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Ducks win streak runs into Bracken Kearns
Rookie scores his 1st NHL goal in 3-1 Sharks win
12/29/13 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks kicked off a home-and-home series with the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night, over-powering a fatigued Ducks lineup with a 3-1 win at SAP Center. Three separate lines scored for San Jose, and Antti Niemi turned aside 30 shots help the Sharks climb to within 5 points of the Ducks who sit atop the Western Conference standings. The Sharks storyline was complete with a big win, a rookie scoring his 1st NHL goal and another snake-bitten Shark scoring for the first time in 4 weeks.

* Anaheim entered the game with a 10 game winning streak and 6 game road winning streak. They only had to make the short 1 hour flight from Southern California after beating the Phoenix Coyotes in overtime on Saturday night, but the Sharks were more rested, having last played on Friday night in Phoenix.

* The Sharks turned up the heat early on Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen, who has started his NHL career with 9 wins in his first 10 games. The Sharks worked the puck around the Anaheim net after throwing a pair of shots on Andersen. Joe Pavelski found himself with the puck as he skated around the right post and found Brent Burns in the slot for a shot that found twine through traffic.

* Wingels went shoulder first into the boards on the first shift after the Burns goal, injuring himself on the play. It appeared as if Wingels caught an edge as he tried lining up Mark Fistric behind the Ducks net, hitting his left shoulder and his head. He skated directly to the locker room for treatment. The Sharks forward tried to skate a shift, but shut it down for the rest of the evening.

* Logan Couture scored for the first time in almost a month, breaking a painful drought midway through the opening period. The Sharks forward took a feed from Burns and raced around Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin and in on Andersen, lifting a puck top shelf over the Duck goaltender's left shoulder. The goal was Couture's 11th of the season and 100th of his NHL career, coming in his 271st game. Only Jonathan Cheechoo reached 100 goals faster as a Shark (246 games).

* The Ducks seemed intent on cutting into the Sharks lead to start the 2nd period, even though they had to kill off the remainder of an Andrew Cogliano cross checking penalty. Anaheim held the Sharks zone for an extended period, forcing a pair of icing calls against San Jose. Their efforts proved fruitless as San Jose pushed their lead to three goals later in the period.

* Bracken Kearns made the most of his call up a day earlier, when he scored his first NHL goal at 9:16 of the 2nd period. Kearns took advantage of an Andrew Desjardins shot that bounced off Andersen and floated out in to the slot. The journeymen forward jumped on the ice and raced up the gut, punching a shot past Andersen. After getting the shot off, the 32 year-old rookie tried putting on the breaks, causing himself to go head over heels. The scrappy forward jumped to his skates and pumped his fist in jubilation.

* Tim Jackman tried to congratulate Kearns by offering to fight the Sharks forward. Kearns declined, recognizing that his team was up by three goals and didn't need any added motivation to keep the pressure on the Ducks.

* The two teams played a penalty-free 2nd period, although the Sharks got away with a Marc-Edouard Vlasic cross-check to the bridge of Daniel Winnik's nose. Winnik was furious with the non-call, barking at referee Kyle Rehman before heading to the locker room for stitches.

* Corey Perry appeared to jam a puck over the goal line 5 minutes into the 3rd period, but Rehman and Dave Jackson lost sight of the puck, whistling it dead.

* Perry was sent to the sin bin at 8:47 for an illegal check to the head of defenseman Brad Stuart. Perry's notorious disregard for his opponents was on clear display as his blatant punch leveled Stuart. The Sharks could have made the infraction more painful by scoring, but the power play continues to struggle.

* Patrick Maroon denied Antti Niemi from recording his 3rd shutout of the season when he rifled a feed from Parry past the Sharks goaltender with 8:28 left in regulation.

* Couture just missed on bagging his 2nd of the night moments after Maroon's goal when he snapped a shot off the crossbar, having clearly beaten Andersen.

* San Jose ruled the faceoff circle, winning 40 of 63 draws (63%).

* The Ducks outshot the Sharks 31-23, but goals were the name of the game. Brent Burns led all skaters with 5 shots on goal.

* In addition to his big goal, Kearns skated 19 shifts, logging 12:34 of ice time. He also logged 4 hits. He made the most of his lone shot on goal.

* With his assist on Bburns' goal, Joe Thornton tied Alex Delvecchio for 25th all-time in assists.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
ANA 0 0 1 1
SJ 2 1 0 3
1st period - 1, SJ, Burns 12 (Pavelski, Thornton), 1:17. 2, SJ, Couture 11 (Burns, Demers), 10:07.
2nd period - 3, SJ, Kearns 1 (Desjardins, Brown), 9:16.
3rd period - 4, ANA, Maroon 3 (Perry), 11:32.
Penalties
1st period - Pavelski, SJ (interference), 6:48; Cogliano, ANA (cross checking), 9:40.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - Perry, ANA (illegal check to head), 8:47.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
ANA - Andersen 23 20
SJ - Niemi 31 30
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
ANA 14 10 7 31
SJ 13 6 4 23
Power Play Conversion
ANA 0 of 1
SJ 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Brent Burns
Antti Niemi
Bracken Kearns
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: Jackson, Rehman. Linesmen: Cvik, Rody.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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