he robbed Ducks defenseman Shea Theodore with his blocker. Theodore, who was a healthy scratch in last night's 2-1 loss in Edmonton, activated from the point to create his scoring chance.
Anaheim's second power play of the game came six minutes in the second period after left wing Nikolay Goldobin was sent to the box for hooking. Silfverberg would again have a glorious chance, but couldn't lift the puck over Jones' leg pad.
Jones would get bailed out by the post a minute later when Nick Ritchie's backhand shot caromed off the crossbar and out of harm's way.
With momentum on their side, the Ducks opened the scoring with Perry's first goal of the preseason at the 7:42 mark of the second period. Kesler and Cam Fowler drew the assists on the goal.
Less than two minutes later, Cramarossa increased the lead to 2-0 after pulling off an impressive move on defenseman Tim Heed before sending a backhander over Jones' arm.
Bernier's biggest test came in the final seconds of the second period when he was forced to make a desperation save on Sharks center Chris Tierney, who crashed the net and had several jabs at a loose puck in the feet of Bernier.
The third period would begin with the ice tilted heavily in San Jose's favor. Karlsson and San Jose right wing Joel Ward reeled off consecutive chances that Bernier turned aside in dramatic fashion. Shortly after, Bernier would make another stellar save, this time with his left pad, denying right wing Barclay Goodrow.
San Jose's momentum was halted momentarily after defenseman Dylan DeMelo clipped Raymond with a high stick, resulting in a two-minute infraction with under 10 minutes to play.
Tempers would flare with less than five minutes remaining in regulation after Haley delivered a thunderous check on Boll along the glass. A massive scrum ensued, and both players received matching roughing minors.
The game would end with San Jose on a 6-on-5 man advantage after pulling Jones for an extra attacker.
The Ducks and Sharks will close out the preseason on Sunday at Honda Center.