Led by a stellar performance in goal from a guy affectionately known as "Yogi" amongst his teammates, the Ducks dug deep and came out of San Jose with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Sharks on Monday.
In his first start as a Duck, veteran goaltender Reto Berra answered the bell with 40 saves through regulation and overtime and stopped six of nine in a thrilling nine-round shootout the give the Ducks their first three-game winning streak of the season.
Corey Perry, Cam Fowler, Brandon Montour and Antoine Vermette found the back of the net in the nine-round shootout, with the veteran Vermette scoring the game winner that sent the Ducks bench into a frenzy.
In addition to their three-game winning streak, the Ducks have earned points in six of the last seven (10 points, 4-1-2) and improved to 4-1-1 in back-to-backs this season, including a 2-0-1 mark in the second game. The Ducks have earned points in the last 10 in a row against the Sharks (17 points, 7-0-3) dating to Nov. 7, 2015 and have points in last six played in San Jose (4-0-2).
Perry also scored a goal and finished with two points, as did Montour (two assists) and Rickard Rakell (1g/1a). Fowler made his return to the lineup four weeks to the day after suffering a knee injury against the Montreal Canadiens.
Joonas Donskoi scored both goals for San Jose, which went winless on their three-game homestand. Martin Jones stopped 28-of-30 shots in regulation and overtime, and made three saves in the shootout.
The Sharks struck first at the 3:31 mark of the opening period off a Ducks turnover in the defensive zone. After pouncing on a loose puck, Donskoi skated in all alone and deked Berra for his sixth goal and ninth point of the season. The goal snapped a four-game streak without a point for the 25-year-old right wing, who, with the goal, tied his season high from last season.
Anaheim's best chance in the opening 20 minutes came off Perry's stick, who was left all alone in front on Jones but was unable to lift the puck over Jones' glove. Perry had his back facing Jones as he received the puck and spun around to get a quality chance on the Sharks netminder.
Not to be denied again, Perry tied the game off a nice feed from Montour, who found the former 50-goal scorer alone in the high slot with a crisp cross-ice pass just 45 seconds into the second period. The goal gave Perry 50 career points (26g/24a) in 67 career games against San Jose. His goal announcement within the arena was met with a heavy chorus of boos from Sharks fans. With an assist on Perry's goal, Rakell continued his torrid pace. The assist was Rakell's 10th point (2g/8a) over his past eight games, including points in three straight (3 points, 1g/2a).
Video: ANA@SJS: Perry scores off great pass from Montour
The Ducks struck again at the 11:39 mark of the second period when Rakell pounced on a juicy rebound left out in the slot for his team-leading eighth goal of the season. Perry and Montour were credited with the assists, giving all three players (including Rakell) multi-point performances.
Video: ANA@SJS: Rakell pokes home rebound for nifty PPG
San Jose responded with a power-play goal with 11:41 remaining in the third period, this one also coming from Donskoi, who managed to corral a rebound in the crease and send it off the crossbar and across the stripe on the backhand.
An entertaining overtime frame eventually led to a nine-round shootout, and it was Vermette who sealed the win to give the Ducks their third victory in a row.
Video: ANA@SJS: Vermette scores in 9th round to end SO
The Ducks will return home to open a two-game homestand beginning Wednesday against the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.