Teemu Selanne skates well against a lot of teams. When he faces the San Jose Sharks, the Finnish Flash seems invincible.
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Selanne scored a pair of first-period goals and the Anaheim Ducks held off San Jose 3-2 on Monday night in their best start since their Stanley Cup-winning season five years ago.
”The first goal is always the most important one,” said Selanne, held to just one assist in his first four games. ”You want to try to get the goals coming. This is not an easy building in which to play, so it was good to get a few goals.”
Selanne has 95 points in 80 games against the Sharks. He has scored 639 goals overall, one fewer than Dave Andreychuk for 13th place on the NHL career list.
Corey Perry, last season’s NHL MVP, scored for the second straight day as the Ducks won their fourth straight. In his first start of the season, Dan Ellis made 41 saves. Anaheim has won three times in four days, including a 1-0 victory over the Sharks on Friday.
”He came in and played very well for us when we needed him last year,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said of Ellis. ”It was only natural for him to come in after a good training camp and play well in his first game.”
Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Brent Burns scored for San Jose, which has lost three straight since a season-opening win.
Antti Niemi was sharp at times, making 19 saves. The Sharks goalie missed training camp and the start of the season after having a cyst removed from near his knee.
The Ducks scored a power-play goal for the second straight game after starting the season 0 for 15 with the advantage. Selanne netted his 237th power-play goal, tying him with Brendan Shanahan for fifth on the NHL career list.
Perry, honored for his MVP season at home on Sunday night, showed off his scoring talents again. He created his own shot early in the third period and gave the Ducks a 3-1 lead.
”I’m just trying to put it on the net,” Perry said. ”I saw Bobby (Ryan) going to the net, and I was going to drop it to him early, but he was backchecked so I kind of pulled up and waited for him to get to the net and it found a way in.”
Selanne found an opening on a power play, after taking a pass from Saku Koivu, to score his first goal at 9:42. He added another with 5:27 left in the first when he converted the rebound of Koivu’s shot.
”He’s quick,” Niemi said of Selanne. ”He has good hands and he’s aggressive. He can find his spot.”
Vlasic’s goal came during a scrum in front of the net at 6:39 of the second. The puck appeared to hit the sticks of a couple of defensemen before ricocheting into the net.
”The offense isn’t clicking for us just yet,” Sharks’ defenseman Dan Boyle said. ”Missed opportunities is the way I look at it.”
Burns answered Perry’s goal with a power-play score at 11:01, taking a pass from Joe Thornton, who recorded his first point of the season.
NOTES: Ducks F Patrick Maroon was a healthy scratch for the second straight day. … Ducks D Kurtis Foster (left thigh) is day-to-day. … The Sharks hadn’t started 1-3 since the 2002-03 season. … Sharks D Doug Murray left the game temporarily after he was hit in the back by a puck while trying to block a shot. … Sharks C Andrew Desjardins appeared to have words with Carlyle as he was escorted off the ice after being ejected near the end of the first period. … Ducks D Francois Beauchemin was hit over his left eye by a puck. He returned after getting the wound stitched.