SAN JOSE -– Twice this young season, the Sharks looked like they were about to flat line.
Both times, the Anaheim Ducks have acted as the defibrillator.
For the second time, the Sharks ended a four-game losing streak with a win over one of their main rivals. Tommy Wingels had one goal and three assists and Logan Couture had two goals to help the Sharks to a 6-4 win on Saturday night at SAP Center.
The Sharks led 5-1 in the second period and seemed to be fully in control before the Ducks stormed back to get to within 5-4, but San Jose (11-10-4) held on to notch its first win on a six-game homestand (1-1-2).
After trading goals midway through the first period, the Sharks scored four straight to open up a hefty second period lead.
Couture opened the scoring earlier in the first period, and then broke a 1-1 tie to give San Jose the lead for good at 13:35 with a shorthanded goal, taking advantage of a puck that bounced over Hampus Lindholm’s stick at the Ducks’ offensive blue line. Couture sped in on a breakaway and found space between Frederik Andersen’s pads.
A power play goal made it 3-1 just before the intermission, when Joe Thornton threaded a pass through the crease to Joe Pavelski to slam it home at 19:46.
Wingels deflected in a Patrick Marleau blast from just inside the blue line to make it 4-1 at 2:46 of the second period, and soon after that Tomas Hertl turned the clock back to 2013 in giving the Sharks a four-goal lead.
James Sheppard helped force a turnover, and Hertl swooped in to pick up the loose disc along the wall. He cut towards the net and lifted a soft backhand into the top corner at 6:09.
Anaheim, though, didn’t go quietly into the night.
Corey Perry got the comeback effort started, when he charged in on net and ahead of Sheppard and redirected the puck past Antti Niemi at 18:52 of the second period.
The Ducks struck twice more early in the early part of the third period. Perry’s second of the night came when a Ryan Getzlaf floater deflected in off of his stick just 29 seconds into the final frame.
Niemi robbed Perry of a hat trick a few minutes later, but a Patrick Marleau turnover seconds later resulted in Getzlaf lifting a perfect backhander into the top nearside corner at 4:20 to bring the Ducks back to within 5-4.
Matt Nieto’s empty net, power play goal -– his first goal since the season opener on Oct. 8 –- capped the scoring.
The Sharks have won six straight over the Ducks in San Jose, and improved to 2-0-0 against them this season, including a 4-1 win at Honda Center on Oct. 26.
Couture’s first goal at 9:05 of the first period gave the Sharks a lead for the first time on their homestand. They had not led at all in four straight losses, a span of 259 minutes and five seconds.
Couture was questionable even to play in the game, after he missed the morning skate due to illness. He and Pavelski are now tied for the team lead in goals with 10 apiece.
The Sharks and Ducks meet twice at Honda Center next month on Dec. 22 and Dec. 31. Anaheim returns to SAP Center to wrap up the season series on Jan. 29.
The Sharks finished 2-for-5 on the power play. The goal by Pavelski ended a string of 18 straight penalties killed by Anaheim.
Mike Brown, playing for the first time since Oct. 11 due to a broken finger, took three minor penalties in the game, although one was coincidental.
Anaheim was 0-for-5. The Sharks had allowed one power play goal against in each of their last three games.
Niemi improved to 8-7-3 on the season, with 30 saves. He’s 12-9-0 career vs. the Ducks.
Andersen was replaced by Jason LaBarbera after Hertl’s goal made it 5-1. Andersen allowed five goals on 19 shots, while LaBarbera stopped all 15 shots he saw.
Alex Stalock returned to back up Niemi. Stalock had been out since Nov. 8 after needing minor left knee surgery.
Troy Grosenick was placed on injured reserve with an apparent concussion.
Tyler Kennedy was placed on injured reserve earlier on Saturday with a lower body injury, clearing space for Brown.
Defensemen Matt Irwin and Scott Hannan returned as the third defense pair in place of Mirco Mueller and Matt Tennyson. John Scott played for just the second time since the previous Ducks-Sharks game on Oct. 26.
Ducks defenseman Eric Brewer made his Anaheim debut after he was acquired from Tampa Bay on Friday. The Ducks were without several players due to injury including four defensemen: Clayton Stoner, Ben Lovejoy, Francois Beauchemin and Mark Fistric.
The Sharks will play the fifth of their six-game homestand when they host Philadelphia. The Bruins visit on Thursday before the Sharks travel to Calgary and Edmonton next weekend on back-to-back nights.