SAN JOSE, Calif. – Joe Thornton wanted to avoid another four days agonizing over an extended winless streak. So he took care of business.
Thornton scored twice to help the San Jose Sharks snap a five-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night.
“It was nice to finally get a win at home,” Thornton said. “We played well.”
Evgeni Nabokov stopped 20 shots, and Patrick Marleau and Devin Setoguchi added goals for San Jose. The Sharks beat the Ducks for the third time this season to move into a tie with the Los Angeles Kings for the Western Conference lead.
“We got back to doing a lot of things we need to do to get back to winning,” Marleau said. “We were pretty well rested and it was nice to win a division game.”
The Sharks had five days off following their loss in Arizona on Saturday. They have another four days off before playing consecutive nights in Dallas and Chicago.
Ryan Getzlaf scored a power-play goal for the Ducks, who had a six-game points streak snapped. Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 33 saves.
“We made too many mistakes,” Ducks defenceman Scott Niedermeyer said. “They stuck to their game plan and we took too many penalties. We didn’t have as much energy as we needed for most of the game.”
Thornton has scored in each of the Sharks’ wins over Anaheim.
Giguere made a stick save on Torrey Mitchell’s penalty shot at 6:20 of the first period. Mitchell was awarded the shot after being hooked on a breakaway.
Thornton gave the Sharks the lead midway through the second period after redirecting Marleau’s shot from in front of the net. Marleau scored six minutes later on a nice redirect in the air off a shot from Douglas Murray.
“For a shift or two after their goal I think the bench was a little nervous,” Thornton said. “But that’s normal for a team that’s a little fragile. We sure rebounded rather well afterward though.”
Getzlaf received a pass from Bobby Ryan and took advantage of traffic in front of the net to hold the puck until Nabokov committed and then flung it just inside the right post. Getzlaf scored in back-to-back games for the first time.
“We had a little bit of complacency coming in,” Ryan said. “We didn’t get emotionally involved until the third period and it’s tough to win a game in 20 minutes.”
The Sharks, second in the NHL in penalty killing, have allowed power-play goals in each of their last four games.
Thornton’s power-play goal with 6:37 remaining came on a rebound from Joe Pavelski’s shot.
Setoguchi scored three minutes later after taking a centring pass from Thornton, who had an assist in the game to pad his NHL lead to 38. It was Setoguchi’s first goal in 11 games.
“It’s only a matter of time before a goal scorer will start scoring,” Thornton said. “That was a nice shot for the final goal.”
NOTES: Ducks forward Joffrey Lupul had surgery Thursday to repair a herniated disk in his back. … Thornton has points (5 goals, 20 assists) in 14 of his last 15 games. … Soccer star David Beckham was in attendance. … Ryan has nine points (4-5) in his last seven games.