Sharks rally to top Ducks
Devin Setoguchi scored the tiebreaking goal on the power play with 5:21 remaining and the San Jose Sharks rallied from an early two-goal deficit too beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 on Saturday night in a possible playoff preview.
Patrick Marleau scored twice and Dany Heatley added his 25th goal for the Sharks, who trailed 2-0 after one period before coming back for their seventh win in eight games. San Jose remained a point ahead of Detroit for second place in the Western Conference with four games remaining, reaching the 100-point mark for the fifth consecutive season. The Sharks can clinch the Pacific Division by beating Los Angeles at home Monday night.
Bobby Ryan and Lubomir Visnovsky scored for the Ducks, who had won seven of eight to move into seventh place in the conference. Anaheim can clinch a playoff berth by winning two of its final four games. Ray Emery made 29 saves for the Ducks, but lost for the first time in seven starts this season.
Setoguchi showed some patience on the game-winner as the Sharks put heavy pressure on Emery on their first power play. Setoguchi passed up a chance at a one-timer because he didn't have a clear path to the net, sending the puck to Dan Boyle at the point.
Boyle immediately returned the puck to Setoguchi, who rocketed a one-timer past Emery to give the Sharks the lead with his 21st goal. Setoguchi gave a big fist pump after the goal.
Marleau put the game away in the final minute with an empty-netter for his 37th goal of the season and 10th in eight games.
Antti Niemi made 20 saves to get the win in his 33rd consecutive start.
This was a tense meeting between two rivals who could meet again with much more at stake in a little more than a week. If the season ended Saturday, these teams would open the playoffs against each other.
There were few good scoring chances early in the third with no one wanting to make the mistake that could cost their team crucial points.
Heatley made a great end-to-end rush before being stopped by Emery. The Sharks couldn't knock in the rebound following a scramble in front but got their first power play when Jason Blake was called for holding with 6:22 remaining. That set up Setoguchi's goal.
The Sharks responded from a lackluster first period to erase a two-goal deficit in the second and send the game into the third period tied at 2.
Heatley got San Jose started when he skated in from the boards and tried to center the puck. But the pass deflected, and Heatley knocked the loose puck past Emery with his backhand 2:01 into the second.
Marleau got the equalizer midway through the period with help from a puck that deflected off Ryan's face. Marleau took a whack at a centering pass from Boyle, and the puck hit Ryan, sending him to the ice. Setoguchi centered the loose puck back to Marleau, who stickhandled past Emery.
After putting up a season-high 52 shots in a 6-0 win over Dallas on Thursday, the Sharks got only two on net in the first 18-plus minutes of this game.
The Ducks scored twice in that stretch, with the first coming from their top line when Ryan redirected a centering pass from Corey Perry into an open net just 3:21 in for his 34th goal. Visnovsky added a power-play goal midway through the period.
NOTES: The Ducks and Sharks are the only teams with five players with at least 60 points this season. ... Sharks coach Todd McLellan got his 150th career win, two behind Mike Keenan for the most in the first three seasons behind the bench.