Andersen backstops Ducks to win vs. Sharks

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[February 03, 2016]  ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Goalie Frederik Andersen, relegated to a backup role with the emergence of rookie John Gibson, played the pivotal role in the Anaheim Ducks' latest attempt to maneuver into playoff position.

Andersen stopped 30 shots to lead the Ducks to a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night in front of 16,588 at the Honda Center.

"He basically was the reason we won," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We were pretty sloppy as a group, and we didn't play as well as we've been playing. But when that happens, you need your goalie."

Defenseman Hampus Lindholm explained how Andersen provides an asset beyond his 6-foot-4 frame.

"He's a big goalie and you feel confident as a D-man to have a guy like that behind you," Lindholm said. "You can play a little bit more on your toes."

Andersen made his three biggest saves when Anaheim had to defuse the Sharks' 6-on-4 power play in the final two minutes. Defenseman Cam Fowler, playing for the first time in nearly six weeks after spraining his right knee Dec. 27, received a hooking penalty with 2:07 to play. San Jose coach Peter DeBoer then pulled goalie Martin Jones for an extra attacker.

But Andersen stopped three slap shots in the final 51 seconds to secure the win.

"I actually thought we generated some really good looks on the power play," DeBoer said. "But their goalie made some huge saves. Your goalie is your best penalty killer on a lot of nights."

Lindholm, center Rickard Rakell and left winger Ryan Garbutt scored for the Ducks (23-18-7), who earned their fourth successive victory and moved into a tie with the Arizona Coyotes for third place, the Pacific Division's final automatic playoff spot. The Ducks and Coyotes will face each other Friday night.

Right wingers Dainius Zubrus and Tommy Wingels scored for the Sharks (26-19-4), who suffered their first loss in regulation since Jan. 7. As a result, San Jose fell nine points behind the first place Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division. Jones made 22 saves but center Joe Thornton's 10-game point streak ended.

The Ducks, who did not record a shot on goal for the first 6 minutes, 13 seconds, took a 1-0 lead with 3:51 left in the first period. Rakell dragged a rising wrist shot from the right circle into the upper-left corner of the net for his third goal in five games and his 11th of the season.

The Sharks tied the score 2:43 into the second period, when Zubrus scored his second goal of the season. Zubrus deflected defenseman Brent Burns' slap shot from the blue line between the legs of Anaheim defenseman Simon Despres and off Andersen's glove.

Anaheim responded with two goals in less than eight minutes to build a 3-1 advantage. Lindholm scored the first shorthanded goal of his career and his fourth of the season on a shot from the left circle that ricocheted off the crossbar at 4:19 of the second period.

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"That's a tough one to give up in a game like this," DeBoer said. "It's a playoff-type game and usually, you know it's going to be a one-goal game at the end of the night. You don't want to beat yourselves and when you give up a shorthanded goal, you beat yourselves."

Garbutt followed at 12:07 with his first goal since being acquired Jan. 21 from the Chicago Blackhawks. After Jones stopped right winger Chris Stewart's wrist shot on a 3-on-2 breakaway, Garbutt secured the long rebound and converted from the right circle for his third goal of the season.

Wingels narrowed the Sharks' deficit to 3-2 at 13:12 of the second period. Left winger Joonas Donskoi passed the puck from the slot while surrounded by Rakell and Fowler to Wingels, who swept a shot from the left circle for his fifth goal.

NOTES: San Jose scratched RW Mike Brown and D Matt Tennyson. ... Sharks C Joe Thornton and LW Patrick Marleau are the third pair of top-two choices from the same draft to amass at least 1,000 apiece. Both were chosen in 1997. The other pairs were Guy Lafleur and Marcel Dionne (1971) and Pierre Turgeon and Brendan Shanahan (1987). Lafleur, Dionne and Shanahan are in the Hall of Fame. ... Anaheim scratched D Korbinian Holzer, C Shawn Horcoff and C Harry Zolnierczyk, who was recalled Tuesday from San Diego of the American Hockey League. ... The Ducks' road game against the Washington Capitals has been rescheduled for April 10. The Jan. 22 contest was postponed because of a snowstorm. ... Ducks RW Corey Perry scored 10 of his team-high 20 goals in the past 16 games. ... Ducks G John Gibson was the first goaltender in 15 years to play in the NHL All-Star Game after starting the season in the AHL. Philadelphia's Roman Cechmanek accomplished the feat in 2001.

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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