Ducks down Sharks in back-and-forth battle, 6-4

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Anaheim put up 6 goals for the second time this season as they downed the Sharks on the road.

The Ducks headed to San Jose on Thursday night as they took on the Sharks looking to snap a three-game losing streak. The game turned out to be an exciting one, with Anthony Duclair quickly getting the Sharks on the board to open the scoring.

Before the period’s end, Leo Carlsson and Brett Leason would strike for the Ducks to give them a 2-1 lead. In the second, Alex Killorn scored the third in a row for Anaheim with his 8th of the season. They took a 3-1 lead, but it was short-lived as San Jose clapped back with scores from Mike Hoffman and William Eklund. Late in the period, the Ducks delivered their response. Two goals from Frank Vatrano and Adam Henrique (both via the power-play) came within a minute of each other to catapult Anaheim right back into the lead.

They took a 5-3 lead into the third and final period, where Anthony Duclair scored his second of the game for the Sharks to cut the deficit to one and make things interesting. However, San Jose could not find themselves with an equalizer, and an empty net goal from Isac Lundestrom in the final moments iced the game for the Ducks. They walked away with a 6-4 win and took the victory in the season series over the Sharks 3-1.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

Henrique has three-point night

The Ducks offense was firing on all cylinders as they managed to come out on top over the Sharks, and Adam Henrique made sure to leave his mark. He would deliver two assists and a score of his own in the winning effort for Anaheim, helping them provide a well-rounded effort. The first assist came on the Ducks’ first score of the contest, which came from Leo Carlsson. It was his first goal since the turn of the new year, and it helped to get the team on the board as they erased the early deficit. Henrique then gathered his second apple on Alex Killorn’s score to open the second period. The pair of assists brought him to 24 on the year, which is tied for second-most on the team this season. His biggest moment of the game, however, was late in the second period. Moments after Frank Vatrano delivered a power-play goal to give the Ducks a 4-3 lead, Henrique used the same power-play to give Anaheim some much-needed insurance.

For a team that has hovered near the bottom of the league in power-play effectiveness, it was a great job of capitalizing and putting some distance between them and San Jose. Henrique is now up to 41 points on the season, which is just three away from securing a new career-high for his tenure with the Ducks. He would need to reach 51 by the end of the season for the most he’s had in a campaign with any club. Regardless, his performance against the Sharks went a long way in helping the team come away with the win.

Vatrano extends team-high scoring mark

It’s no surprise that on a day when the Ducks managed to put the puck in the net 6 times, Frank Vatrano had one of the scores. The 29-year-old right-winger delivered a rocket on the power-play late in the second period to reclaim a 4-3 lead for Anaheim.

It was his team-leading 27th goal of the year, which increased his scoring lead over the next closest Duck (Henrique, Terry, McTavish) to 10. In the midst of his second season with Anaheim, it’s been the best of his 9-year career. He has set career highs in goals, assists, and total points, establishing himself as the leader of the team.

Terry remains out, Fowler leaves with injury

While the Ducks managed a nice win on Thursday night, they did have to deal with some injury/trade news in the process. Troy Terry, who is tied for the most points on the team this season, missed his second consecutive game with an upper-body injury. Meanwhile, Cam Fowler was forced to leave the game after taking a puck to the face very early into the game against San Jose.

The team and fans will send their best to Fowler as he hopes to make a quick recovery and bounce back onto the ice in no time. Meanwhile, the Ducks got active in the trade market during the game. The club traded Ilya Lyubushkin to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a third-round pick, allowing him to go and play for a contender while Anaheim gets draft capital in return.

With the NHL trade deadline rapidly approaching (March 8), it will be interesting to see how Anaheim approaches the situation. With the playoffs out of the picture this season, they have some questions to answer and need to decide how they want to move forward as a unit for the remainder of 2023-2024.

The Ducks will be back at it again on Friday as they host the Devils on the second end of a back-to-back. New Jersey is 30-25-4 this season, and is currently hovering in the middle of the standings within the Metropolitan Division.

The game is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. PT.