ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) If the goals aren’t going to come in bunches, best make them timely.
At least, that’s what worked for Hampus Lindholm on Friday night.
Lindholm got his first goal of the season with 5:38 remaining, helping the Anaheim Ducks beat the San Jose Sharks 3-2 after blowing a two-goal lead.
Nick Ritchie found Lindholm alone on the opposite circle and fired a sharp pass that Lindholm slapped in over goalie Martin Jones‘ left shoulder.
“I came in on the left side and they just kind of lost him,” Ritchie said. “He was wide open and slapped it in there.”
Goals by Brent Burns and Kevin Labanc brought San Jose back after Rickard Rakell and Antoine Vermette scored in the first period for Anaheim.
Anaheim is 5-1-1 in its past seven games, including two wins over San Jose.
The 22-year-old Lindholm held out this season before signing a six-year contract extension in late October. He didn’t play his first game until Nov. 9 and got his first goal in 15 contests.
“I don’t think it was pretty tonight, but we got the win,” Lindholm said.
It was the third time the teams had met this season, and all three games have been decided by one goal.
“We battled back and I thought the game could have gone either way,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. “We’re just finding our way to lose right now instead of win.”
It was a big game for Anaheim goalie Jonathan Bernier. In his last start, he gave up eight goals to Calgary, but Friday, he had 22 saves and withstood a frantic final attack after San Jose pulled its goalie with 2 minutes left.
“He played well the last time we were in San Jose and got us the win,” coach Randy Carlyle said. “Berny was looking for some kind of opportunity after the game in Calgary and I felt we owed him that.”
Jones stopped 29 shots for the Sharks.
San Jose tied it early in the second period when Labanc slipped a shot under Bernier’s left leg. It was the 20-year-old’s third goal of the season.
“We had some good looks,” Sharks center Joe Pavelski said. “We have to start putting them in the net.”
The Ducks nearly completed a dominant first period with a 2-0 lead, but Burns got his 12th goal of the season with 6 seconds left by slapping a shot past Bernier.
Anaheim opened the scoring 4:44 in after Shea Theodore fired a shot from just beyond the midpoint of the two circles. Jones deflected the shot, but Rakell snagged the rebound and wrapped it around and behind Jones.
Rakell, another late signing, has 11 goals in his 17 games since joining the Ducks.
“He’s a really good weapon,” Lindholm said. “He knows where to put (the puck). It’s fun to watch. He’s really a skilled guy.”
The Ducks went up 2-0 after Theodore came streaking down the right side and fired a perfect pass to Vermette, who snapped it past Jones for his fifth of the season.
NOTES: The Ducks are 60-59-11 against the rival Sharks. … Anaheim’s Joseph Cramarossa fought San Jose’s Tommy Wingels about five minutes into the first period.
Sharks: Host Carolina on Saturday.
Ducks: Host Ottawa on Saturday.