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Sharks finally snap Ducks run
No-nonsense approach pays dividends
1/4/12 - By Mike Lee -

The Anaheim Ducks haven't been having a stellar season, but one thing they've excelled at this year is beating the San Jose Sharks. Anaheim entered Wednesday night's Pacific Division matchup riding a four game winning streak over San Jose, including three wins already this season. The Sharks overcame their recent failures against the Ducks by putting three pucks past Anaheim goaltender Jonas Hiller to win 3-1 in Southern California.

The victory put the Sharks back atop the Pacific Division standings, hop-scotching the Los Angeles Kings, who trail the Sharks by a single point. The Kings have played four more games than San Jose.

San Jose stuck to a steady game plan against the Ducks, peppering Hiller with shots and maintaining control of the puck. The approach was tested early, when the Ducks grabbed a quick 1-0 lead.

Reigning league MVP Corey Perry scored his 15th goal of the season on an odd play right after a holding penalty to Andrew Cogliano ended. Perry fired a puck on Antti Niemi from the right point that kicked out to the left wing boards. It looked as if the puck would clear the zone, but Cogliano flipped the puck toward the net where Perry had slipped past the Sharks defense. A quick move to the right, then back to the left preceded Perry's deposit of the puck past Niemi.

The Sharks then spent the next 30 minutes chipping away at Hiller. They only allowed the Ducks to take a single shot on goal after Perry's goal the remainder of the 1st period, outshooting Anaheim 12-3. The Sharks then outshot the Ducks 17-8 in the 2nd period, but two of those Sharks shots found the back of the Anaheim net.

Those goals came 27 seconds apart, stunning the paltry Honda Center crowd.

Brad Winchester tied the game with a 25-foot shot from the left wing boards. The Sharks forward cranked the puck past Hiller, ringing the crossbar for his 4th goal of the season.

Benn Ferriero put the Sharks on top before Winchester's goal was announced to the 14,596 in attendance. Ferriero did his best Bobby Orr imitation, swatting a puck past Hiller as he dove across the top of the crease. Logan Couture tried putting the puck on net as he pivoted away from the goal, but his scoring attempt fluttered into the crease where Ferriero was there to cash in.

Douglas Murray took an interference penalty with 10:31 to play. The penalty was magnified by the score and proximity to the final horn. San Jose killed it off to preserve their paltry lead, due in part to a nice piece of stick work by Joe Thornton.

Nick Bonino clanked a shot off the post moments later to give the Sharks a scare.

San Jose made the Ducks failure to score more painful when Joe Pavelski punched home a deflection off a Thornton blast with 7:17 left in regulation. Thornton scooped up a Patrick Marleau feed up the left wing boards then uncorked a cannon shot from 25 feet out. Hiller couldn't control the big Thornton shot, allowing the puck to trickle over to the right side, where Pavelski swooped in for his 16th goal of the season.

Bobby Ryan sent Jason Demers to the dressing room with 2 minutes to play with a nasty hit that sent the Sharks defenseman's head into the corner glass.

The Ducks pulled Hiller with Ryan still in the box, but Michal Handzus missed on a rare empty-net, power play goal by pushing the puck wide left. Couture was sent off for tripping with 24 seconds left to play, but it was too little, too late for Anaheim.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 2 1 3
ANA 1 0 0 1
1st period - 1, ANA, Perry 15 (Cogliano), 2:37.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Winchester 4 (McGinn), 16:23. 3, SJ, Ferriero 4 (Couture, Boyle), 16:50.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Pavelski 16 (Thornton, Marleau), 12:43.
1st period - Cogliano, ANA (holding), 0:22; Lydman, ANA (interference), 11:47; Winchester, SJ (high sticking - double minor), 16:34.
2nd period - Koivu, ANA (high sticking), 17:52.
3rd period - D. Murray, SJ (interference), 9:29; Ryan, ANA (boarding), 17:30.
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 27 26
ANA - Hiller 36 33
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 12 17 7 36
ANA 3 8 16 27
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 4
ANA 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Corey Perry
Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Cam Fowler
Referees: Rooney, Walkom. Linesmen: Heyer, Sharrers.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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