SAN JOSE -- Not that the Sharks consider one game any more important than the others -- they're all two points in the standings -- but if Saturday night's contest against Anaheim were a statement game, here's the statement they made: We're more competitive than we were at the start of the season, but don't expect a victory every night.
The Sharks entered the third period trailing 1-0, but then tied the score on a goal by rookie center Torrey Mitchell. The game ended in a 2-1 shootout loss for San Jose as Ducks forward Corey Perry was the only shooter to score.
The defeat ended the Sharks' four-game win streak and gave Anaheim a four-game win streak of its own.
The Sharks needed more than two periods before they got the puck past Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere. But a deflection by Mitchell of a slap shot by defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh broke the barrier at 7:03 of the final period.
Both goalies gave a strong effort, but the biggest save of the game came from Ozolinsh. Seconds after Mitchell scored, it looked as if the Ducks were about to take a 2-1 lead when a sprawling Ozolinsh got his stick on a puck that was heading right into the net behind goalie Evgeni Nabokov.
It was the second meeting of the season between two teams that had been favored to vie for top honors in the Pacific Division, and the second one that went beyond overtime. Anaheim came away with a 3-2 shootout victory at the Honda Center on Nov. 9, twice overcoming a one-goal deficit.
Both teams faltered in the first month of the season before showing improvement in the past 10 days.
Anaheim got the only goal of the first period when defenseman Francois Beauchemin fired the puck from the point and left wing Chris Kunitz deflected it past Nabokov at 15:24.
FLAMES 3, OILERS 1, at Edmonton, Alberta -- Owen Nolan and Matthew Lombardi had a goal and an assist each in Calgary's victory over Edmonton. The Flames have won two in a row after starting November with five consecutive losses. The Oilers lost their second in a row.
RANGERS 4, PENGUINS 3 (OT), at Pittsburgh -- Jason Strudwick scored on a 2-on-1 break with fellow defenseman Paul Mara in overtime as New York rallied from two goals down and beat Pittsburgh for its fifth consecutive victory.
MAPLE LEAFS 3, SENATORS 0, at Toronto -- Former San Jose goalie Vesa Toskala made 24 saves to help Toronto end a five-game winless streak by shutting out Ottawa.
BLACKHAWKS 5, RED WINGS 3, at Detroit -- Patrick Sharp scored a hat trick in the final frame, and Rene Bourque had two short-handed goals and an assist to lift Chicago over Detroit.
BLUES 3, PREDATORS 2 (SO), at Nashville, Tenn. -- Brad Boyes scored the only goal in the shootout to help St. Louis, which had been the only NHL team not to reach overtime this season, beat Nashville for its third win in a row.
HURRICANES 2, PANTHERS 1, at Raleigh, N.C. -- Rod Brind'Amour scored two goals, including one allowed after a video review, and Carolina rebounded from its first home shutout of the season to beat Florida.
DEVILS 6, FLYERS 2, at Philadelphia -- Martin Brodeur gave Patrick Roy some company in the 500 victory club.
Brodeur reached one of hockey's rarest milestones, stopping all but two shots in a modest effort thanks to some of New Jersey's usual stout defense and earned his 500th NHL win.
CANADIENS 7, BRUINS 4, at Montreal -- Guillaume Latendresse scored late in the second period to give Montreal its fourth lead, then Roman Hamrlik, Mike Komisarek and Alex Kovalev added third-period goals in a win over Boston.
COYOTES 1, KINGS 0, at Los Angeles -- Ilya Bryzgalov posted his third career shutout with 27 saves just hours after joining his new teammates, and Shane Doan had a power-play goal to help Phoenix snap a three-game skid by beating Los Angeles.