Thursday, April 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

San Jose can’t prevent Anaheim from winning its 12th straight at home

ANAHEIM — Emerson Etem had his first NHL goal and an assist, defenseman Francois Beauchemin scored two goals, and the Anaheim Ducks beat the San Jose Sharks 5-3 Monday night for their 12th consecutive home victory.

Viktor Fasth made 32 saves for the streaking Ducks, who have the NHL’s second-best record at 21-3-4 while earning a point in 11 straight games.

Jason Demers scored his first NHL goal and Antti Niemi stopped 23 shots for the Sharks, who have lost six of seven. Matt Irwin and Patrick Marleau scored after Anaheim took a 4-1 lead to make it close.

Martin Havlat had an assist in his return from a seven-game absence with a lower-body injury for the Sharks.

Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf had a short-handed goal and an assist, while Peter Holland and Etem scored 34 seconds apart in the second period to keep the Ducks unbeaten at Honda Center since their opener Jan. 25.

Although Anaheim right wing Corey Perry didn’t play while serving the third game of his four-game suspension for an illegal hit on Minnesota’s Jason Zucker, the Ducks announced an eight-year contract extension for the former NHL MVP during the first intermission. Perry’s new deal is the same length as the contract signed by Getzlaf 10 days ago, keeping both of the Ducks’ top players out of free agency this summer and making sure Anaheim doesn’t have to consider trading either star at the deadline.

The victory capped another celebratory night in what’s been a charmed season for the Ducks, who have a healthy lead in the Pacific Division with 20 games to play.

With the Ducks’ first and last goals, Beauchemin has 18 points in an outstanding season that’s been a major factor in the Ducks’ strong start. The veteran defenseman put his final goal into an empty net with 45.9 seconds left.

Anaheim got started when a horrible Sharks line change led to a 2-on-1 chance for Beauchemin, who patiently held the puck before firing a shot into the far top corner behind Niemi.

Demers evened it late in the period, getting his first goal of the season on a slap shot through a screen in front of Fasth.

Holland put the Ducks ahead with the finish on a slick 3-on-2 rush for his second goal of the season. Before the crowd had even stopped cheering, Etem broke down the slot and got a pass from Daniel Winnik for a one-timer.

The 20-year-old Etem, Anaheim’s first-round pick in 2010 from nearby Long Beach, got his first goal in the 19th game of his rookie season. Holland, the Ducks’ first-round pick in 2009, has three career goals.

Getzlaf then easily scored on a pass from Etem during a 2-on-1 short-handed break. Getzlaf has 11 goals in 28 games this season, matching the pass-first center’s goal total in 82 games last season.

Marleau replied with a goal in the final minute of the second period, and Irwin trimmed the lead to one goal early in the third.

The Associated Press

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