In fact, the game was still in doubt until Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger stepped into a cross-ice pass from Corey Perry and sent a laser-like shot for a power-play goal and a 3-1 lead 13:50 into the final period. Unlike their listless 4-3 overtime loss Thursday to the Kings at Staples Center, the Ducks’ hearts and minds were in the right places on Friday. The Ducks built a 2-0 lead on first-period goals by Dustin Penner (power play) and Chris Kunitz. “We were ready,” right wing Teemu Selanne said. “We were talking (Friday) morning and we said, `There’s no reason we can’t play our best game of the season.’ And we were pretty close. It was our best in a long time.” The Ducks had squandered two-goal leads in three consecutive games, winning twice and losing once. There were plenty of signs Friday that they would not play fast and loose with their hard-earned lead against the Sharks, however. First and foremost, the Ducks took better care of the puck than in recent games. Turnovers were kept to a minimum as the Ducks adopted a more defensive style of play after building a 2-0 lead in the first period. Secondly, the Ducks turned up their physical play while avoiding the sort of needless penalties that have cost them at times. Rob Niedermayer delivered a crunching shoulder-to-shoulder check to San Jose’s Jonathan Cheechoo in the first period, for instance. Cheechoo wasn’t the only Shark to have his molars rattled, however. Joe Thornton, the Sharks’ leading scorer with 81 points, got knocked against the boards several times before taking out his frustrations on Travis Moen and drawing a charging penalty late in the second period. Still, the Sharks cut the Ducks’ lead to 2-1 on defenseman Craig Rivet’s goal on a soft wrist shot from near the blue line only 3:55 into the third period. [email protected] (310) 540-4201 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ANAHEIM – One night after making a bad team look good, the Ducks made a good team look pretty bad at times Friday night at Honda Center. The Ducks parlayed a scorching start into a solid 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks in front of a sellout crowd of 17,174. And to be fair, the Sharks were lackluster mainly at the start and mostly because the Ducks were so good.