Andersen, Ducks hold off Sharks
Anaheim hangs on for fourth win in a rowby Abbey Mastracco / NHL.com Correspondent
ANAHEIM -- Rickard Rakell, Hampus Lindholm and Ryan Garbutt scored goals, and Frederik Andersen made 30 saves to help the Anaheim Ducks to a 3-2 win against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday at Honda Center.
The victory was the fourth in a row for the Ducks (23-18-7), who are 11-3-1 since Dec. 26.
"That was a really big game for us," Andersen said. "We wanted to make sure that we countered their push. They're a team that comes out really hard in the first period. We had a good first period, tightened things up a little bit and the last minute or two we were scrambling a little bit but the [penalty-kill] came up for us there."
San Jose (26-19-4) lost in regulation for the first time since Jan. 7.
Video: SJS@ANA: Andersen makes a great stop on Ward
"It was there; we were fighting hard and we had the chances to score tonight but we didn't find a way to get that extra one that we needed," Sharks forward Joe Pavelski said. "Overall, it was good when we laid it in and forechecked it was there for us. But we were a little too cute through the neutral zone and it kind of went the other way."
After San Jose forward Dainius Zubrus' tip-in 2:43 into the second period tied the game at 1-1, Lindholm put the Ducks ahead to stay at 4:19 with a shorthanded goal. With Rakell in the penalty box for tripping, Ryan Getzlaf found Lindholm for a high snap shot that went past Martin Jones and gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead.
"I think they were kind of pushing us a little bit there," Lindholm said. "We've been really good and confident on the PK and [Getzlaf] made a heck of a pass and it somehow got into the net there. That was a big goal for us."
Garbutt made it 3-1 at 12:07 with his first goal since being acquired by the Ducks from the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 21, burying a rebound just after coming over the boards on a line change.
Video: SJS@ANA: Lindholm fires a shot past Jones
Tommy Wingels' slap shot beat Andersen 65 seconds later to get the Sharks within a goal.
Rakell opened the scoring 16:09 into the first period. He split the defenders with a pass to Patrick Maroon and took a return feed before beating Jones top-shelf for his 11th goal of the season.
The Ducks, the NHL's top penalty-killing team, went 3-for-3 and have killed off 48 of the last 50 opposition power plays. With 2:07 left, defenseman Cam Fowler, in his first game back from a knee injury, was penalized for hooking. The Sharks got four shots on goal but couldn't beat Andersen, who won for the second time in 10 career decisions against San Jose (2-8-0).
Video: SJS@ANA: Wingels finds loose puck, scores
"He's basically the reason we won," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I thought we were pretty sloppy as a group and we didn't play as well as we've been playing. When that happens, you need your goalie."
Pavelski said the Sharks weren't happy with their power-play performance.
"They probably won a few more faceoffs than we did," he said. "At least against me they did. So I could have helped a little bit. But we had some looks."
Video: SJS@ANA: Rakell's roofs shot for early lead
Jones finished with 22 saves.
The Sharks continue their four-game road trip at the St. Louis Blues on Thursday. The Ducks visit the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday in the second of three straight Pacific Division games.
"Every game is really important and we're taking it that way," Boudreau said. "It's like a doubleheader in baseball; you want to win that first game. We were sloppy and there's things that we could do a lot better, but we'll be better at them in the next game."