Ducks Hang On Against Sharks, 4-3
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -Corey Perry scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period, and the Anaheim Ducks overcame goalie Jean-Sebastian Giguere's injury for a 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.
Giguere, the NHL leader with 23 wins, made 14 saves for Anaheim before leaving late in the second period. He was hurt when his skate apparently got caught near one post as Sharks rookie Joe Pavelski skated behind his net, allowing Steve Bernier to score the tying goal.
Michael Wall relieved Giguere and had to make just four saves in his second NHL appearance. The Sharks' offense faltered when Giguere left, and Perry broke a tie by deflecting Samuel Pahlsson's long shot past Evgeni Nabokov, who made 26 saves.
Chris Kunitz and Dustin Penner scored for the NHL-leading Ducks, who still haven't lost consecutive games in regulation during one of the greatest starts in league history. Anaheim has a franchise-record 62 points in its first 39 games.
Anaheim's Travis Green scored from the blue line on the first shift of his first game in a month to open the third chapter of the burgeoning rivalry between the Pacific Division's top teams. They split the first two meetings this season, with San Jose beating Anaheim 4-3 just 10 days earlier.
Christian Ehrhoff and Patrick Marleau also scored for the Sharks, who have lost three of five on a six-game homestand. San Jose got a late two-man advantage, but couldn't score on a lengthy power play.
Giguere remained in uniform for the third period, watching from behind the glass.
Green made an exceptional play to get his first goal of the season just 2:39 in, rifling a quick shot from the blue line past Nabokov. The 13-year veteran signed with Anaheim as a free agent last summer, but has been a healthy scratch nearly all season long, including the previous 11 games.
After Ehrhoff tied it, Joe Thornton set up Marleau's team-leading 16th goal by outhustling two Ducks to a loose puck, drawing a delayed penalty while holding off a defender and then making a perfect cross-ice pass to the San Jose captain, who skated off the bench and fired a long shot past Giguere.
Kunitz tied it again early in the second period with his 17th goal. The Ducks then pounced on another San Jose lapse, with Penner sneaking around the net to beat Nabokov late in the second period. But when Giguere injured himself, Bernier had an open net to score his 11th goal of the season.
Wall, a 21-year-old rookie filling in while Ilya Bryzgalov recovers from a strained groin, had played in just one previous NHL game, winning 5-3 against Calgary on Nov. 26. The Sharks couldn't even put a shot on Wall until 12 minutes remained in the third period.
Notes: Green has played just four times all season, but finally cracked the lineup when C Todd Marchant sat out for the first time all season with an undisclosed lower-body injury. D Sean O'Donnell sat out his second straight game to rest his foot injury. ... Another sign that the Sharks are pleased with Pavelski: Coach Ron Wilson presented the rookie with jersey No. 8 - his college number - before the game. Pavelski had been wearing No. 53. ... Nabokov hasn't allowed more than one goal to any opponent except Anaheim since Nov. 15.