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Ducks Top Sharks 5-2

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
San Jose, CA - San Jose played Anaheim for the third time this week Saturday night at HP Pavilion. The two clubs split shootout wins in the first two battles, but Anaheim dominated the Sharks 5-2 in the third contest, leading 3-0 after two periods and held off a late Sharks push to seal the victory.

Click here for photos (PICS ) from the game.

Anaheim Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, left, stops a shot attempt from San Jose Sharks right wing Mike Grier, right, in the second period  (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
The strong netminding matchup featured Evgeni Nabokov and Jean-Sebastien Giguere, while Douglas Murray (day-to-day) missed the contest with a sore ankle.

The Sharks drew two penalties in the game’s first four minutes, but failed to connect on either power-play opportunity.

 The Ducks failed on their first power play as well, but when Todd Bertuzzi snuck behind the defense and was tripped up, a penalty shot was awarded. Bertuzzi skated in and made the move to Nabokov’s stick side, but the Sharks netminder played it the entire way and blocked the shot.

With 2:03 left in the first, Anaheim drew first blood. Chris Pronger unleashed his cannon shot from the blueline and Rob Niedermayer was parked out in front creating traffic. The seeing-eye puck clanged off the post and in for the 1-0 lead.

The Ducks would take that lead to the lockerroom at the end of the period.

San Jose came out in the second period banging the body hard, with Kyle McLaren hammering George Parros and Patrick Marleau nailing Pronger. However, there were no goals to be had in the first ten minutes of the period.

With 9:28 left, Anaheim struck on the power play. Corey Perry took the puck in close and jammed home the loose rubber with Ryan Getzlaf and Pronger picking up the helpers.

Just one minute later, a Christian Ehrhoff pass was intercepted by Scott Niedermayer and his rebound was picked up by Chris Kunitz, who slid the puck behind Nabokov. What was a one goal game became a three-goal deficit in a 60 second time span.

When Ryan Carter tripped up Patrick Rissmiller with less than three minutes left in the middle period, the Sharks had a later power play opportunity, but that quickly expired when Matt Carle was called for slashing.

San Jose had a late three-on-two rush, but Mike Grier’s centering pass didn’t connect with anyone and Team Teal trailed 3-0 at the second break.

When Rissmiller rammed Perry into the boards, the Ducks winger took exception and pulled Rissmiller to the ground, earning a power play. Unlike the Sharks first four efforts up a man, they found the back of the net this time. Working from the right faceoff circle, Marleau centered the puck with three teammates out front and it deflected in off a Ducks player.

The crowd noise that continued onto the next shift for Thornton’s line, but that faded
San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton (19) is defended by Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sean O'Donnell (21) in the second period (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
fast when a defensive pinch led to a Ducks breakaway. On the play, Bertuzzi skated in slowly and then went upstairs on Nabokov’s glove side, reinstating the three goal lead.

With 8:20 left in the third, the gap was again closed to two. This time Marcel Goc, who had been a healthy scratch the previous game, forced a turnover behind Giguere. He then immediately moved toward the goal line and stuffed the wraparound through the Ducks netminder.

The Sharks pulled Nabokov with a minute and a half remaining, but Anaheim found the empty netter to close out the 5-2 Sharks loss.

NHL.COM has named Torrey Mitchell's shorthanded goal against Anaheim on Sunday as its goal of the week.

The Sharks will take two days off for the holidays before heading to Los Angeles where they will face the Kings on December 26 at 7:30 PM. The game will be broadcast on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX FM, Sharks Radio Affiliates and

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -Chris Pronger had a goal and an assist, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 27 saves in the Anaheim Ducks' second win in San Jose in five days, 5-2 over the slumping Sharks on Saturday night.

Todd Bertuzzi, Corey Perry and Chris Kunitz also scored for the Ducks, who won their third straight with two strong opening periods against one of their most competitive rivals.

Sean O'Donnell added an empty-net goal to seal another win for Anaheim, which has taken at least a point from the Sharks in the California rivals' last eight meetings, including Tuesday's 2-0 win. The latest victory pulled the defending Stanley Cup champions even with San Jose for second place in the Pacific Division standings.

Patrick Marleau scored and Evgeni Nabokov stopped 19 shots for the Sharks, who lost their fourth straight home game over the last eight days - all to division rivals. Marcel Goc also scored for the Sharks, who will limp away next week for a four-game stint on the road, where they have the NHL's best record at 12-3-2.

Two nights after the Sharks gave up a short-handed goal to Phoenix in the final minute of regulation in a shootout loss, San Jose still appeared to be down, skating with little passion or purpose in the first two periods. Marleau's goal was the Sharks' first in their last seven periods against Anaheim.

San Jose Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov, of Kazakhstan, stops a shot on goal against the Anaheim Ducks in the third period (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Nabokov stopped Bertuzzi's penalty shot in the first period, but the Ducks scored first when Pronger rang a shot off the post. The goal momentarily silenced the San Jose fans who have booed Pronger whenever he touches the puck since his days with St. Louis.

Perry, who scored the go-ahead goal in Anaheim's previous win in San Jose, put the Ducks up 2-0 on a power play midway through the second period. Defenseman Craig Rivet blocked Perry's first shot with his stick, but Perry gracefully grabbed it and scored his 19th goal.

Just 61 seconds later, Kunitz capitalized on the Sharks' bumbling defensive play to tap home his 12th goal.

Marleau ended Giguere's bid for his second shutout of the Sharks in five days when he tipped home a power-play goal early in the third period - but San Jose gave up a breakaway moments later, and Bertuzzi backhanded home his fifth goal in 24 games.

Goc added his first goal of the season with 8 1/2 minutes left.

Notes: Giguere has won six of his last seven starts against San Jose. ... The Sharks scratched D Doug Murray, whose mistakes contributed to both of Anaheim's goals in the clubs' previous meeting. ... The rivals meet for the sixth time this season Jan. 13 in Anaheim. ... Joe Thornton has just one assist in the Sharks' last four games, his least productive stretch of the season.

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