SAN JOSE -- Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau called it the best game of the season for his Ducks, yet it still wasn't enough to beat the red-hot San Jose Sharks.
The 6-0 hosts scored late in regulation and converted the only goal of a shootout to post a comeback 3-2 win over their Pacific Division rivals on Tuesday night.
"It was our best game of the season without a doubt," Boudreau said. "When was the last time the Sharks were held to 18 shots in this building in overtime? I don't remember too often."
Michal Handzus scored in the shootout before five straight skaters were denied by San Jose's Antti Niemi and Anaheim's Jonas Hiller.
Niemi stopped Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry and watched as Teemu Selanne hit the post.
"Good teams are going to find a way to win," said Scott Gomez, who earned his first point as a Shark with the primary assist on Couture's game-tying goal with 2:45 remaining in the third period.
Couture scored his fourth goal of the early season on a shot that squeezed between the glove and leg pad of Hiller to tie the game 2-2.
Each team had a chance in overtime. Joe Thornton glanced a shot off of the near post after taking a slick feed from Ryane Clowe early in the five-minute session. And Niemi somehow stuck his left pad out to deny Corey Perry in close.
Anaheim dominated the opening 40 minutes on the shot clock, rolling up a 19-5 advantage at mid-game and 21-10 through 40 minutes. Yet it only led by a single goal entering the final period.
"We made the adjustment and we were a little different in the third period," Gomez said. "Sometimes you have to be ugly like that."
The Ducks, with five shots on three straight failed power plays, finally broke through at even-strength to score goals on consecutive shots just before the midway point of the second period.
Anaheim defenseman Francois Beauchemin scored his first of the year with a simple drive along the goal line from the boards to the right of Niemi, who mishandled the puck at 8:40.
Just 59 seconds later Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic turned the puck over and Anaheim's Matt Beleskey one-timed a shot over Niemi's right glove for a one-goal lead.
The Sharks scored the only goal of a first period that was otherwise dominated in shots by the Ducks with a 13-4 advantage. Joe Pavelski capped a perfectly executed 2-on-1 at 9:48 when Anaheim's Tony Lydman got caught up ice. Thornton hit Pavelski with perfect cross-ice feed.
The Sharks' improved penalty kill held the Ducks to an 0-for-4 night on the power play.
"We don't give them time to set up and we're better in front of the net," Niemi said.
NOTES: D Dan Boyle did not play Tuesday. Coach Todd McLellan said Boyle missed the morning skate due to a bout with the flu, but thought he would be ready to play. Rookie D Nick Petrecki made his NHL debut in Boyle's place. ... Sharks injured D Brent Burns skated with his teammates during the morning skate on Tuesday for the first time this season. Burns has a lower-body injury related to offseason hernia surgery and does not have a timetable for his return. ... The Ducks won six of the last seven meetings between the two teams heading into the first meeting of 2013. Anaheim's three-game winning streak at HP Pavilion was snapped. ... San Jose was the third team in league history to begin a season with five consecutive wins, all by a margin of two goals or more. ... Anaheim returns home for a three-game stand that starts on Friday and precedes a season-long six-game road trip. ... F Brad Staubitz, F Devante Smith-Pelly and D Sami Vatanen did not dress for Anaheim while C James Sheppard and LW Frazer McLaren were healthy scratches for San Jose.