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Sharks continue to struggle
Ducks take second straight against San Jose
10/17/11 - By Mike Lee -
It's only four games into the new season, but the Sharks should be worried. Having not learned the lessons of seasons past, slow starts will take their toll as the year goes on. Three losses in four games qualifies as a slow start, but as the losses mount all the lip service about a fast start is beginning to ring hollow. For the second time in three games, the Anaheim Ducks had their way with the Sharks and took two points from the Pacific Division cellar dwellers via a 3-2 win at HP Pavilion.

The flat offense wouldn't be so bad if the Sharks were playing defense, but even that's not the case. Anaheim jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening period then simply fended off the Sharks mundane offense.

Of the two goals San Jose did score, one came courtesy of a redirect by a Ducks player and the other came on a 2-man advantage. That aside, the top two lines have contributed little in terms of offense.

The Sharks backed themselves into a bit of a corner when Tommy Wingels and Dan Boyle took penalties 66 seconds apart. Teemu Selanne missed on a slam duck on the 2-man advantage, but he heeled the pass in front of goaltender Antti Niemi.

San Jose killed off the 5-on-3, but Andrew Desjardins flipped the puck over the glass to take another penalty right before Boyle's penalty ended. The Ducks were the benefactors of some bad luck for San Jose, when defenseman Douglas Murray was hobbled by a blocked shot. Murray also lost his stick on the play, which prompted Michal Handzus to surrender his. The stick-less Handzus couldn't create any interference on Selanne's second chance, which roofed past Niemi for the 1-0 Ducks lead.

Selanne struck again 5 minutes later, lurking in front of the Sharks net. Saku Koivu bounced a shot off Niemi, and an unchallenged Selanne punched home the rebound from the top of the crease.

After misfiring on the power play, the Sharks were the benefactors of a deflection when a Marc-Edouard Vlassic flipped a puck back toward the blueline from a severe angle. He puck hit Ducks forward Bobby Ryan in the skate before changing direction and slipping between Dan Ellis' pads.

Any notion of a 3rd period comeback were stymied by a pair of lazy plays that setup Anaheim's third goal of the evening. Carrying the puck up ice, Joe Thornton got cute with a drop pass that trailed Joe Pavelski, forcing the Sharks forward to lose all his forward momentum. When he did regain control of the puck, he was carrying so little speed through the neutral zone that Anaheim easily piked him and countered up the ice.

Correy Perry swept up ice before looping at the left dot and then roofing a shot that caught the top right corner of the net for the 3-1 lead.

Anaheim helped the Sharks creep back into the game by taking a pair of delay of game penalties when both Luca Sbisa and Maxim Macenauer tossed pucks over the glass 47 seconds apart.

Brent Burns converted on the 5-on-3 after the Ducks tried to change on a clearing attempt. Joe Thornton dropped the puck to the big defenseman near the right circle for a blast that beat Ellis at 11:01 of the period.

San Jose could only flail at pucks the rest of the evening, generating lots of buzz, but no goals.

McLellan pulled Niemi with 1:35 to play, but the man-advantage was as ineffective as it had been all night long. A mad scramble in front of the net with 15 seconds left ended with Burns firing a shot into the side of the net. That would be it. No equalizer. Another loss.


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1 2 3 T
ANA 2 0 1 3
SJ 0 1 1 2
1st period - 1, ANA, Selanne 1 (Koivu, Visnovsky), 9:42, (pp). 2, ANA, Selanne 2 (Koivu, McMillan), 14:33.
2nd period - 3, SJ, Vlassic 1 (Mitchell), 6:39.
3rd period - 4, ANA, Perry 2 (Lydman), 4:13. 5, SJ, Burns 2 (Thornton, Boyle), 11:02, (pp).
1st period - Macenauer, ANA (high sticking), 2:30; Wingels, SJ (high sticking), 6:13; Boyle, SJ (roughing), 7:19; Desjardins, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 9:17; Beleskey, ANA (fighting major), 13:42; Desjardins, SJ (fighting major), 13:42; Desjardins, SJ (10 min misconduct), 13:42.
2nd period - Perry, ANA (high sticking), 3:47; Smith-Pelly, ANA (slashing), 13:57.
3rd period - Lydman, ANA (high sticking), 7:16; Sbisa, ANA (delay of game - puck over glass), 9:18; Macenauer, ANA (delay of game - puck over glass), 10:05.
Shots Saves
ANA - Ellis 43 41
SJ - Niemi 22 19
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
ANA 12 7 3 22
SJ 10 17 16 43
Power Play Conversion
ANA 1 of 3
SJ 1 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Dan Ellis
Teemu Selanne
Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Referees: Kimmerly, Jackson. Linesmen: Rody, Sharrers.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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