Sharks 4, Ducks 3 (SO)

Ross McKeon, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Center Joe Pavelski scored in the shootout and goaltender Antti Niemi denied all three Anaheim shooters as the San Jose Sharks edged the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 on Saturday night.
San Jose's fifth straight win capped a perfect homestand that after wins over Tampa Bay and New Jersey included an especially impressive run of three victories over Western Conference powers Los Angeles, St. Louis and Anaheim in the span of four nights.
Anaheim scored twice within a 4:04 span late in the third period to tie the game.
Anaheim defenseman Alex Grant scored his first career goal at 12:50 during his NHL debut and fellow Duck defenseman Ben Lovejoy beat a screened Niemi at 16:54 after Anaheim center Nick Bonino beat Pavelski in the circle.
The Sharks struck with a three-goal second to turn a 1-0 deficit after one period into a 3-1 lead after two.
Center Logan Couture redirected defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic's drive from the left point past Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller for his ninth goal of the season at 4:16 to tie the game.
With defenseman Justin Braun off for holding, the hosts scored short-handed for the third time this season with a big assist going to Hiller.
The Anaheim goalie came way out to play a puck that defenseman Cam Fowler couldn't hold in the San Jose zone, and under pressure from center Joe Thornton Hiller tossed the puck right to left winger Patrick Marleau, who scored at 10:13 into an empty net after trading passes with Thornton.
San Jose scored again late when right winger Martin Havlat patiently skated to the side of the net and lifted a backhand shot over a fallen Hiller with 56.2 seconds remaining after defenseman Scott Hannan's drive from the left point bounced off of right winger Mike Brown loose in front of Hiller.
The Sharks outshot the Ducks 12-8 during the opening 20 minutes, but trailed 1-0 at the intermission.
San Jose had a pair of power plays, and managed a combined five shots during the four minutes of 5-on-4 skating, but couldn't solve Hiller.
The Ducks scored at the 5:56 mark when right winger Corey Perry snuck behind the San Jose defense on a line change and beat Niemi with a shot over the left glove. Anaheim center Ryan Getzlaf threaded a perfect pass between San Jose defensemen Jason Demers and Hannan, who didn't see Perry slip behind them.
The Sharks had a scare early on when a puck deflected off the stick of right winger Tomas Hertl into the face of Thornton less than two minutes after the opening faceoff. The Sharks' captain returned at mid-period with stitches to his right eyebrow.
NOTES: Rivals San Jose and Anaheim met for the first time this season on Saturday. The Ducks brought a 6-0-0 record against Pacific foes into the game while the Sharks were 8-1-2 vs. division opponents. ... Anaheim RW Teemu Selanne did not make the trip. The 43-year-old one-time Sharks sniper has been skipping the second of back-to-backs this season. ... D Nolan Yonkman and D Bryan Allen were healthy scratches while D Sheldon Souray (right wrist), RW Jakob Silfverberg (broken hand), D Francois Beauchemin (upper body), D Luca Sbisa (right wrist) and G Viktor Fasth (lower body) remain out for the Ducks. ... LW James Sheppard, RW Matt Pelech and D Matt Irwin did not dress for San Jose. ... The Sharks embark on a four-game road trip that includes stops in Toronto, Pittsburgh, Carolina and St. Paul, Minn., as they'll be on the road for nine of December's 14 games. ... The Ducks continue a challenging stretch with a home game against Los Angeles on Tuesday before playing back-to-backs in Chicago and St. Louis next Friday and Saturday.

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