SAN JOSE, California — After spending the morning in the hospital, Logan Couture gave the San Jose Sharks the spark they needed.
Couture scored San Jose's first two goals and the Sharks snapped a four-game losing streak by holding off the Anaheim Ducks 6-4 on Saturday night.
"I thought he had a hell of a game," coach Todd McLellan said. "Probably his best game of the season in my opinion. He was all over the puck, he played well defensively, looked really good."
Tommy Wingels added a goal and three assists for a career-high four points for the Sharks, who have won six straight home games against the Ducks. Joe Pavelski, Tomas Hertl and Matt Nieto also scored for San Jose. Antti Niemi made 30 saves.
"We needed it," Couture said. "We haven't been scoring many goals so it was good to find some way to score — short-handed, power play, even strength. A couple minutes it got away from us in the third, but overall a pretty good game."
Couture made sure it was despite waking up with a swollen eye that he couldn't see out of. He went to the hospital for antibiotics and an IV and then got clearance to play from doctors after reporting to the rink in the evening.
He then got back on a line with Wingels and Patrick Marleau and helped end San Jose's skid by scoring off a fortunate bounce that gave him a shot at an open net and on a short-handed breakaway in the first period.
"Sometimes that's when you have your best games," Marleau said. "He had a really good game tonight, him and Tommy both. It was good to see."
Corey Perry scored twice, Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and two assists, and Matt Beleskey also scored for the Ducks, who fought back from a 5-1 deficit to make it a one-goal game early in the third period.
Frederik Andersen allowed five goals on 19 shots before being pulled with 13:51 left in the second period. Jason LaBarbera stopped all 15 shots he faced in relief.
Perry scored twice in a span of less than 2 minutes bridging the second intermission off assists from Getzlaf to get the Ducks back into the game.
"It's our duty to be ready to play," Perry said. "If we keep playing like we did in the second half, we'll be fine. It wasn't pretty the first half of the game. They worked for it. Then we worked for what we got the rest of the way."
Getzlaf then made it 5-4 later in the third just seconds after Niemi robbed Perry of a hat trick with a pad save. The Ducks started the night with Getzlaf and Perry skating on different lines but changed up after getting into the early hole, and almost staged an epic comeback.
"I put them back together and they showed the passion that comes with playing well," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I could care less if they're mad at me, if that's what it takes. I hope they know the message: 'I need more.'"
Matt Nieto ended that chance when he scored an empty-net goal on the power play in the closing minute to seal it with his first goal since the season opener.
This marked the second time this season San Jose snapped a four-game skid by beating the Ducks as the Sharks again played to the level of the competition. San Jose has two wins over the Ducks, as well as victories at Los Angeles and Tampa Bay, but has lost all four games against the bottom two teams in the Eastern Conference, Columbus and Buffalo.
Couture gave San Jose a pair of leads in the first around Beleskey's goal, ending a stretch of 259:05 of game action since the Sharks last led in a 2-0 win at Carolina on Nov. 16.
Andersen's night ended when Hertl made it 5-1 following a turnover by Josh Manson in the second.
NOTES: D Eric Brewer made his debut for Anaheim a day after being acquired from Tampa Bay. ... The Sharks improved to 9-2-2 when scoring first but have won just twice in 12 games when allowing the first goal.
All content copyright ©2014 Daily Journal, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.