SAN JOSE – Tommy Wingels had a goal and two assists, and the Sharks jumped all over the Anaheim Ducks early in a 4-0 win at HP Pavilion on Wednesday night.
The Sharks won back-to-back games in regulation for the first time in two months with a pair of victories over their Pacific Division rival. San Jose also won in Anaheim on Monday, 5-3, sweeping the home-and-home. It was just the second time the Sharks won consecutive games in any fashion since starting the season with seven straight victories.
Wingels’ three-point effort was the first of his career. He assisted on two of the Sharks’ three first period goals, and capped the scoring with a laser past Jonas Hiller on a two-on-one shorthanded rush with Logan Couture in the third period.
Antti Niemi made 22 saves for his second shutout and 21st of his career.
For the second time in two games against the Ducks, the Sharks jumped out to a 3-0 lead. It took less than 10 minutes on Wednesday.
Joe Pavelski scored for the second straight game just one minute in. Ryane Clowe, returning from a four-game absence due to a shoulder injury, pushed the puck deep into the zone and TJ Galiardi moved it to Pavelski behind the net. Pavelski, who had just one goal in his last 18 games before scoring against the Ducks on Monday, beat Jonas Hiller on a wraparound.
Less than four minutes later, Patrick Marleau’s shot from the slot deflected on its way past Hiller, with Wingels creating traffic in front of the net at 4:52.
The second power play unit made it 3-0 after Wingels drew a holding call on Sheldon Souray. Scott Gomez and Marty Havlat whacked away at a loose puck in front of the net, and it squirted out to Wingels, who helped push it to Burns for a one-timer. Burns’ fourth goal gave San Jose a comfortable cushion at 9:20, and came before the Ducks registered a single shot on goal.
Anaheim played better after falling behind, but couldn’t get anything past Niemi. Pavelski dove in front of an Andrew Cogliano shot two minutes into the second period, while Corey Perry fired high after dancing through traffic to the slot to get an open look later in the period.
Wingels’ shorthanded goal at 6:44 of the third, his third of the year, put the game away for San Jose after Couture brought the puck up the ice and sent a nice saucer pass to Wingels’ stick.
The Sharks finished 3-2-0 against the Ducks by winning the final regular season game, although there is the potential for a playoff matchup. Anaheim is in second in the Western Conference while the Sharks remain in the eighth spot.
A pair of fights entertained the sellout crowd, too. Clowe went with Bryan Allen with the Sharks up 1-0, while Perry and Dan Boyle traded blows in the third when the game was already out of reach for Anaheim. Perry took a potshot at Boyle minutes before the fight on Wingels’ shorthanded rush that wasn’t seen by the referees.
The Sharks improved to 9-1-4 at HP Pavilion in what was the first of a season-long, seven-game homestand.
San Jose was 1-for-3 with a man advantage, while the Ducks were 0-for-2.
Burns’ goal was just the fifth for the Sharks’ second power play unit this season. Matt Irwin (three) and Havlat had the others.
Wingels’ shorthanded goal was the Sharks’ second of the season.
Niemi’s shutout was his first since Feb. 9 vs. Phoenix in a game the Sharks lost, 1-0, in a shootout. The goaltender, making his 20th start in the last 21 games, is now 7-7-0 career against Anaheim.
Hiller started for the second time this season against the Sharks, and lost them both (0-1-1). He allowed four goals on 29 shots.
To make room for Clowe, Adam Burish sat for the first time this season. There were no other lineup changes from Monday’s game in Anaheim.
The Sharks will host the Detroit Red Wings, winners of three in a row, on Thursday at HP Pavilion. Detroit will be well rested, having not played since Monday in Phoenix. Head coach Mike Babcock and several Detroit staff were at Wednesday’s game.
Following Detroit, the Coyotes make their third and final visit on Saturday. Next week, the Canucks, Wild, Flames and Stars appear at HP Pavilion.
Of the Sharks’ 16 remaining games, 10 are at home.