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Home ice meaningless against Ducks
Anaheim sweeps all three games at HP this season
3/19/12 - By Mike Lee -

Some things are just hard to understand. Faced with the opportunity to jump from 9th place in the Western Conference to 3rd place by virtue of having more points than every other team in the Pacific Division, the Sharks laid an egg in a matchup with the cellar dwelling Anaheim Ducks on Monday night in San Jose. The Sharks turned in a head scratching performance after a big win over Detroit 48 hours earlier. The Ducks beat San Jose for the fourth time in five tries this season, doing it with their backup goaltender Jeff Deslauriers.

The flat performance was an about face to their up-tempo win against the Red Wings, which made the loss that much more frustrating. Anaheim out-shot the Sharks 40-30, which included a 20-shot 2nd period. It was the most shots allowed by the Sharks in a period this season.

"Disappointed is a really good word," said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan. "The lack of energy and jump that we had as a team is baffling. When we're supposed to be as desperate as we are, apparently, I can't figure out why we didn't have that jump. On some nights, if you don't have it, you have to rely on your hockey sense and your brain to put you in a position to be successful, and we didn't have that going either. We were the second place team in a lot of areas tonight, and at the end of the night, on the score, too."

Defensive lapses continue to plague the Sharks, especially after San Jose scored. The Sharks got to Deslauriers 6:24 into the contest when Martin Havlat's hot hand continued to pay dividends. Havlat demonstrated what happens when you go to the net on a power play, by taking a Brent Burns feed near the left post, then sliding the puck past Deslauriers while cutting across the top of the crease.

Anaheim answered less than a minute later when Bobby Ryan tapped in a rebound after Kyle Palmieri drew netminder Antti Niemi, Joe Thornton and Jason Demers away from the Sharks goal. Defenseman Justin Braun also decided to stroll back to the front of the net as the puck kicked off Niemi to the goal mouth. Ryan simply beat Braun to the puck and deposited his 27th goal of the season with the flip of his stick.

"I don't know why it's happening, but it's a bad trend to get into," said Sharks captain Joe Thornton. "Last game, we did the same thing. We grab some momentum, and then next shift, they grab it right back. There's a line coming off after the goal that definitely has to be prepared to win the faceoff. It's a big shift after that."

Ryane Clowe put San Jose back on top at 9:20 of the period, one timing a lateral feed from Havlat past Deslauriers from the slot. San Jose managed to hold that lead for 12 minutes, until Brent Burns took a lazy interference penalty late in the period.

Francois Beauchemin tied it up at 2-2 with a tap in from the front of the net after former Sharks prospect Nick Bonino fed the Ducks defenseman a puck from behind San Jose's net. Bonino bit his former team with three assists on the night.

Even when the Sharks do something right, they back it up with more mistakes. Ryan Getzlaf had a breakaway in the opening minute of the 2nd period, but Niemi stood up the Ducks captain by making a nice save. After making the save, Niemi's momentum carried out of his crease, allowing the puck to sit unattended precariously in front of the net. Corey Perry beat a sluggish Marc-Edouard Vlasic to the puck. Perry punched home the puck for his 35th goal of the season.

Rookie defenseman Nate Guenin pushed the Ducks lead to two goals with his 2nd tally of the season. Guenin blasted a shot from the blueline that squeezed past Niemi who was screened on the play.

"We had some early jump," McLellan added. "I haven't complained about our starts lately. But you have to be able to maintain it with four lines and six defensemen, and play solid all the way through and we just didn't. We looked unorganized. We weren't handling passes, so it made us slower. The frustration level went up, so it was not a good night on our behalf."

Niemi was made the scapegoat for his team's lack of defense and got the hook after the goal.

Joe Pavelski cut into the Ducks lead by deflecting a Burns shot from the point at 17:29 of the period, but San Jose flushed the momentum down the toilet 33 seconds later.

Anaheim countered before the public address announcer could even announce the Pavelski goal. Palmieri deposited his own rebound on a shot from the right corner after the Sharks turned the puck over at center ice.

"No, it's not frustrating," said Vlasic. "Everybody knows after you score a goal, the next shift is important. Tonight, every time we scored, we didn't come out with a good effort on the next shift. We talked about it, but when you do it, it's not frustrating. You've just got to do it. If you score a goal, you've got to come out the next shift and try to score again."

Game Notes:

Pavelski's goal was his 26th of the season, setting a career high. Dan Boyle became the third Sharks defenseman in franchise history to play in 300 games for San Jose.


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1 2 3 T
ANA 2 3 0 5
SJ 2 1 0 3
1st period - 1, SJ, Havlat 5 (Burns, Clowe), 6:24, (pp). 2, ANA, Ryan 27 (Palmieri, Bonino), 7:15. 3, SJ, Clowe 13 (Havlat, Boyle), 9:20. 4, ANA, Beauchemin 8 (Bonino, Visnovsky), 17:52, (pp).
2nd period - 5, ANA, Perry 35 (Getzlaf), 0:56. 6, ANA, Guenin 2 (Ryan, Bonino), 9:59. 7, SJ, Pavelski 26 (Burns, Clowe), 17:29. 8, ANA, Palmieri 4 (Ryan, Visnovsky), 18:02.
3rd period - None.
1st period - Winchester, SJ (high sticking), 2:52; Palmieri, ANA (goaltender interference), 4:36; Burns, SJ (interference), 16:05.
2nd period - Parros, ANA (fighting major), 2:22; Winchester, SJ (fighting major), 2:22.
3rd period - Smith-Pelly, ANA (high sticking), 12:50.
Shots Saves
ANA - Deslauriers 30 27
SJ - Niemi 26 22
SJ - Greiss 14 13
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
ANA 14 20 6 40
SJ 10 11 9 30
Power Play Conversion
ANA 1 of 2
SJ 1 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Bobby Ryan
Kyle Palmieri
Nick Bonino
Referees: Hebert, Joanette. Linesmen: Sharrers, Lazarowich.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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