ANAHEIM, Calif. – Ryan Getzlaf and Jonas Hiller propelled the Anaheim Ducks into the second half of their season with the NHL’s best record and ample reason to think they could get even better in the new year.
Getzlaf scored his 20th goal and added two assists, Francois Beauchemin got his first goal of the season, and the Ducks beat the San Jose Sharks 6-3 Tuesday night, closing the best December in club history with their 11th victory in 12 games.
Nick Bonino and Matt Beleskey each had a goal and an assist, and Hiller made 33 saves in his ninth consecutive win as Anaheim improved to 15-0-2 at Honda Center, remaining the only NHL team without a regulation loss at home.
With another overpowering offensive performance despite a slow start, the Ducks also avenged San Jose’s 3-1 victory at the Shark Tank on Sunday that snapped Anaheim’s franchise-record winning streak.
“We’re a good hockey club, and we know it,” said Getzlaf, the NHL’s third-leading scorer with 47 points. “But we also know we’ve got to get better. Games like this, when you come out flat, teams will bury you.”
Andrew Cogliano scored a short-handed goal while playing in his 500th consecutive game for Anaheim, which kicked off the second half of its schedule and headed into the new year at a franchise-record 29-8-5.
The Ducks lead San Jose by seven points in the Pacific and sit even with Chicago atop the overall NHL standings with 63 points. Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau has built one of the best teams in hockey, but the Ducks’ dissatisfaction with their start against San Jose indicated a hunger to get better.
“It’s been a lot of fun, and I hope we can keep this going,” said Hiller, whose winning streak is the longest in club history. “It’s nice to be up there in the standings and to be able to achieve something like we have this year, but I don’t think anybody is satisfied yet.”
Kyle Palmieri also scored for the Ducks, who shredded their Pacific Division rivals and chased Antti Niemi with five goals in an 11 1/2-minute span of the final two periods.
Dan Boyle and Bracken Kearns scored power-play goals as the Sharks’ four-game winning streak ended with a dismaying defensive effort in front of Niemi, who stopped 29 shots.
Logan Couture also scored for San Jose, which dominated the first period before falling apart in the second. Alex Stalock replaced Niemi after Getzlaf blasted a wrist shot past the Finnish goalie for Anaheim’s fifth goal early in the third period.
“You want to keep the momentum going, but the second period we were just caught staring, and it definitely cost us,” Sharks captain Joe Thornton said.
Two nights after the Sharks held Anaheim to one goal for the first time in 17 games since Nov. 22, the Ducks showed they haven’t lost their teamwork and offensive power by putting up a franchise-record 25 shots in the second period.
“We were on our toes, winning the races,” San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. “Where did it go in the second? I guess that’s the big question we have to ask our group. What do you do? What do you bring to the team? Are you an energy guy? Do you hit, block shots, or just take up space?
“We have got some guys … that need to perform a little bit better.”
Beauchemin got a rebound goal after a lengthy cycle in the second. Couture tied it with his 12th goal before Bonino dived headfirst onto the ice to slap home Getzlaf’s rebound, ending Anaheim’s eight-game drought on power plays. Bonino then stole a pass behind San Jose’s net and got it in front to Beleskey for the grinding forward’s second goal of the season.
After Getzlaf chased Niemi, Cogliano put home Saku Koivu’s rebound when the Sharks gave up a 3-on-0 short-handed rush moments later. Cogliano became the fifth NHL player to play in 500 consecutive games from the start of his career.
NOTES: San Jose announced F Tomas Hertl had successful surgery Tuesday to repair damaged ligaments in his right knee. … Dustin Penner was a healthy scratch for the Ducks. Jakob Silfverberg took his place on the top line with Getzlaf and Corey Perry. … Sharks C Tommy Wingels missed his first game of the season after running into the boards on Sunday. … Sharks rookie LW Matt Nieto had an assist while making his first NHL appearance in his native Southern California. He is from nearby Long Beach.