Ducks prevail against Sharks in nine-round shootout
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Sharks are in the midst of a rough stretch, and all they could really take out of Monday night is the consolation they earned one point.
The Anaheim Ducks, however, were more than happy to win on the second night of back-to-back contests.
Antoine Vermette scored in the ninth round of a marathon shootout as Anaheim beat San Jose 3-2 at SAP Center.
“It’s fun when you win,” Vermette said. “Big two points for us, coming off of last night’s game, you’re in back-to-back games, going on the road, never easy. But especially those first two periods, we came up with a solid effort. Big team effort, big points for us.”
The Sharks outshot the Ducks 39-30 in regulation, including a 20-7 advantage in the third period, and then 3-0 in overtime. But San Jose still surrendered two points to a division rival that played the night before when the Sharks were idle.
“The losses are unacceptable, no doubt,” Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said. “But I think last game felt like it was coming. Tonight there were times whether it’s just the flow of the game — sometimes you have it, sometimes they have it — that third period felt strong. We tied it up, felt like we were going to get another one.”
San Jose broke a seven-game drought on the power play to tie the game 2-2 at 8:19 of the third. Joonas Donskoi scored his second of the game and seventh of the season by backhanding a rebound off the crossbar and over the goal line 31 seconds after Jakob Silfverberg slashed Joe Thornton.
“It felt really good, it felt dangerous, had some good looks, went through a few seams, created a lot of opportunities at the net and we banged one in there,” forward Logan Couture said about the Sharks snapping an 0-for-19 drought with the man-advantage. “We could have had a couple more for sure.”
And Donskoi was a force all night. Donskoi, Brent Burns and Tim Heed were the only three of nine shooters to convert against Anaheim backup goalie Reto Berra in the shootout. Donskoi became only the fourth Shark in club history to score twice in regulation and convert in a shootout.
“He’s one of the guys who has driven our team and stepped up,” Pavelski said. “Tonight was a huge game by him. You could see it right from the start. He had legs, he wanted to play the puck. And it continued all night.”
Vermette put the final shot past Sharks goalie Martin Jones, who also surrendered goals to Cam Fowler, Corey Perry and Brandon Montour in the shootout to extend the San Jose losing streak to three games.
Berra stood tall for Anaheim in the shootout, especially considering it was his first start of the season after three relief appearances.
“I’m really happy,” Berra said. “It was a tough start and good chance that they scored, but after that I get better and better into the game. I stayed calm, I stayed big, so I’m really happy.”
Meanwhile, the Sharks didn’t manage a single win in three games at home.
“One out of six (points) is not good,” Couture said. “We’ve got to find a way to win games.”
Anaheim rallied for the only two scores of the second period to take a 2-1 lead into the third.
The Ducks scored 45 seconds into the period when Montour made a perfect cross-ice feed from the right point to Perry on the opposite post — a pass that eluded Couture’s outstretched stick and threaded between shutdown defensemen Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun. Perry punched home his fourth goal to tie it 1-1.
The period featured tight checking until just past the halfway point. After Jones failed to freeze a Perry shot, Rickard Rakell nudged his stick in to score his eighth of the season at 11:39 for a 2-1 lead.
The Sharks scored the only goal of the opening period despite getting outshot 10-6 and surrendering the only power play of the period.
Donskoi equaled his previous season’s goal total of six in just his 19th game by starting and finishing a nice play in the Anaheim end. Donskoi scored only six times last year in 61 games after potting 11 during his rookie campaign consisting of 76 games in 2015-16.
Donskoi pokechecked the puck off the stick of Anaheim fourth-line center Dennis Rasmussen to Couture, who slid a pass back to the San Jose winger. Donskoi, who slipped behind the Ducks defense, made a move back to his forehand and scored through Berra’s five hole at 3:31.
Berra made 40 saves. Jones stopped 28 shots.
NOTES: D Cam Fowler returned to the Ducks’ blue line after missing 12 consecutive games with a knee injury. ... San Jose F Melker Karlsson sustained an upper-body injury on Saturday that kept him out Monday against the Ducks. ... C Ryan Carpenter and D Dylan DeMelo were San Jose’s healthy scratches. D Korbinian Holzer, D Jaycob Megna and D Francois Beauchemin did not dress for Anaheim, which is carrying nine blue-liners on its active roster. ... San Jose next visits Arizona on Wednesday, and Anaheim hosts Vegas on Wednesday.