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Sharks not so fowl
San Jose breaks 4-game losing streak with wild win over Ducks
11/29/14 - By Mike Lee -

From the "you have to walk before you run" approach to hockey, the Sharks took a step in the right direction on Saturday night by beating the Anaheim Ducks 6-4 at SAP Center. The Sharks stormed out to a 5-1 lead then had to hold as the Ducks fought back to within a goal of San Jose's lead. The regulation win came against a division foe that also happens to be at the top of the table in the Western Conference.

Based on the ways the Sharks have played the last month, any win is a good win. The Sharks looked like world beaters in the first 25 minutes of the game, then reverted back to the apathy that has resulted in a pair of 4-game losing streaks this season.

It was like a light switch went off as soon as San Jose felt comfortable with their big lead. Anaheim didn't curl up in to a corner, but rather fought their way back as any top caliber team should be expected to do.

Logan Couture pounced on the Ducks after there were doubts that he'd even play. Suffering from flu-like symptoms, Couture skipped the morning skate, then skipped pucks past Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen.

Couture scored his 9th goal of the season 9:05 into the game, punching home a rebound after he was leveled at the top of the crease. Tommy Wingels put a shot on net that Andersen stopped but did not control. Couture popped to his feet after Kyle Palmeri knocked him off his skates, located the rebound and quickly pushed the puck into the wide open net.

The Ducks countered 2 minutes later, when Mat Beleskey tipped a Hampus Lindholm shot past Antti Niemi.

Justin Braun put the Ducks on a power play after hastily lifting the puck over the right wing glass. A Ryan Getzlaf pass back to Lindholm at the blueline hopped over the Duck defenseman's stick, as Couture streaked past him. The Sharks forward tipped the puck forward, evading a diving wave of Lindholm's stick, before racing in on Andersen and slipping a shot past the netminder.

A high-sticking penalty to Jakob Silfverberg late in the period setup a Joe Pavelski power play goal to push the Sharks lead to 3-1. Joe Thornton gathered the puck in the right corner before pivoting back to the net and sending a laser pass through the crease to Pavelski on the opposite post.

San Jose made it a 4-1 lead early in the 2nd period, when Wingels tipped a Patrick Marleau shot from the point. Wingels sat parked in the slot, forcing Marleau's shot to the right, crossing up Andersen.

A strong forecheck by James Sheppard led to a Tomas Hertl goal at 6:09 of the period. Pursuing the puck along the end boards, Sheppard forced Josh Manson to make a weak pass from behind the Ducks net out to the left point. Hertl raced into the zone, grabbing the loose puck before slicing through traffic in front of the net and lifting a backhand shot over Andersen's glove hand.

The Sharks held a 5-1 lead, but there still more than half a game to play. That was more than enough time for Anaheim to start chipping away at San Jose's lead.

The Ducks started by pulling Andersen in favor of Jason Laberbera who stopped all 15 shots he would face later in the contest.

Corey Perry made it a 5-2 game with 68 seconds left in the period, by slipping past Sheppard on his way to the net and lifting a Getzlaf pass over Niemi's left shoulder. Once Perry got past Sheppard, there was little the sharks forward could do outside of sawing Perry in half with a slash.

The 2nd intermission should have been ample opportunity for the Sharks coaching staff to remind the Sharks how precarious 3rd period leads have been for San Jose. That message either wasn't given or it landed on deaf ears.

Perry took all of 29 seconds to score his 2nd goal of the game to open the 3rd period, let a Getzlaf shot bounce off his pants and past Niemi.

Getzlaf got in to the scoring action himself 3 minutes later by lifting a shot with the backhand past Niemi. The Sharks goaltender had made the save of the game, moments earlier, but San Jose's defense seemed unmotivated to stop Anaheim's offense. The Ducks circled around the Sharks net as San Jose's defenders chased the puck.

Niemi made a series of circus saves later in the period to preserve the Sharks lead. The netminder made a toe save on Perry after the puck pin-balled out in front of the net.

Penalties helped suppress the Ducks attack. Ryan Kesler's interference period at 12:02 of the period killed a Ducks push. Manson's hooking penalty on Wingels with 2:24 left in the game sealed the outcome altogether.

Matt Nieto slipped a puck into the empty net after the Ducks were forced to pull Labarbera.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
ANA 1 1 2 4
SJ 3 2 1 6
1st period - 1, SJ, Couture 9 (Wingels, Marleau), 9:05. 2, ANA, Belesky 11 (Lindholm, Smith-Pelly), 10:53. 3, SJ, Couture 10 (unassisted), 13:35, (sh). 4, SJ, Pavelski 10 (Thornton, Wingels), 19:46, (pp).
2nd period - 5, SJ, Wingels 7 (Marleau, Braun), 2:46. 6, SJ, Hertl 5 (Sheppard), 6:09. 7, ANA, Perry 13 (Getzlaf, Vatanen), 18:52.
3rd period - 8, ANA, Perry 14 (Getzlaf, Fowler), 0:29. 9, ANA, Getzlaf 7 (Perry), 4:20. 10, SJ, Nieto 2 (Wingels), 19:10, (pp) (en).
Penalties
1st period - Braun, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 12:41; Silfverberg, ANA (high sticking), 18:51.
2nd period - Smith-Pelly, ANA (roughing), 6:32; Belesky, ANA (roughing), 6:32; Sheppard, SJ (boarding), 6:32; Sheppard, SJ (roughing), 6:32; Hertl, SJ (roughing), 6:32; Brown, SJ (closing hand on puck), 9:37; Vatanen, ANA (interference), 14:04; Scott, SJ (hooking), 16:27.
3rd period - Maroon, ANA (roughing), 2:56; Brown, SJ (roughing), 2:56; Bourque, ANA (hooking), 6:30; Brown, SJ (hooking), 10:13; Kesler, ANA (interference), 12:02; Manson, ANA (hooking), 17:36.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
ANA - Andersen 19 14
ANA - Labarbera 15 15
ANA - empty net 1 0
SJ - Niemi 34 30
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
ANA 5 14 15 34
SJ 14 12 9 35
Power Play Conversion
ANA 0 of 5
SJ 2 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Tommy Wingels
Logan Couture
Corey Perry
Attendence
17,352
Officials
Referees: Morton, LaRue. Linesmen: Sharrers, Cvik.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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