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Ducks dump Sharks on Souray's late goal

The SportsXchange

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- All it took to keep the Anaheim Ducks close after the visiting San Jose Sharks took an early lead in a Monday night matchup between the two hottest teams in the NHL's Pacific Division: a little grit.

All it took for the Ducks to tie it up late: a little luck.

All it took for Anaheim to finally seize control: a little Sheldon Souray.

The Ducks scored twice in the third period to shock the division-leading Sharks and emerge with a 2-1 win at the Honda Center.

Souray banged a slap shot past San Jose goalie Thomas Greiss at 13:21 of the third period after Anaheim moved the puck around the offensive zone. Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin passed the puck to center Ryan Getzlaf, who continued it around the San Jose defense to Souray. Souray unleashed a quick, high shot just inside the blue line and past Greiss for his third goal of the season.

"We were just trying to get it on net," Souray said. "We had some traffic in front. Beauch made a great play, showed a lot of patience there on that play. He kept it and made guys commit to him and left me open."

Playing their third game in four days and squaring off against talented San Jose for the second time in a week, the Ducks languished for much of the game as the Sharks (7-1-1) controlled the puck. Logan Couture gave San Jose an early lead with his sixth goal of the season.

Anaheim (6-1-1) mounted a rally in the second period, attempting 14 shots, but none got by Greiss, who started in place of Antti Niemi.

It wasn't until midway through the third period that the Ducks managed to catch the Sharks off-guard.

Saku Koivu tied it for the Ducks early in the third period, taking advantage of a lucky bounce of the puck. After the Sharks attempted a clearance behind the net, the puck bounced off the wall and glanced off Greiss, right to Koivu, who looked up to find the gift and put it in the net.

The Ducks, who are off to their best start since 2006-07 -- and off to the best offensive start in team history with 29 goals in eight games -- will take anything they can get.

"Those don't come along very often," Koivu said. "You appreciate those once in a while, but you've just got to believe that if you keep pushing, keep working, sooner or later, it's going to go in for you."

Added Couture: "It was a bad bounce, and that happens throughout the year. We have to find a way to get a point out of that game. It's disappointing. They found a way to win and we didn't. We should have got one."

Koivu's goal came just five minutes after Anaheim had perhaps its best scoring opportunity to that point. Center Nick Bonino, who had a hat trick in the Ducks' 7-4 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, had back-to-back good looks at the goal. Both were stopped by Greiss, who managed to fend off the Anaheim offense for much of the game. Greiss made 30 saves in all.

Couture put the Sharks ahead with a muddled goal late in the first period after San Jose advanced the puck into the Ducks' zone with ease. The Sharks bounced the puck around and challenged Viktor Fasth twice, but Couture put it past him with assists from Andrew Desjardins and Tommy Wingels.

Fasth rebounded, though, to become the first goalie in Anaheim history to win his first three starts. He and the Ducks shut down all six San Jose power plays, and he finished with 25 saves.

"Where I thought we failed a little bit was the power play," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. "I thought that let us down tonight. That was, and has been, and will be, a huge part of our team. We didn't get it done six times. We had every opportunity to put at least two up on the board, and we just didn't do our thing."

The Ducks also went 0-for-6 on the power play.

NOTES: In the first matchup between the teams, the Sharks earned a 3-2 shootout victory on Jan. 29 at HP Pavilion in San Jose. ... Entering the game, the teams were 50-50-9 in the series history. ... Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau and McLellan rank among the top coaches in the game, at least statistically. Boudreau was the fastest coach in modern NHL history to get to 200 wins, and he ranks third among active coaches in career winning percentage (.654). McLellan was second fastest in history to 200 wins, and he leads active coaches in career winning percentage (.664). ... The Sharks loaned defenseman Nick Petrecki to Worcester of the AHL on Sunday for a conditioning assignment.
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