SAN JOSE The Anaheim Ducks scored three unanswered goals and prevented the Sharks from re-taking the Pacific Division lead with a 5-3 win over San Jose at HP Pavilion on Monday night.
The Sharks (36-26-10) remain in ninth place in the Western Conference, on the outside looking in with just 10 games left in the regular season.
Should the Sharks end up missing out on the playoffs, their lack of success against the rival Ducks will be a big reason why. Anaheim, buried in last place in the Pacific Division, has won four of five games against San Jose in the season series. They meet once more at Honda Center on March 28.
The Ducks scored three straight goals to take a 4-2 lead.
The first came on the power play late in the first, after an undisciplined and avoidable penalty by Brent Burns, who interfered with Teemu Selanne for some reason at the defensive blue line after a dump in. Francois Beauchemin got position in front of the net and put in a pass from Nick Bonino at 17:52 to make it a 2-2 game at the intermission.
Anaheims momentum carried over into the second. A pass from Joe Thornton hopped over the stick of Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and the puck bounced into the neutral zone. Ryan Getzlaf gobbled it up and skated in on a breakaway, and although Niemi made the stop, a charging Corey Perry put in the rebound less than a minute into the frame.
There was more. Nate Guenins shot from the point one of 20 from Anaheim in the second found the back of the net with Nick Palmieri setting a screen at 9:59 to give the Ducks a 4-2 lead.
The Sharks made it a 4-3 game on Joe Pavelskis deflection of a Burns wrister from the point at 17:29, but Anaheim responded just 33 seconds later. Thomas Greiss, who entered for Antti Niemi after Guenins goal, came out to challenge a shot from Palmieri skating up the wing. Douglas Murray blocked the shot, but Palmieri got it right back and beat an out of position Greiss to give the Ducks their two-goal cushion back before the intermission.
Jeff Deslauriers made it hold up in the third, although the Sharks didnt give all that much of a push. San Jose had a power play when Devante Smith-Pelly went off for a high-stick, but the Sharks didnt generate much towards the net despite good zone time by their top unit.
The Sharks struck first on Marty Havlats third goal in the last two games. Havlat, at the side of the net, took a pass from Brent Burns and skated around Jeff Deslauriers to deposit his fifth of the season at 6:24 on the power play.
Anaheim responded when Bobby Ryan scored on a rebound at 7:15, but San Jose took a 2-1 lead when Havlat set up Ryane Clowe for a one-timer in the slot at 9:20.
Deslauriers made his first appearance in net since Jan. 10, as Jonas Hiller had started the previous 32 games for Anaheim. Thats the longest streak of its kind since Antti Niemi started 34 straight for San Jose in the second half of last season.
The Sharks visit the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.
Odds and ends: Tommy Wingels (upper body), TJ Galiardi (upper body), Michal Handzus (undisclosed) were all out for the Sharks. Jim Vandermeer and Colin White were healthy scratches. Greiss made his first appearance since Feb. 26 in Minnesota, as Niemi played all of the last 10 games.