The Ducks came into San Jose with a three game winning streak, their first streak of the season. The best news for Anaheim was that they would not have to face Joe Thornton, who was finishing up the second game of a two game suspension for an illegal hit on St. Louis winger, David Perron.
Better news was that the Ducks were able to rely on Jonas Hiller in goal to help them steal two points in a 3-2 overtime victory against the Sharks. Hiller was called upon to make 39 saves, 21 of which came in the third period of the game.
Torrey Mitchell scored at 1:42 of the first period and Dany Heatley nearly made it 2-0, except the puck was batted down with a high stick. It looked like it could be another blowout game for the Ducks.
The Ducks recovered and persevered and Jason Blake tipped in Toni Lydman’s shot at 9:42 to tie up the game. In the second period, Corey Perry took advantage of a juicy rebound and put it behind Antero Niittymaki at 8:27 to put the Ducks ahead of San Jose.
Coming out with a vengeance in the third period, it was all Sharks. Having a couple of power plays certainly helped and after the second one of the period expired, Devin Setoguchi had the game tied up again at 9:05. At that point, the Ducks did not have any shots on goal in the period.
If the Sharks continued to dominate, there was no way that the Ducks would have had any hope of any points out of the game, but Hiller remained solid in net and the Ducks continued to work and not self-destruct.
Overtime was winding down and it appeared the Ducks would be headed to a shootout, but taking advantage of a face off win by Saku Koivu, the Ducks finished off the Sharks in dramatic fashion for the second game in a row. The puck got back to Lubomir Visnovsky at the point, who aimed it towards the net. It found the back of the net with just :32.6 seconds remaining.
Another unattractive win in a game that was not perfect, but they still found a way to get things done. But a win is a win and every point counts.
To show how important each point is, the Ducks now stand in fifth place in the Western Conference and are second place in the Pacific Division. Just a few games ago, they were 14th in the conference and at the bottom of their division. Winning matters and points against division rivals matter even more.
They went to San Jose with a three game winning streak and now the Ducks come home to Anaheim with a four game winning streak. Let’s not stop the progress now.