SAN JOSE — Joe Pavelski scored a minute into the game to start a three-goal first period spree, Antti Niemi earned his second shutout of the season and the San Jose Sharks swept a home-and-home against first-place Anaheim by beating the Ducks, 4-0, on Wednesday night.
Patrick Marleau and Brent Burns also scored in the opening 10 minutes and Niemi made 22 saves for the Sharks, who have back-to-back regulation wins for the first time in two months.
Tommy Wingels added a short-handed goal and two assists to get San Jose off to a strong start to a crucial seven-game homestand. The Sharks moved into a tie for seventh place with St. Louis in the Western Conference.
The Ducks followed up a 5-3 home loss to the Sharks by coming out completely flat in the return game. Anaheim has lost four straight games in regulation following a 12-game streak with at least one point. This is the Ducks’ longest skid since Bruce Boudreau took over as coach Nov. 30, 2011.
The losing streak follows an emotional win over Chicago last Wednesday in a matchup of the top two teams in the West. Anaheim followed that with consecutive losses to Detroit and the sweep by San Jose, getting outscored 16-5 in the losses. The Ducks now must travel to Chicago for a rematch with the Blackhawks on Friday night.
The Sharks jumped on top early with nine shots, three goals, two power plays and one fight before the Ducks could manage their first shot on net against Niemi.
Pavelski, who had just one goal in 18 games before scoring Monday, struck again just 1 minute into this game when he beat Hiller on a wraparound. Pavelski was on a new line with TJ Galiardi and Ryane Clowe, back after missing four games with a shoulder injury.
Clowe, the subject of trade talks despite having no goals in 25 games, helped set up Pavelski’s ninth goal and then fired up the crowd even more with his fight against Anaheim defender Bryan Allen.
San Jose added to the lead when Logan Couture did a good job keeping possession in the offensive zone and then found Marleau alone in the circle for a one-timer that beat Hiller for his 16th goal.
Tommy Wingels then set up San Jose’s third goal, drawing a holding penalty from Sheldon Souray to lead to a power play and then finding Burns alone for a blast that made it 3-0 just 9:20 into the game, leading to a timeout by Boudreau.