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No answers for Ducks
Sharks drop 3rd straight game
12/22/07 - by Mike Lee

So much for Friday's two hour team meeting to straighten out the Sharks ills. In the first opportunity to apply some of the things San Jose's players deliberated over just 24 hours earlier, the Sharks were thrown around like rag dolls by the visiting Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night at a sold out HP Pavilion, losing 5-2. The loss was the Sharks 4th this season in five games against Anaheim, who continue to outplay San Jose physically and extend their mental stranglehold on the Sharks.

The Ducks kept things simple, scoring a goal late in the 1st period, then broke the Sharks with a Cory Perry tally midway through the 2nd.

A Todd Bertuzzi breakaway early was a preview of more ominous things to come, but the ensuing penalty shot that Bertuzzi was awarded turned out to be one of the few highlights for the Sharks. San Jose netminder Evgeni Nabokov denied Bertuzzi on the free shot, but Bertuzzi would store the play in the memory bank for later. It was the third penalty shot Nabokov has faced and successfully stopped at home this season.

Chris Pronger opened the scoring with a slap shot through traffic with 2:03 left in the opening period, that found its way past Nabokov.

Once Perry scored, the Sharks were done. The body language said it all. Perry converted on the power play with a put back goal after a pass attempt to Bertuzzi bounced off a Sharks defender right back to Ducks forward.

Chris Kunitz would make it 3-0 a minute later on a big deflection off a Scott Neidermayer shot that bounced off Nabokv. The rebound kicked out into the slot, where Kunitz backhanded the puck into the Sharks net.

Patrick Marleau would cut the Ducks lead to 3-1 at the 3:17 mark of the 3rd period, but the Ducks would answer just 44 seconds later on a defensive gaff by Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

With the sharks trying to build on Marleau's goal, Jeremy Roenick turned the puck over behind the Duscks net, then Vlasic tried to pinch from the left wing boards after Kent Huskins tried chipping the puck out of the zone. Rather than cut off the play, Vlasic failed to stop the puck and allowed Bertuzzi to slip behind him without any other backside help.

Bertuzzi took Huskins pass and raced up the ice and beat Nabokov with a backhand shot, that started with a move to his left, mirroring his penalty shot attempt earlier in the game. But rather than draw the puck over to his forehand like he did on the penalty shot, Bertuzzi flipped a backhand shot across his body, beating Nabokov.

Marcel Goc would score his 1st goal of the season on a wraparound chance at 11:40, but the Sharks could do nothing to penetrate the lanes that the Ducks clogged all night.

Sharks head coach Ron Wilson would pull Nabokov late in the game, but Sean O'Donnell would chip the puck up ice from the redline, scoring an empty netter for good measure.

Game Notes:

KyLe McLaren landed one of his patented hip checks on Ducks enforcer George Parros. The hit was one of the few things that generated any energy in an otherwise flat building.

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1 2 3 T
ANA 1 2 2 5
SJ 0 0 2 2
1st period - ANA, Bertuzzi (failed penalty shot), 13:07. 1, ANA, Pronger 7 (Pahlsson), 17:57.
2nd period - 2, ANA, Perry 19 (Getzlaf, Pronger), 10:32, (pp). 3, ANA, Kunitz 12 (S. Neidermayer), 11:33.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Marleau 7 (Michalek, Ehrhoff), 3:17, (pp). 5, ANA, Bertuzzi 5 (Huskins), 4:01. 6, SJ, Goc 1 (Grier, Vlasic), 11:40. 7, ANA, O'Donnell 2 (unassisted), 18:55, (en).
1st period - Perry, ANA (roughing), 1:03; Perry, ANA (interference), 3:08; Mitchell, SJ (interference), 5:25; Pahlsson, ANA (tripping), 13:42.
2nd period - Pahlsson, ANA (cross checking), 6:27, Thornton, SJ (slashing), 6:27; Ozolinsh, SJ (hooking), 9:12; Carter, ANA (tripping), 17:07; Carle, SJ (slashing), 17:33.
3rd period - Getzlaf, ANA (roughing), 0:11; Thornton, SJ (roughing), 0:11; Perry, ANA (holding), 3:01; Beauchemin, ANA (roughing), 5:14; Michalek, SJ (roughing), 5:14; Thornton, SJ (elbowing), 6:24.
Shots Saves
ANA - Giguere 29 27
SJ - Nabokov 23 19
SJ - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
ANA 9 9 6 24
SJ 12 7 10 29
Power Play Conversion
ANA 1 of 5
SJ 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Chris Pronger
Samuel Pahlsson
Todd Bertuzzi
Referees: Mike Leggo, Rob Schick. Linesmen: Lonnie Cameron, Shane Heyer.

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