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Sharks 4, Ducks 0

The SportsXchange

SAN JOSE -- Joe Pavelski, Patrick Marleau, Brent Burns and Tommy Wingels each scored a goal, and the San Jose Sharks beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-0 Wednesday.

Antii Niemi stopped 22 shots to record his second shutout of the season as the Sharks beat the Ducks for the second straight game, and won their third in four games to maintain their spot in the Western Conference's final playoff position.

Jonas Hiller recovered from a slow start to record 25 saves, though it wasn't enough to stop the Ducks from losing their fourth straight.

The Ducks, who finished the regular-season series with San Jose, still have a solid grasp on the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference, but their recent slide has exposed a few holes.

The Sharks struck early again, just as they did in Monday's 5-3 win in Anaheim.

Just one minute into Wednesday's game, Pavelski collected a goal in his second straight game. He had just ended an eight-game scoreless streak and a 10-game streak without a goal.

Ryan Clowe kept the puck alive along the boards and sent it around the back of the net, where T.J. Galiardi pushed it up to Pavelski, who hooked a shot past Hiller.

Clowe was involved in a fight with Anaheim's Bryan Allen minutes later. Allen took exception to seeing a teammate getting hit from behind by Clowe against the boards.

Allen's actions failed to motivate the Ducks, who gave up another goal a minute after the confrontation. Logan Couture skated the puck out of danger after winning it in the corner. He set up Marleau for a one-timer to make it 2-0 less than five minutes into the contest.

Marleau had not recorded a point in his previous three games.

Midway through the first period, Scott Gomez took a shot that bounded free. Martin Havlat tried to punch it in. Hiller failed to gain control before Wingels cleared it to Burns, who fired into the net as Hiller was blocked from view.

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau immediately called a timeout and lit into his players. It seemed to help, as the defense stiffened behind a concerted effort from Francois Beauchemin, who was not on the ice for any of the first three goals.

Wingels capped the scoring with a short-handed goal 6:44 into the third period.

The Sharks remain at home to face the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night, while the Ducks head for Western Conference-leading Chicago for a game Friday. San Jose is three points behind the Red Wings, with a game in hand, for the fifth playoff spot.

NOTES: Before the current losing streak, the Ducks had recorded points in 18 of their previous 19 games, including 14 wins. ... The Ducks opened a four-game road trip Wednesday that takes them to Chicago, Columbus and Dallas. ... Between April 1 and April 5, the Ducks and Stars meet three consecutive times. ... The Sharks play their next six games at home, where they are 8-1-4 on the season. ... Wingels, who also assisted on Marleau's goal, recorded his first multi-point game of the year. ... Burns scored his fourth goal in seven games since returning from injury, and recorded his ninth point.

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