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Sharks win ugly in Anaheim
Thornton bags winner in 3rd period
11/21/09 - By Mike Lee -

Skating 24-hours after an exciting goal-fest against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Sharks hit the road for a Pacific Division match-up with the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center, skating to a hard fought 3-2 win. Joe Thornton scored early in the 3rd period to snap a 2-2 tie, propelling the Sharks to their 16th win of the season. Thornton, Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau all recorded points on the night, putting all three in the top-five in league scoring.

The cellar-dwelling Ducks were a hungry team, entering play with conference low 17 points in the standings. Anaheim seemed intent on pushing the Sharks around and capitalizing on their chances, but a lack of offensive horsepower kept things tight in the opening period.

A less than spectacular opening 20-minues by the Sharks was capped by a tripping penalty to Dany Heatley right at the buzzer. That period would carry over to the 2nd period and Anaheim would cash in.

Steve Wisniewksi sent a seemingly routine shot on goal from the blueline, but Evgeni Nabokov just flat out missed the save with his right pad. It appeared that Nabokov had a bead on the shot, but he simply kicked his skate out to far, allowing the puck to slide through the 5-hole for the 1-0 Ducks lead.

Ryane Clowe would knot the game at 1-1 at the 8:08 mark on a shot from the left wing boards that beat Jonas Hiller just inside the right post. Clowe took a feed from Kent Huskins, before holding the puck, waiting for Frazer McLaren to position himself in front of Hiller.

A Ryan Whitney cross check on Scott Nichol put the Sharks on the power play at 10:12 of the period, and the Sharks power play made quick work of the Ducks penalty killing unit.

Dany Heatley scored his NHL leading 18th goal on a rebound from the top of the crease after Joe Thornton threw a shot at Hiller from the slot. Heatley showed just how quick his hands are, by snaring the rebound within a foot of Hiller and slipping it around the Ducks netminder.

The Sharks didn’t make things easy for themselves late in the period when Huskins was called for holding at 18:55. Douglas Murray was them whistled for interference 42 seconds later, to give the Ducks a 5-on-3.

Anaheim would score 9 seconds into the 2-man advantage to tie the game at 2-2. With a scrum in front of the Sharks net, a Corry Perry rebound kicked out to Whitney, who buried a 30-foot blast from the top of the left circle.

The Sharks would kill off the remainder of Murray ’s penalty to start the 3rd period, so it came down to who would score next.

A hooking penalty to Teemu Selanne put the Sharks on the power play at 6:43 of the 3rd period, but the chance almost turned disastrous after Huskins fell at the Ducks blueline, allowing Todd Marchant to race up ice uncontested. Nabokov stepped up and forced Marchant to change his angle of attack. That was a big enough distraction to force a shot that bounced off the right post, preserving the tie.

That would chance moments later then Thornton snapped a shot from the left dot that found the back of the net with 11:11 remaining in regulation.

Clowe almost made it a 2-goal lead on the ensuing shift when Joe Pavelski carried the puck toward the net and slid a pass to the right post for a scoring chance.

Nabokov cam up big after Ryan Getzlaf almost put a deflection past the Sharks netminder. Nabokov waved his glove at a floating shot that was headed fro the back of the net midway through the period.

With the one-goal lead late, the Sharks did a nice job of pressing on offense, keeping the puck out of their own end. Manny Malhotra picked Marchant’s pocket as the Ducks were trying to get Hiller off the ice for the extra attacker.

Game Notes:

Art Savage, the Sharks first team president, died on Saturday at age 58. Rookie left winger Frazer McLaren squared off with Ducks tough guy George Parros in a spirited fight in the opening period.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 2 1 3
ANA 0 2 0 2
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, ANA, Wisniewski 1 (Ryan, Koivu), 1:20, (pp). 2, SJ, Clowe 4 (Huskins), 8:08. 3, SJ, Heatley 18 (Thornton, Marleau), 10:54, (pp). 4, ANA, Whitney 2 (Perry, Neidermayer), 19:46, (pp).
3rd period - 5, SJ, Thornton 7 (Heatley), 8:49.
1st period - McLaren, SJ (fighting major), 3:31; Parros, ANA (fighting major), 3:31; Wisniewski, ANA (hooking), 17:41; Heatley, SJ (tripping), 20:00.
2nd period - Ferriero, SJ (tripping), 3:51; Whitney, ANA (cross checking), 10:12; Huskins, SJ (holding), 18:55; Murray, SJ (interference), 19:37.
3rd period - Nichol, SJ (roughing), 4:43; Koivu, ANA (roughing), 4:43; Selanne, ANA (hooking) 6:43.
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 30 28
ANA - Hiller 36 33
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 10 12 14 36
ANA 7 12 11 30
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 3
ANA 2 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Thornton
Ryan Clowe
Dany Heatley
Referees: McCauley, O'Rourke. Linesmen: Sharrers, Mach.

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