ANAHEIM (AP) — The schedule was not at its most inviting for the San Jose Sharks. Sunday presented their sixth game in nine nights, and this one on a back-to-back.
Yet when it was over, the Sharks had swamped the Anaheim Ducks 6-2, getting goals from five different players and another sterling game from goalie Aaron Dell for their fifth win in six games.
“We had a lot of reasons not to show up and play as well as we did tonight,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. “It wasn’t a perfect game and we got some breaks, but it was good win.”
The Sharks’ offense was led by two goals and an assist from Mikkel Boedker, and a goal and an assist from Joe Thornton. San Jose took only 26 shots on goal but took advantage of what they got.
“They didn’t really have a tremendous amount of scoring chances, but the ones that they did, they made count,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “We’re normally a better defensive club than what you saw tonight.”
Games between these division rivals are typically low scoring, and at the end of the first period, San Jose led just 1-0, with Dell putting away a pair of Anaheim breakaways.
The game took on new life when the Sharks jumped out to a 3-0 lead on goals from Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Kevin Labanc and Boedker and first hinted at a runaway.
The Ducks finally scored late in the second period when Rickard Rakell found the net on 5-on-3 power play, and then however briefly, made things interesting when Ryan Getzlaf scored early in the third to make it a 3-2 game.
Thornton answered just a minute later with a slap shot during a power play that sailed past goalie John Gibson.
“That was huge,” Dell said. “It killed all their momentum. It was kind of a turning point.”
Boedker’s second goal took the life out of Anaheim and ended the night for Gibson, who allowed five goals on just 22 shots.
“It’s one of those that you leave scratching your head,” Carlyle said. “Coming off an off day, you should have more energy ... playing against a team that played last night. They should be the tired ones.”
The Ducks had won four consecutive games at home but never took the lead against a San Jose team that senses it’s ready to peak in the second half.
“We had all four lines going,” said the Sharks’ Melker Karlsson, who scored their final goal. “I think we’re a really good team, hard to beat, play good defensively. If we do everything right, we can beat every team here.”
San Jose’s confidence was hardly dented by winning their second game in as many nights.
“We had to play a structured game,” Labanc said. “We outsmarted them, we were blocking shots.”
San Jose’s efforts have been buoyed by the strong play of Dell, who has been starting in place of the injured Martin Jones, who is supposed to be their No.1 goalie. Dell made 33 stops on Sunday.
“The goalie was excellent again,” DeBoer said. “That’s where it starts for us.”
“Unbelievable,” Labanc said. “He’s been a real key to all of our success, stopping all those pucks. He’s a great goalie.”
NOTES: Rakell scored his team-high 17th goal. He has five goals in his last six games. ... Gibson was removed after giving up the fifth goal. Karlsson scored on Ryan Miller. ... The two previous games played by these teams ended in shootouts, each winning one. ... Vlasic hit Anaheim’s Brandon Montour in the face with a puck in the first period, but he was uninjured and returned later in the period.
Sharks: Return to San Jose on Tuesday night to play the Jets.
Ducks: Remain at home to play the Rangers on Tuesday night.