Monday, October 27, 2014
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Sharks pound Ducks in physical battle

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[October 27, 2014]  ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The San Jose Sharks ended two streaks Sunday, their own three-game skid and the Anaheim Ducks' seven-game surge, while rolling to a 4-1 win at the Honda Center.

Defensemen Brett Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic and centers Joe Pavelski and Tommy Wingels scored as San Jose (5-4-1) built a 4-0 lead. Left winger Patrick Marleau and center Logan Couture each contributed two assists.

"It was an exciting game; we played with passion for the first time this year really," Vlasic said.

Goaltender Antti Niemi stopped 33 of 34 Anaheim shots en route to his fourth win of the season.

While the Sharks trail the Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings -- who won their sixth straight game Sunday against Columbus -- in the standings, they beat the two Southern California teams by a combined 8-1 score, with a victory in each team's building. They beat the Kings 4-0 in the two teams' season opener at Staples Center.

"They were hungry," Ducks left winger Matt Beleskey said. "They had a great start; we weren't really moving our feet and it showed."

Beleskey broke up Niemi's shutout bid on a power-play goal with just over five minutes remaining. Goalie Frederik Anderson made 33 saves for Anaheim (7-2-0).

The Sharks opened the scoring when Burns sent a seeing-eye wrist shot through traffic off a clean faceoff win by Marleau. Burns' third tally of the season came 8:25 into the first period.

The Sharks went to the power play with 1:22 left in the opening period and earned a 2-0 edge a minute later. Center Joe Thornton centered the puck deftly for Pavelski, who redirected it sharply past Andersen for his fifth goal of the campaign.

"We've come out fast pretty much every game so far this year and we've let teams back in," Pavelski said. "What's important is that we stayed with it."

A contentious sequence in the second period included matching minor penalties for high sticking to San Jose defenseman Scott Hannan and embellishment to Anaheim defenseman Sami Vatanen, as well as roughing minors to Anaheim center Ryan Getzlaf and San Jose defenseman Mirco Mueller.

"It's a Sharks-Ducks game. We knew it was going to be like that and I'm sure the next one will be the same," Beleskey said.

The uproar was capped off by the Sharks taking a commanding lead when Vlasic slipped a backhand shot a shot past Andersen.

In the third period, Wingels added an insurance goal on the power play with 8:20 remaining. Wingels followed his own shot and backhanded a rebound past Andersen.

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Anaheim was 0-3 on the power play until Beleskey's academic goal. San Jose capitalized on two of its power plays as well as the four-on-four situation during which Vlasic scored.

"Usually if you win the special teams battle in this league, you'll probably be coming away with the win," said Sharks coach Todd McLellan, who called his power play "dangerous" and praised the play of its second and third units.

In addition to the two fights earlier in the game, several skirmishes broke out in the third period. A total of 165 penalty minutes were handed out in the game. The Ducks' bench was practically evacuated, as Anaheim was down to just 10 skaters in the closing moments of the game.

"They were cruising along and playing real well and we were frustrated because we had been losing," said McLellan, who called this his team's best game of the year. "Our paths kind of crossed and things flipped over."

NOTES: Anaheim LW Dany Heatley (groin), D Bryan Allen (lower body) and RW Kyle Palmieri (ankle) each missed their ninth straight game, while LW Patrick Maroon (knee) missed his sixth consecutive contest. ... San Jose LW Raffi Torres (knee) and C Tyler Kennedy (upper body) have yet to make their season debut. ... Sharks RW Mike Brown (hand) was unavailable for the eighth straight game. ... C/RW Chris Wagner was assigned to the Ducks' AHL affiliate in Norfolk, Va. ... The game drew a crowd of 16,954.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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