Sharks 3, Ducks 1

Ross McKeon, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Sharks goalie Antti Niemi was on top of his game, and San Jose halted the Anaheim Ducks' franchise-record winning streak with a 3-1 victory Sunday.
Right winger Brent Burns, center Logan Couture and center Bracken Kearns scored for San Jose, and Niemi stopped 30 of 31 shots as the Sharks (25-8-6) won their fourth in a row.
The Pacific Division-rival Ducks (28-8-5) saw their 10-game winning streak end, and they didn't earn a point for the first time in 14 games. Anaheim, which plays host to San Jose on Tuesday, fell to 0-1-1 against the Sharks this season.
Niemi was denied his 26th career shutout when Anaheim right winger Patrick Maroon scored his third goal of the season at 11:32 of the third period on the Ducks' 30th shot of the game.
The Sharks weathered a couple of extended Anaheim cycles in the second period, needing to use their timeout after one icing call, but they reached the second intermission with a 3-0 lead thanks to a milestone goal from Kearns.
San Jose finally cleared the zone as center Andrew Desjardins drove the left wing and attempted a wrap-around after briefly losing control. The rebound went into the slot, where Kearns crashed and poked his first career goal past Anaheim goalie Frederik Andersen at 9:16.
Kearns, 32, was recalled from AHL Worcester before the game. He didn't make his NHL debut until age 30.
Anaheim lost right winger Daniel Winnik with 7:48 left in the second period before he returned in the third stitched up. The one-time Shark was cut on the face by an undetected elbow thrown by San Jose defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who was sparing with Winnik during a previous faceoff.
Anaheim posted a 14-13 edge in first-period shots, but the Sharks scored twice at even strength and had a number of other close calls to take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
Burns scored his 12th goal just 77 seconds after the opening faceoff. Left winger Joe Pavelski, robbed moments earlier by Andersen on a weak-side one-timer, fed Burns from the behind the net to cap an early extended shift around the net by the hosts.
San Jose lost right winger Tommy Wingels for the rest of the night on the next shift. The third-line right wing collided with Anaheim defenseman Mark Fistric as both struggled to get off of the ice. Wingels was helped to the locker room, and the Sharks were forced to juggle four lines with 11 forwards.
Couture finally ended his 11-game goal-less drought, and he did so in dramatic fashion. Couture took an outlet feed from Burns and skated around Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin before roofing a backhand shot in close at 10:07.
Couture, who had only two assists in the 11 games since last scoring into an empty net at Toronto on Dec. 3, collected his 100th career goal.
NOTES: Sunday's game was the first of a home-and-home series pitting two of the best home teams in the league. Anaheim is 14-0-2 at home, and San Jose improved to 14-1-3 at the SAP Center. The clubs play Tuesday at the Honda Center. ... D Scott Hannan and C John McCarthy were healthy scratches for San Jose, which remains without RW Martin Havlat (lower body), LW Tomas Hertl (knee), RW Raffi Torres (knee) and RW Adam Burish (back). ... The Ducks continue to miss D Sheldon Souray (wrist), D Luca Sbisa (hand) and G Viktor Fasth (muscle inflammation). Anaheim did not dress LW Matt Beleskey, D Sami Vatanen and RW Teemu Selanne, who did not travel for the second night of back-to-back games.

What to Read Next