A week ago the Ducks nearly handed San Jose their first regulation loss before finally losing to them in a shootout. The Ducks succeeded on their second attempt, a 2-1 regulation win at the Honda Center that gave them three wins in a row at home and a nice sendoff for a six game road trip.
"It just shows we can compete with every team in the league," said Sheldon Souray, who had the game winning goal. "San Jose is a great team and we played them hard last game and didn’t get the results. We wanted to play hard tonight and try to get a different result, and we did that."
Viktor Fasth got his third nod in net for Anaheim and he continues to impress. While he looks like he is still a teenager, he plays like the experienced 30 year old that he is. He stopped 25 of 26 shots while his teammates blocked 24 more.
"You just go in there and try to play," Fasth said. "Try to help the team as best as you can. The team helps me out a lot out there. I'm just trying to do my best every day."
With his third win in as many starts, he now sports a 1.30 goals against average and .946 save percentage. When stacked up against Jonas Hiller (3.54 goals against and .871 save percent), Fasth might be seeing even more time in net for the Ducks.
Logan Couture got the Sharks only goal at 18:08 of the first period. The Ducks could not buy a goal from Sharks' back up, Thomas Greiss, who stopped shot after shot after shot for the first 2 1/2 periods, including some astounding point blank chances.
It took a weird and lucky bounce of the puck for the Ducks to get on the board at 3:55 of the third period.
Tommy Wingels tried to get the puck off the wall behind the net. Instead of getting out of harms way, the puck bounced right back into the crease where Saku Koivu had no problem putting it in behind Greiss. Greiss was unsure of where the puck was and had turned to the back of the net, completely unaware that the puck was now in the net.
Koivu looked as amazed as everyone else.
The Ducks power play, which had been rolling along nicely in the previous two games, was largely ineffective against San Jose. Even a 5 on 3 chance, the Ducks first of the season, yielded no results and a couple shots on goal by San Jose.
Finally at 13:21, Souray, he of the 100 mph plus shot, slammed a puck home behind Greiss to put the Ducks ahead for the first time.
"You've got to credit (Francois) Beauchemin for having the patience with the puck to find me," said Souray. "Ninety-nine percent of the time, the goaltender makes that save if it's just me and him. I saw him move over a bit and it gave a side of the net to shoot at. I really wanted to score that one because I'd had some chances before and hadn't done that. As long as guys aren't jumping in the way of my shot, I've got a chance. But credit the guys for standing there. I've hit a couple of guys already, and that's not fun."
Unlike the previous meeting between the two teams, the Ducks held on to the lead and got the regulation win.
The Ducks are now 6-1-1 and at this rate, may very well be battling to the very end with the Sharks for the Pacific Division title.
Now the team heads out on the road for the next two weeks, where they want to continue their winning ways. That is something the fans can easily get used to.
In other notes: Cam Fowler remains out with an "upper body" injury that is likely a concussion that was sustained in the game against the Los Angeles Kings. How long he remains out is unknown, but in his absence, Sami Vatanen has stepped into the line up. Brad Staubitz made his Ducks debut on the fourth line while Devante Smith-Pelly sat out as a healthy scratch.