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Fluke bounce and toothless power play cost Sharks
No call on Getzlaf pick helps game winner
2/4/13 - By Mike Lee -

January's perfect record has been inverted so far in February, as the Sharks dropped their second straight game of the season on Monday night. San Jose didn't deserve to lose, but they didn't put the host Anaheim Ducks away when they had their chances, and ended up dropping a 2-1 decision for their first regulation loss of the season. Anaheim took advantage of a fluke bounce and a missed call to generate their offense, stealing two points from the Pacific Division leading Sharks.

The big hole in San Jose's game came on the power play, where the team missed on 6 chances to score. What made matters worse was that San Jose couldn't crack Anaheim's 65.3% penalty kill efficiency, which ranked 29th in the league entering the game. San Jose's 5th ranked power play did little to generate any legitimate scoring chances.

As the rest of the league has acclimated themselves to the pace of the game, the Sharks have found it harder to generate any scoring. San Jose has scored two or fewer goals in four straight games.

Skating 5-on-5, San Jose has seemingly stopped sending bodies to the front of the net. The Sharks offensive woes can be attributed to a lack of activity in front of the net, which worked to Ducks rookie goaltender Viktor Fasth's advantage. Fasth saw the puck well all night, snuffing out everything the Sharks threw at him from distance.

The lone Sharks goal came courtesy of Logan Couture, who gathered a rebound in front of Fasth, then worked around the netminder to jam home his 6th tally of the season. Andrew Desjardins earned the primary assist by throwing the puck on net before Couture worked his magic with the rebound.

Thomas Greiss was cruising along, extending his shutout streak to 5 periods. Defenseman Jason Demers helped extend that streak by making a spectacular play on what should have been a sure goal for the Ducks Andrew Cogliano with 7:30 left in the 2nd period. Cogliano found a deflection at the top of the Sharks crease, then tried pushing a shot home as he slid toward the left post. Demers dove with his stick extended, blocking the shot with his stick blade to help preserve the Sharks one-goal lead.

Greiss made a big save on Brayan Allen three minutes into the 3rd period after the Ducks forward raced around the right end and cut in on net. Greiss' luck ran out after that save.

The Sharks had control of the puck in their end when Tommy Wingels tried to wind the puck around the end boards. The puck hit a seem in the dasher board and kicked out to the front of the goal, where Saku Koivu deposited it for the easy goal. Greiss assumed the puck was traveling to the right corner and had his back to it as it caromed out to Koivu.

Martin Havlat missed on a nice backhand chance after working the puck from behind the Ducks net later in the period, bust Fasth gloved the shot. That was followed shortly thereafter by a Marc-Edouard Vlasic blast that Fasth gloved to keep the game tied.

The one bright spot for San Jose was their penalty kill, which matched the Ducks by killing 6 power plays of their own. San Jose put itself into a precarious position later in the period. Michal Handzus was sent off for hooking, then Joe Pavelski took a delay of game penalty for throwing the puck over the glass. Pavelski's penalty was curious, because a linesman called a deflection off a Duck's stick on the play, but referee Tom Kowal overruled it, sending Pavelski to the penalty box.

San Jose killed off the 5-on-3, then almost turned things around when Patrick Marleau chipped the puck forward and found himself on a breakaway. Fasth rejected Marleau with a well-timed poke-check to extinguish the scoring chance.

Ryan Getzlaf generated the Ducks second goal of the evening by throwing a pick in the offensive zone which went uncalled by Kowal and his posse of striped incompetents. Sheldon Souray pumped a shot from the top of the left circle that Scott Gomez then partially deflected to beat Greiss for the 2-1 Ducks lead.

Allen leveled Couture with a cross check with 3:24 to play, but the Sharks power play could only muster a single shot on goal. Fasth finished the evening with a paltry 25 saves, but escaped with the victory.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 1 0 0 1
ANA 0 0 2 2
1st period - 1, SJ, Couture 6 (Desjardins, Wingels), 18:08.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 2, ANA, Koivu 2 (unassisted), 3:53. 2, ANA, Souray 3 (Beauchemin, Getzlaf), 13:21.
Penalties
1st period - Clowe, SJ (instigator), 11:20; Clowe, SJ (fighting major), 11:20; Clowe, SJ (10 min misconduct), 11:20; Beleskey, ANA (fighting major), 11:20; Wingels, SJ (tripping), 14:59; Allen, ANA (holding), 18:22.
2nd period - Havlat, SJ (tripping), 7:07; Koivu, ANA (interference), 12:44; Allen, ANA (interference), 16:12; Wingels, SJ (hooking), 19:17; Souray, ANA (tripping), 19:29.
3rd period - Beauchemin, ANA (intereference), 4:54; Handzus, SJ (hooking), 7:49; Pavelski, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 8:13; Allen, ANA (cross checking), 16:36.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Greiss 33 31
ANA - Fasth 26 25
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 7 7 12 26
ANA 8 14 11 33
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 6
ANA 0 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Sheldon Souray
Viktor Fasth
Ryan Getzlaf
Attendence
14,324
Officials
Referees: Kowal, Rehman. Linesmen: McElman, Murray.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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