A lead had vanished. The minutes were dwindling away. A possible third consecutive loss to the top contender was at hand.
"We fell behind, but we never quit going," Kesler said. "We really wanted this one going into a [four-day holiday] break. We've all been on the other side of this, when you lose and think about it for three days. So we're going to enjoy this one, re-energize and come back."
The Ducks, with an NHL-best record of 23-8-5 and a 17-0-5 mark in one-goal games, forced overtime by intensifying the pressure on Niemi, summoning defensemen to attack the net more often.
"I saw a lane to the net and Getzy makes that whole play," Fowler said. "I don't think there's too many people in this league who see that opening. I was happy to be able to finish it off."
San Jose (19-11-5) was seeking its sixth consecutive victory and responded to an early deficit by taking a 2-1 lead in the third, its first score a goal deflected in by Joe Pavelski.
Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen had a strong 30-save night, but was vulnerable to a loss after San Jose center Melker Karlsson launched a shot from beyond the faceoff circle to Andersen's left, the puck dribbling into the net.
Andersen called Karlsson's goal "fluky."
"That goal happened, but you could see how much everyone started battling, to give me a goal back and get a win," Andersen said.
The battle was scoreless until 7:20 into the second period when Ducks center Rickard Rakell scored his first regular-season goal.
Rakell was in front of Niemi when he found a loose puck that was flicked off the glass by forward Emerson Etem. Rakell smacked the puck to the net.
Reminders of the Oct. 26 Ducks-Sharks clash at Honda Center surfaced. The teams combined for 165 penalty minutes then.
Jackman underwent medical evaluation and didn't return.
"Got him right in the jaw," Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said, declining to suggest Scott's hit was intentional.