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Sharks grab division lead
3-2 win over Ducks propels SJ to top of Pacific
3/20/14 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks last held the lead in the Pacific Division on December 6th. A month later, they were trailing the Anaheim Ducks by 13 points in the standings. Fast forward to Thursday night and the Sharks re-gained sole possession of the division lead by knocking off the Ducks 3-2 with a thrilling 3rd period comeback at SAP Center. Brent Burns used his big butt and an opportunistic stick to propel the Sharks, who are a point shy of the 100-point mark in the NHL standings.

* Burns was Johnny-on-the-spot late in the 3rd period, with the game tied 2-2. The converted defenseman slashed through the slot as line-mate Joe Thornton sent a precision pass on his stick from the left wing boards. Burns deflected Thornton's pass past Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen for his 20th goal of the season with 3:59 left in regulation, which also turned out to be the game winner.

* The Sharks were in the position to go ahead after Thornton tied the game at 8:11 of the 3rd period, gathering a deflection off a Burns shot and slamming it home from the right side of the Ducks goal. Thornton timed his shot as Andersen lunged to his left to try and close the gaping hole on the right side of the net. Andersen was unsuccessful as the Sharks captain banged home his 11th goal of the season.

* Burns used his posterior to wake up his teammates in the period, catching Corey Perry with a butt-check that floored the Ducks forward. Perry stumbled to the bench after catching Burns gluteous maximus in the left hip.

* The Burns hit energized San Jose in the period after Teemu Selanne was credited with a goal to give Anaheim a 2-1 lead early in the final period. Perry grabbed a loose puck that was dislodged from the Sharks control by Getzlaf, then skated to the slot from the left wing boards. Perry whipped a shot on net, that deflected off Selanne before crossing the goal line.

* Patrick Marleau staked the Sharks to a 1-0 lead midway through the 1st period, cashing in on a power play chance after Luca Sbisa was sent off for roughing Tommy Wingels. Marleau simply parked himself outside the left post and snapped a Thornton pass past Anderesne with a quick snap of the wrists. Thornton stickhandled behind the Ducks net, setting up Marleau with a short 8 foot pass.

* San Jose got into penalty trouble late in the 2nd period when Selanne tripped over a fictitious Sharks stick to draw Logan Couture into a 2 minute break. Things got worse after Marc-Edouard Vlasic was called for a suspect interference penalty on Selanne right before Couture's penalty expired.

* Mathieu Perreault cashed in on the Vlasic penalty with a put back, similar to Thornton's goal later in the game. Anaheim used the 2-man advantage to tie the game at 1-1, when Perreault snapped home a big rebound from the right side after Perry bounced a shot off Antti Niemi.


Head Coach Todd McLellan: "They were good, they rose to the occasion. They knew what was at stake and focused from the beginning to the end. It became a three-line game, especially late, and they were prepared to play that. They recovered quickly on the bench and were alert. I'm real happy with the effort they put forth."

Tommy Wingels: "Like I said before the game, these are more physical games. There is less space out there and by being physical you can attempt to create space for your line mates. Whether you're getting hit or giving hits out I think it's an effective way to do that. So that's something I tried to do tonight."

Head Coach Bruce Boudreau: "It was a pretty even game, all game. A bounce goes their way, it goes in. A bounce doesn't go our way, it doesn't go in. It's a tough game, but that's what happens when you have two good teams going at it. It's tooth and nail all the way down. We made a mistake on the two-on-one. It wasn't a good play, and those are the things that are going to cost you."

Corey Perry "Two breakdowns. That's all that was. They're a team that capitalizes on that. They push the pace. We got jumping a little too much on the second goal, and gave them a two-on-one. Those two guys aren't going to miss too often."


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1 2 3 T
ANA 0 1 1 2
SJ 1 0 2 3
1st period - 1, SJ, Marleau 29 (Thornton, Couture), 13:52, (pp).
2nd period - 2, ANA, Perreault 15 (Perry Getzlaf), 17:40, (pp).
3rd period - 3, ANA, Selanne 8 (Perry, Getzlaf), 1:43. 4, SJ, Thornton 11 (Burns, Pavelski), 8:11. 5, SJ, Burns 20 (Thornton, Vlasic), 16:01.
1st period - Sbisa, ANA (roughing), 12:49.
2nd period - Couture, SJ (tripping), 15:35; Vlasic, SJ (interference), 17:30; Allen, ANA (hooking), 19:20.
3rd period - Perreault, ANA (slashing), 2:18.
Shots Saves
ANA - Andersen 28 25
SJ - Niemi 18 16
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
ANA 4 9 5 18
SJ 6 11 11 28
Power Play Conversion
ANA 1 of 2
SJ 1 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Brent Burns
Joe Thornton
Ryan Getzlaf
Referees: VanMassenhoven, Devorski. Linesmen: Henderson, Racicot.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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