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Sharks get the shaft
Questionable call sinks SJ
12/18/05 - by Mike Lee

The miracle revival took a night off and a questionable goal combined to end the Sharks six game winning streak in Anaheim on Sunday night. San Jose battled back to tie the Ducks four times, but a Rob Niedermeyer goal midway through the 3rd period to give the host Ducks a 5-4 win. A win by the Sharks would have moved the San Jose into a three-way tie for third place in the Pacific Division, but a series of fluke bounces and video review that should have overturned Niedermeyer's goal kept them in the basement for another day.

The winning goal came after Niedermeyer deflected a dump-in pass by brother Scott into the Sharks goal with the shaft of this stick. Problem is, Niedermeyer's stick was clearly above the top of the goal when the puck came in contact with the shaft. Game officials reviewed the video for several minutes, but refused to overturn the goal.

"I couldn't tell from the replay," said San Jose head coach Ron Wilson. "Our guys said it hit the shaft of Niedermayer's stick above the top of the net."

It will be interesting to see how the Sharks bounce back from the loss, their first in seven games since Joe Thornton was acquired from Boston. San Jose showed resilience all night long, battling back from deficit after deficit.

"Hopefully we won't have too many more of these losses. I like winning games," Joe Thornton said. "Hopefully, starting Tuesday, we can get on another streak." "Hopefully we won't have too many more of these losses. I like winning games," Thornton said. "Hopefully, starting Tuesday, we can get on another streak."

Aside from the loss, the biggest downside to the game was San Jose's inability to solve Mighty Ducks goaltender John-Sebastien Giguere in the 1st period, even though they peppered him with 16 shots. The Sharks held the Ducks to a single shot through the first ten minutes of play.

"It's pretty disheartening when you get up and they come back right away," Rob Niedermayer said. "It just shows how dangerous a team they are. They never let up. They just seem to find a guy in the open and then it's in the back of your net. They came back quite a few times, but we just stuck with it. It was a huge victory, especially with the way they've been playing since that trade."

Anaheim's second shot of the period unfortunately came on a short-handed breakaway by Chris Kunitz, which found the back of the net.

Rookie Grant Stevenson would tie the game at 1-1 with 2:26 to play in the period on a nifty move while the Sharks were on the power play. Stevenson took grabbed a deflected puck and shuffled between his legs as he changed directions to head for the net. After controlling the pass to himself, he calmly slipped it through Giguere's pads for his fourth goal of the season.

Patrick Marleau would tie the game at 2-2 after Scott Niedermeyer gave the Ducks the lead back early in the 2nd period. Marleau ripped a shot past Giguere after Ruslan Salei lost control of the puck in his own zone.

Todd Fedoruk scored his first of the season on a deflection that fooled Sharks netminder Evgeni Nabokov. Stevenson would answer again with a one-timer from the slot. Marleau setup the goal by carrying the puck behind the Ducks goal, then flipping it over the net to Steveson.

A slip in concentration would allow Anaheim to retake the lead at 4-3 early in the 3rd period when Todd Marchant pumped a shot past Nabokov after taking a pretty centering pass from Jofrey Lupul. Alyn McCauley had Marchant covered in the right corner, but after the puck cycled around to the back of the Shark's net, McCauley failed to cover Marchant, who slid over to the right post as Lupul slid the pass over as he skated toward the left corner.

The series of comebacks would end after Scott Thornton was credited with redirecting a Tom Preissing shot past Giguere at 8:30 of the 3rd period.

"We never gave up and that was a good sign," Joe Thornton said. "They're a good team. They kept on coming, but we kept on pushing back. It's a good character team we've got in here, and it was exciting to play a game like this. We hit a couple of posts that could have changed the outcome of the game, but it was back-and-forth hockey and it was a fun game."

Games Notes:

Even though they lost, the Sharks have scored four or more goals in each of the last seven games.

Kyle McLaren missed his second consecutive game while he rests his recently repaired left knee.

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1 2 3 T
SJ 1 2 1 4
ANA 1 2 2 5
1st period - 1, Anaheim, Kunitz 4, 11:37, (sh). 2, San Jose, Stevenson 4 (Ehrhoff), 17:34, (pp).
2nd period - 3, Anaheim, S.Niedermayer 4 (R.Niedermayer), 3:36. 4, San Jose, Marleau 13 (Langfeld), 5:37. 5, Anaheim, Fedoruk 1 (DiPenta, Wright), 11:05. 6, San Jose, Stevenson 5 (Marleau), 13:43.
3rd period - 7, Anaheim, Marchant 6 (Lupul, Carney), 4:10. 8, San Jose, Thornton 5 (Preissing, Thornton), 8:30. 9, Anaheim, R.Niedermayer 10 (S.Niedermayer, Beauchemin), 9:56. Penalty - Marchant, ANA (tripping), 19:07.
1st period - Hedstrom, ANA (tripping), 8:09; Salei, ANA (tripping), 10:29; McDonald, ANA (tripping), 15:52; Davison, SJS (high-sticking), 18:58.
2nd period - Smith, SJS (hooking), 0:24; Davison, SJS (interference), 7:19; Cheechoo, SJS (kneeing), 8:54; Marchant, ANA (boarding), 17:14.
3rd period - Marchant, ANA (tripping), 19:07.
  Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 34 29
ANA - Giguere 34 30
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 16 9 9 34
ANA 6 13 15 34
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 5
ANA 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Rob Niedermeyer
Scott Niedermeyer
Grant Stevenson
Referees: Shane Heyer, Dan O'Halloran. Linesmen: Ryan Galloway, Brad Lazarowich.

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