Rakell leads Ducks to 4-3 win over Sharks in shootout
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Rickard Rakell had two goals in regulation and scored the winner in a shootout to lead the Anaheim Ducks over the skidding San Jose Sharks 4-3 on Tuesday night.
Trevor Zegras converted in the first round of the shootout, and Anaheim goalie Anthony Stolarz turned away Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl. That put it in the hands of Rakell, who went top shelf on James Reimer to give the Ducks their second straight win.
It was Rakell’s second multigoal game of the season. The Swedish left wing has a three-game point streak (three goals, one assist), and six of his 14 goals have come in the last seven games.
“I feel like I’m in the right spots but a lot of hard work is behind it, too, to get in the scoring area and to get in front of the net,” Rakell said. “It hasn’t been a lot of pretty goals. It is just me figuring out what my game is and now I have to keep doing it the best I can.”
Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said he could tell early in the game that Rakell was focused and wasn’t happy with just one goal.
“He was feeling it. You could see it early,” Eakins said. “After he got the first one, he kept shooting the puck. He really was on his game, engaged, and was focused.”
Derek Grant also scored for the Ducks, and Stolarz stopped 40 shots.
The win marked a positive start to Anaheim’s six-game homestand. It also gave the Ducks 59 points to tie them with Edmonton and Los Angeles for third place in the Pacific Division with two months remaining in the regular season.
Couture had two goals for the Sharks, who have lost seven in a row (0-3-4) and nine of 10. He has 17 goals this season, including four in the past five games.
Brent Burns added a goal and two assists, and Timo Meier also had a pair of assists. Reimer made 26 saves.
San Jose got a rare power play in overtime when Jakob Silfverberg was called for holding at 28 seconds. But the Sharks were unable to convert with the man advantage.
“We had a couple good looks, but a 4-on-3, it’s tough to generate,” coach Bob Boughner said. “Our big guys were tired at the end of the game, let’s be honest. Anaheim’s got some guys on their fourth line that do some killing for them, and I think that makes a big difference for ice time.”
Rakell accounted for both Anaheim goals in the second. He tied it at 2 seven minutes into the period when he knocked in a rebound after Reimer stopped Zegras’ shot with his left pad.
After Couture’s second goal gave the Sharks a 3-2 lead, Rakell evened it again at 16:09 when he retrieved a loose puck in the slot and beat Reimer on his glove side with a snap shot.
Anaheim scored first at 3:38 of the first when Grant put the puck past Reimer on a two-man breakaway. Nicolas Deslauriers set it up with an interception in the neutral zone before Sam Carrick and Grant put on a passing clinic in the Anaheim zone. Grant completed it with a wrist shot for his first goal in his last seven games.
Both of Couture’s goals came off rebounds. He tied it 1-all at 7:10 of the first period on a tap-in after Stolarz stopped Burns’ shot off the faceoff.
Couture put San Jose up 3-2 at 13:34 of the second on a power-play goal. The Sharks’ captain scored on a backhand after Burns’ slap shot from deep in the offensive zone deflected off Stolarz’s pads.
Burns put San Jose ahead 2-1 at 17:33 of the first with a one-timer from the right point.
PLENTY OF SHOOTOUTS
The Ducks have been involved in an NHL-high eight shootouts this season and are 4-4. The Sharks are 1-2 in the tiebreaker.
Zegras leads the league with six shootout goals and has converted on six of nine opportunities.
Burns passed Joe Pavelski for third on the Sharks’ career assists list. Burns has 407 assists in nine seasons with San Jose.
Courture’s power-play goal in the second period was his 75th with the Sharks and broke a tie with Owen Nolan for fourth place in franchise history.
Sharks: Host the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
Ducks: Host the Los Angeles Kings on Friday night.
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