Goals have been at a premium in the three Sharks-Ducks matchups this season, and Friday night at Honda Center was no different.
Mike Santorelli’s turnaround wrist shot from the circle was the only goal of the night, as Anaheim claimed a 1-0 win over San Jose. John Gibson earned the shutout with 23 saves, including a stop in the closing seconds on Brenden Dillon.
The Sharks (14-11-0) saw their seven-game road winning streak come to an end. They have lost three of four overall.
The goal came early in the third period after Anaheim won a puck battle behind the net. Nate Thompson was able to gain control and found Santorelli, who spun around and went high off the near shoulder of Martin Jones at 2:49 of the final frame.
San Jose didn’t do much in the third period, getting outshot 10-2.
There have been just four goals in the three meetings between the California rivals. The Sharks won 2-0 on Oct. 10 in their home opener, but Anaheim responded with a 1-0 victory at SAP Center on Nov. 7.
Anaheim (10-12-15) pulled to within three points of the Sharks in the division, although San Jose has two games in hand.
In terms of prime scoring chances, the Ducks had the better looks in the first while San Jose’s opportunities were more dangerous in the second.
Anaheim nearly took the lead about four minutes into the game. On a power play, defenseman Sami Vatanen buzzed a wrist shot through traffic from the high slot that rang squarely off of the cross bar.
Jones’ best save of the opening frame came on Thompson, who was trying to finish off a two-on-one rush with 2:39 to go.
In the middle frame, Melker Karlsson had a great chance from the high slot about five minutes in, but his attempt was blocked at the last split second by Kevin Bieksa. Brent Burns made some fancy moves around Rickard Rakell in cutting to the net, but John Gibson swallowed up the Wookie’s wrist shot from the circle with 1:36 to go.
The fourth and final meeting is back at Honda Center on Feb. 2.
The Sharks went 0-for-4 on the power play against the league’s top-ranked penalty kill, after scoring at least one power play goal in each of the last four games.
Anaheim was also 0-for-4. The Sharks are 31-for-35 over their last 12 games in the penalty killing department.
Gibson was the third starting goalie for Anaheim to face the Sharks. Frederik Anderson took the loss in the first meeting, while Anton Khudobin shut out San Jose on Nov. 7 with 31 saves.
Jones suffered just his second loss on the road with 25 saves, falling to 12-8-0 on the season. He started for the 11th time in the last 12 games.
On Thursday, Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said that Alex Stalock would “probably” get the start on Saturday at home against the Lightning.
The Sharks recalled Micheal Haley and Dylan DeMelo on Friday, with Haley slotting in on the fourth line and DeMelo sitting as a healthy scratch.
Second-year center Chris Tierney was scratched for the first time this season.
Patrick Marleau (5 games), Joe Pavelski (4 games) and Joel Ward (4 games) all saw their scoring streaks come to an end. Marleau also had a four-game goal scoring streak.
The Lightning will be the more rested club on Saturday, as they visit SAP Center in the second half of a back-to-back with the Sharks. Tampa Bay began a three-game California swing by beating the Ducks at Honda Center on Wednesday, 2-1.
Next week, the Sharks have another back-to-back in Calgary on Tuesday and Edmonton on Wednesday.