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Thornton's offensive outburst snaps skid
Centerman bags two goal and a pair of assists
12/17/09 - By Mike Lee -

The season-high five-game losing streak is no more. San Jose outlasted a fatigued Anaheim Ducks team at HP Pavilion, taking a 4-1 win before a sellout crowd. Joe Thornton scored twice and added two assists to lead San Jose. The Sharks opened up a fairly tight game with a pair of goals in the 3rd period to defeat Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who stopped 33 shots in the loss.

San Jose threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Ducks, who arrived in San Jose at 3am on Thursday morning after beating the Vancouver Canucks the night before. The Sharks out-shot Anaheim 18-9 in the opening period, but Giguere withstood the hail of rubber.

Torrey Mitchell gave the Sharks their best chance to score midway through the opening period, by intercepting a pass at his own blueline right at the end of a Joe Pavelski hooking penalty, and racing up the ice getting a shot off on the breakaway. Mitchell was hooked on the play and awarded the first penalty shot of his career.

That chance would go unfulfilled after Mitchell tried to squeeze a shot between Giguere's pads, but the Ducks netminder shut the door to preserve toe 0-0 tie.

A high-sticking penalty to Scott Neidermayer with 1:46 to play in the period gave the Sharks their second power play of the night, but they couldn't solve Giguere. Pavelski misfired on a pass through the slot, trickling the puck toward the Anaheim goal where Giguere easily kicked it aside.

The Sharks would finally get on the board midway through the 2nd period after Thornton got his stick on a Patrick Marleau shot, deflecting it through Giguere's five-hole. Marleau was originally credited with the goal, but the official scorekeeper awarded it to Thornton after reviewing it during the 2nd intermission.

Marleau would get his own deflection, knocking down a Douglas Murray shot six minutes later. Parked in the slot, Marleau got his stick blade waist-high, redirecting the Murray blast into the Anaheim goal for his 21st tally of the season.

Anaheim tried to lean on their physical play late in the period. Sheldon Brookbank almost sent forward Dany Heatley into the Ducks bench with a hit along the boards late in the period, but Ryane Clowe engaged the Anahaeim defenseman in a spirited scrap.

Heatley would take a high-sticking penalty right before the 2nd intermission, giving Anaheim a partial power play to open the 3rd period. The Ducks would cash in when Ryan Getzlaf walked a Bobby Ryan feed right up the right side, drawing Evgeni Nabokov out of his net, before sliding the puck in to an empty net. The four Sharks penalty-killers were caught on the far side of the ice, and a partial screen by Corey Perry in the slot, prevented Marc-Edouard Vlasic from getting over to cut off the big Ducks centerman.

The Getzlaf goal seemed to take the wind out of the Sharks sails, who followed that up with a series of bad icing plays. Unable to muster a way to get the puck past center-ice, the momentum began to shift in Anaheim's favor.

That would all change after a pair of Ducks penalties gave the Sharks a brief 5-on-3 power play. Anaheim killed off the first infraction, then San Jose just missed on a golden chance to score, when Devin Setoguchi misfired on a wide open net, just as Saku Koivu's tripping penalty ended.

Koivu would head right back to the box three minutes later for hooking Pavelski behind the Sharks net, but this time the Sharks would cash in.

Pavelski finally figured out that Giguere's was having a field day knocking down San Jose's perimeter shots, so he drove the to the net while the Sharks had the man advantage. His shot attempt in tight was stopped by Giguere, but Thornton was parked on the doorstep and was able to sweep home the puck for his 9th goal of the season.

That goal would come with 6:37 remaining in regulation and essentially broke the Ducks back.

Setoguchi would atone for his missed scoring chance earlier in the game by depositing a feed from Thornton past Giguereat 16:11 to ice the game. Thornton created the chance by intercepting a clearing chance at the Ducks blueline, then hitting Setoguchi with a pass through the slot after he skated to the left dot. Setoguchi rifled a shot that hit the top right corner of the net, securing the Sharks first win in six games.

Game Notes:

Dan Boyle was in the Sharks lineup and showed no ill affects of the lower body injury he sustained at the end of the Phoenix game on Saturday night. Team USA General Manager Brian Burke was in attendance to scout Pavelski, and Ducks players Bobby Ryan and Ryan Whitney. Burke is trying to finalize his Olympic roster.


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1 2 3 T
ANA 0 0 1 1
SJ 0 2 2 4
1st period - SJ, Mitchell (unsuccessful penalty shot), 13:40.
2nd period - 1, SJ, Thornton 8 (Marleau, Setoguchi), 9:15. 2, SJ, Marleau 21 (Murray, Thornton), 15:25.
3rd period - 3, ANA, Getzlaf 8 (Ryan, Neidermayer), 0:34, (pp). 4, SJ, Thornton 9 (Pavelski, Boyle), 13:23, (pp). 5, SJ, Setoguchi 9 (Thornton, Marleau), 16:11.
1st period - Ortmeyer, SJ (boarding), 9:13; Neidermayer, ANA (interference), 10:03; Pavelski, SJ (hooking), 11:34; Neidermayer, ANA (high sticking), 18:14; .
2nd period - Brookbank, ANA (fighting major), 16:22; Clowe, SJ (fighting major), 16:22; Wisniewski, ANA (roughing), 19:05; Heatley, SJ (high sticking), 19:05; Heatley, SJ (roughing), 19:05.
3rd period - Ortmeyer, SJ (tripping), 7:57; Whitney, ANA (roughing), 8:20; Koivu, ANA (tripping), 9:11; Koivu, ANA (hooking), 12:47.
Shots Saves
ANA - Giguere 37 33
SJ - Nabokov 21 20
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
ANA 9 6 6 21
SJ 18 11 8 37
Power Play Conversion
ANA 1 of 4
SJ 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Thornton
Patrick Marleau
Douglas Murray
Referees: McCreary, Dwyer. Linesmen: Galloway, Nelson.

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