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Sharks take the night off
Ducks roll San Jose in 6-2 thumping
4/6/11 - By Mike Lee -

Millions of people from around the world flock to Anaheim, on of the country's biggest vacation destinations. 23 hockey players from San Jose took a vacation day down south on Wednesday night, dropping a 6-2 decision to the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center. With the division title all wrapped up, the Sharks took the night off, putting up little fight in the lopsided loss. Anaheim converted on 4 of 6 power play opportunities, all at the expense of backup goaltender Antero Niittymaki, who was making his first start in weeks.

With the objective of giving Antti Niemi the night off to get some rest, Niittymaki was the sacrificial lamb Sharks head coach Todd McLellan laid out for the Ducks.

It didn't help Niittymaki's cause that the Sharks were perpetually on the penalty kill and absent of any solution to stop the Ducks special teams unit. San Jose's penalty killing efficiency dropped below 80%, a mark they aren't used to.

The opening period was devoid of the fireworks that ended the last meeting between the two teams. You could barely find a pulse on the ice in the first ten minutes of the contest. Douglas Murray and Brad Winchester tried to resuscitate their respective clubs by dropping the gloves. It was a one punch fight, after Winchester lost his footing and fell to the ice.

If the altercation woke anybody up, it was Corey Perry, who slipped his league leading 48th goal of the season past Antero Niittymaki 46 seconds later. The Ducks forward cut across the slot from right to left after putting a toe-drag move on Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Slipping behind a Bobby Ryan screen, Perry put a shot just inside the left post for the 1-0 Ducks lead.

Devin Setoguchi took a ticky-tack roughing penalty with two minutes left in the period and Anaheim jumped on the chance against the NHL's 23rd ranked penalty kill. Rookie defenseman Cam Fowler cranked a shot from the left point, beating a screened Niittymaki for his 10th goal of the season just 9 seconds into the penalty.

Todd Marchant took a hooking penalty 36 seconds before the 1st intermission, then Tony Tydman followed that up with an interference penalty 10 seconds in to the 2nd period to put the Sharks on a 5-on-3 for 1:24. The Sharks doldrums carried over with Marchant's penalty, as San Jose would let the prime scoring chance evaporate. Anaheim killed off both penalties no worse for the wear.

Perry would bag his 2nd of the game at 6:46 of the period, grabbing a puck outside the left post before cutting across the slot, waiting out Niittymaki before sliding home the goal.

San Jose would should signs of life two minutes later when Dan Boyle bounced a shot of Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin and then the post before finding twine. The goal was Boyle's 9th of the season.

Torrey Mitchell followed Dany Heatley to the penalty box 45 seconds apart, giving the Ducks a 2-man advantage. Perry completed the hat-trick and bagged his 50th of the season on the ensuing power play. Perry tapped home a Teemu Selanne feed from behind the Sharks net.

Anaheim head coach Randy Carlyle also pulled Emery for Dan Ellis, in order to get his number one netminder off the ice.

Selanne added his own goal on the same power play at 12:24. Fowler threw the puck to the slot from the right dot, as Selanne was cutting through the zone. The former Sharks forward redirected the pass past Niittymaki for his 29th goal of the season.

The big question mark the Sharks have hanging over them as they head to the playoffs is if the penalty kill will get turned around. San Jose gave up a painful 4th power play goal to Anaheim with minutes to play in the period after Vlasic was sent off for roughing.

Jason Blake converted the Ducks 6th goal of the game after the Sharks simply fell asleep on the penalty kill. San Jose had just cleared the puck, but as Anaheim entered the zone, Ian White and Joe Pavelski allowed Blake and Saku Koivu to slip past them on the way to the net. Koivu carried the puck up the right side before sliding a pass to Blake on the off wing for the tap in.

Things were so bad for San Jose that Pavelski was also sent off for hooking on the play.

Ben Eager scored a meaningless goal 5:29 into the 3rd period to cut the Ducks lead to four goals. Andrew Desjardins sent a centering pass to the slot from the right corner, intended for Vlasic. The Sharks defenseman would whiff on the pass, but Eager followed up by collapsing on the net and snapping home his 7th goal of the season.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 1 1 2
ANA 2 4 0 6
1st period - 1, ANA, Perry 48 (Ryan, Getzlaf), 12:58. 2, ANA, Fowler 10 (Perry, Visnovsky), 18:14, (pp).
2nd period - 3, ANA, Perry 49 (Ryan, Getzlaf), 6:46. 4, SJ, Boyle 9 (Wellwood, Murray), 8:45. 5, ANA, Perry 50 (Selanne, Getzlaf), 10:57, (pp). 6, ANA, Selanne 29 (Fowler, Getzlaf), 12:24, (pp). 7, ANA, Blake 16 (Koivu, Ryan), 15:16, (pp).
3rd period - 8, SJ, Eager 7 (Desjardins, Mitchell), 5:29.
Penalties
1st period - Brookbank, ANA (hooking), 7:47; Murray, SJ (fighting major), 12:12; Winchester, ANA (fighting major), 12:12; Setoguchi, SJ (roughing), 18:05; Marchant, ANA (hooking), 19:24.
2nd period - Lydman, ANA (interference), 0:10; Heatley, SJ (roughing), 9:54; Heatley, SJ (roughing), 9:54; Ryan, ANA (roughing), 9:54; Mitchell, SJ (hooking), 10:39; Vlasic, SJ (roughing), 14:28; Pavelski, SJ (hooking), 15:16.
3rd period - Mashinter, SJ (fighting major), 3:02; Parros, ANA (fighting major), 3:02; Boyle, SJ (holding), 9:07; Brookbank, ANA (hooking), 18:03.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niittymaki 34 28
ANA - Emery 23 22
ANA - Ellis 14 13
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 8 17 13 38
ANA 11 18 5 34
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 4
ANA 4 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Corey Perry
Ryan Getzlaf
Teemu Selanne
Attendence
15,649
Officials
Referees: O'Rourke, Rooney. Linesmen: Kovachik, Sharrers.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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