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Rakell’s overtime goal puts Ducks over Sharks 3-2

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Rickard Rakell scored 14 seconds into overtime and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Sharks 3-2 on Sunday night for their second win over San Jose in a six-game homestand.

Adam Henrique netted a goal and an assist before playing a big part in the shrewd stratagem that led to Rakell’s winning goal. Anthony Stolarz made 20 saves in Anaheim’s fourth win in 11 games and third longest homestand victory of the season.

“I think we battled through the game,” said Rakell, a trade candidate who has scored eight goals in his last 12 games. “It was a tough game, but it was nice to get the two points. The pucks weren’t really bouncing back at us, but I thought we were still fighting.


Marc-Édouard Vlasic ended his 76-game drought and Logan Couture also scored for the Sharks, who were down 11 of 13. Zach Sawchenko stopped 33 shots in his first NHL start for San Jose, who bounced back solidly from an embarrassing 8-0 loss to Nashville a night earlier.

But after Sonny Milano scored the tying goal early in the third period, Rakell won it in overtime at the end of a skillful play crafted by Ducks coach Dallas Eakins and his staff.

After Henrique won the opening faceoff, Cam Fowler and Troy Terry took the puck back as Henrique drifted towards the bench gate closest to center ice. Terry threw a clean cross pass to Rakell when he came out the bench door closest to the San Jose goal, weaving onto the ice behind Couture and quickly beating Sawchenko for his 16th goal of the season.

“It’s hard to defend when that happens and it’s been going really well,” Eakins said. “It was certainly well executed.”

After an apparent review, officials determined that Rakell was in on the game and the Ducks didn’t have too many men on the ice. The decision infuriated the Sharks, who argued Henrique wasn’t far enough out of the game.

“It’s just a complete, disastrous call,” San Jose coach Bob Boughner said. “(Officials) don’t even come on the bench. They run off the ice (without) the respect to come and explain it. Everyone missed it. If you watch the replay, it’s too many men, all day.

Terry and Fowler had two assists apiece in the latest clash of two former California powerhouses struggling to qualify for the playoffs for another season.

Jacob Middleton appeared to score a game-winning shorthanded goal for the Sharks with 7:03 left on an odd-numbered breakout with Matt Nieto, but Anaheim used his challenge and officials determined Middleton was offside before his score .

“It’s about us, because we got (bad) penalties and made some mistakes,” Sharks striker Tomáš Hertl said. “We had a lot of chances and we let them into the game.”

Anaheim was without All-Star guard John Gibson (lower body) and captain Ryan Getzlaf (upper body) with new injuries. The Ducks then lost forward Isac Lundestrom in the first period to a lower-body injury that apparently occurred when he hit the boards after missing Timo Meier with a bodycheck attempt.

San Jose is still without top goaltender James Reimer and star defenseman Erik Karlsson. Sawchenko, 24, finally got his first start after appearing in relief four times this season.

Couture’s point-blank goal gave the Sharks the lead midway through the first period before the Ducks even registered their first shot on net. Henrique scored an equalizer early in the second when a high rebound from Max Comtois’ shot ricocheted off Henrique’s body and went in.

Vlasic got credit for putting the Sharks back in front just 76 seconds later when his long off-target shot fortuitously deflected Kevin Shattenkirk’s shin guards well past Stolarz.

Vlasic, the 16-year Sharks veteran, hadn’t scored in his first 48 games this season. He also scored just one goal – on March 8, 2021 – in 51 appearances last season.

Milano equalized again in the dying moments of the second period, converting a rebound for his 12th goal of the season, two off his career high.

FOLLOWING

Sharks: At Kings on Thursday.

Ducks: At the Blackhawks on Tuesday.

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