Erik Karlsson won the individual competition against Anthony Stolarz in their latest meeting, but the Anaheim Ducks ultimately came out on top against the San Jose Sharks.
The Ducks will visit the Sharks again on Saturday night for the second time in five days, and they’ll look for a similar result while also keeping closer tabs on the red-hot Karlsson.
Anaheim beat San Jose 6-5 in a shootout on Tuesday night, despite absorbing the first NHL hat trick by Karlsson, the 32-year-old, two-time Norris Trophy winner.
Karlsson also had an assist against the Ducks and came back with a goal and two assists in a 4-3 shootout loss against the visiting Florida Panthers on Thursday.
Karlsson has 10 goals in his first 13 games, a mark reached in that span by just two other defensemen in NHL history.
Harry Cameron scored 10 goals in seven games for the Toronto Arenas in 1917-18, and King Clancy scored 10 goals in nine games with the Ottawa Senators in 1929-30.
Karlsson wasn’t about to celebrate the accomplishment, especially after failing to convert his opportunities in the past two shootouts.
“When I’m 50 years old, I’ll look back and I’ll be happy,” he said.
San Jose coach David Quinn has also been sitting on 99 NHL victories for the past three games, all at home. San Jose is 1-5-2 at SAP Center.
“We’re playing better hockey,” Quinn said. “We’ve got to cut down on the goals we’re giving up, but I do like the fact that we are scoring more goals.”
Stolarz stopped 39 of 44 shots on Tuesday against the Sharks, as well as the final attempt of the shootout by Karlsson, clinching the win and improving to 6-1-0 in his career against San Jose.
Stolarz will likely go against the Sharks again Saturday with John Gibson facing the visiting Panthers on Sunday.
“I just like this building,” Stolarz said after the win in San Jose on Tuesday. “You play enough games here, it becomes natural. It must be the lighting or something.”
Playing goalie for the Ducks has been a challenge this season.
Anaheim allows the most shots on goal in the NHL (38.7) and has the second worst penalty-kill percentage (61.5).
The Ducks have surrendered at least four goals in nine of 11 games this season.
“We’ve got to do a better job of limiting those grade-A chances,” Anaheim forward Trevor Zegras said.
On the bright side, the Ducks have scored 15 goals in the past three games after combining for 16 goals in the first eight.
Zegras has three goals and two assists in the past three games, and Troy Terry has a goal and five assists in that span.
Adam Henrique ended a scoring slump by scoring his first two goals of the season against the Sharks on Tuesday.
Max Comtois, who led the Ducks in goals (16) during the shortened 2020-21 season before dropping off to six goals last season, has scored in back-to-back games.
Others, like third-line center Isac Lundestrom, who broke out for 16 goals last season, have yet to score through the team’s first 11 games. Neither has Mason McTavish, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft who scored in his NHL debut last season.
–Field Level Media