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Ducks blank Sharks for fourth straight win

by Eric Gilmore /

SAN JOSE -- The Anaheim Ducks needed only one goal to end their eight-game losing streak against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center.

Backup goaltender Anton Khudobin made 31 saves for his fifth career shutout and Corey Perry scored a first-period goal, leading the Ducks to a 1-0 victory against the Sharks on Saturday.

The Ducks won their fourth straight game and beat the Sharks in San Jose for the first time since winning 5-3 on March 19, 2012.

"It's big," defenseman Cam Fowler said of winning in San Jose. "You have to prove to yourself and to the guys on the team that you can come into hostile environments and get wins when you need them, which we do right now. Because come playoff time you don't want to have bad thoughts in your head about going into a building.

"These guys have taken it to us pretty good the last year, year and a half. So we'll take this win now. It's early in the season, there's plenty of room for improvement, but it's a great win for our team right now."

The Sharks (7-7-0), who were shut out for the second time this season, went 4-0-1 overall against Anaheim last season and beat the Ducks 2-0 in their home-opener on Oct. 10.

"It's been a long time," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I don't think I ever won when I was in Washington, in this building. I know it's difficult because they just keep coming. They're a really, really good team. So we just got to make sure that now that we've done it we can do it again."

Goaltender Martin Jones made 16 saves for the Sharks.

Perry gave the Ducks (5-7-2) the lead at 4:56 of the first period with his second goal of the season. Perry got behind Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Tomas Hertl, took a long stretch pass from Ryan Getzlaf and beat Jones on a breakaway with a shot to the upper left corner for his second goal in three games.

"Patty [Maroon] made a heck of a play on the wall," Perry said. "When he makes that play to [Getzlaf], I'm gone, because [Getzlaf] has that vision, that passing ability to make that play. I just had to find an opening and he's going to get it to me."

The Sharks gave up the first goal for the seventh time in their past nine games.

"That's probably one of the best starts you could possibly think of," Perry said. "You come out in the first five, 10 minutes, and you have that 1-0 lead, especially in this building where they can come out and throw everything at the net. They throw the kitchen sink at you and they try and win the game in the first period. If you weather that storm against these guys it's a huge accomplishment. We were ready to play tonight."

Anaheim was playing its second game in two nights, but the Ducks jumped on the well-rested Sharks, taking the game's first six shots.

"The first 10 minutes they had the jump on us," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "We were standing around watching. I don't know why. From that point on I thought we played a [heck] of a game. Our goalie was great. We put a lot of pressure on them, put a lot of shots on net, a lot of opportunities."

But Khudobin stopped them all in his first start since Oct. 22. He brought a 4.06 goals-against average into the game.

"I hadn't played in a while, but at the same time I tried to get in the game as fast as I could," Khudobin said. "The guys did a [heck] of a job. In the first 10 minutes, I didn't even see one shot. The effort was tremendous today."

Khudobin led the Ducks to their first road win of the season and first shutout of San Jose since Oct. 14, 2011. The 1-0 shutout of the Sharks was Anaheim's second in franchise history.

Khudobin stopped Patrick Marleau's shot from close range on a breakaway midway through the third period, then covered the puck. Sharks captain Joe Pavelski had a good chance from the low slot with just over seven minutes left, but Khudobin made a glove save.

The Ducks killed two penalties in the final 4:45, including 80 seconds of a 6-on-4 advantage after the Sharks pulled Jones for the extra attacker with Fowler in the box. Khudobin made a glove save on Pavelski's deflection of Vlasic's shot with less than 30 seconds left.

The Sharks dropped to 0-for-19 at home this season on the power play.

"It's just not going in the net," Marleau said. "We got a lot of shots, traffic in front, a few tips. The goalie made some saves through traffic. We've just got to stick with it, keep shooting pucks and being hungry."

The Sharks' best chance to score in the opening period came during their only power play; Khudobin stopped all five shots he faced, including Pavelski's wrist shot from the low slot.

The Sharks appeared to pull even at 7:28 of the second period when Tommy Wingels got to a loose puck in the neutral zone and fired a shot from the right circle that was ruled a goal. But after a video review, the goal was disallowed. Replays showed that the puck hit the crossbar at the right corner where it meets the post and ricocheted into the blue paint, never crossing the goal line.

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