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WCQF Game 2: Sharks grab two on the road
SJ wins 3-2 in Ahaeim to take big series lead
4/14/18 - By Mike Lee -

In a matter of 72 hours, the Sharks have grabbed the Ducks by the throat and hold a commanding 2-0 series lead in their Western Conference Quarter Finals match-up after San Jose knocked off Anaheim 3-2 at the Honda Center on Saturday night. San Jose received scoring from three different goal scorers and Martin Jones made 28 saves in a feisty affair that was purely playoffs.

Anaheim picked up the intensity after dropping Game 1 on Thursday night, in the form of more physicality and plays that teetered on the edge of reckless. That elevated the entertainment value as San Jose seemed to respond to the Duck's approach by scoring goals.

The only hiccup for San Jose came 40 seconds into the game when Jakob Silfverberg gave Anaheim their first and only lead in the series. Silfverberg carried the puck over the blueline and sent a long shot on goal from the top of the right circle. The knee high shot easily cleared Jones' leg pad, but the goaltender tried to stop the shot with his blocker. That attempt was late, as the puck slipped past for Anaheim's first goal of the series.

It was the first lapse in Jones' game after his 25 save shutout on Thursday. The goal could have propelled the Ducks who spent little time near Jones in Game 1, but it seemed to wake up the Sharks who responded in a big way.

Marcus Sorensen tied the game at 9:41 of the period after Brendan Dillon fired a puck wide of the left post from the blueline. Dillon's shot hit the end boards and bounced perfectly to the off post where Sorensen was crashing in on net for the put-back chance. Dillon was able to start that sequence after Kevin Bieksa turned the puck over in his own zone with a terrible pass. The Sharks were buzzing in the zone and Bieksa's miscue came as a result of the pressure the Sharks forecheck was applying.

Brandon Montour was sent off for hooking Melker Karlsson at 13:37 of the opening period putting the Sharks on the first of three power plays on the night. San Jose responded with a Logan Couture power play goal, staking the Sharks to a lead they would not relinquish. The Ducks over-pursued a loose puck in the neutral zone, which allowed the Sharks to enter the Anaheim zone with the majority of the defense hanging at the blueline.

Joe Pavleksi sent a cross-ice pass to Kevin Labanc on the right wing boards in order to gain the Anaheim zone. Labanc carried the puck up that right side and hit Couture with a diagonal pass near the inside of the left circle. Couture collected Labanc's pass and cut across the top of the crease before slipping the puck past John Gibson. The play looked identical to Evander Kane's goal in Game 1.

San Jose held a slim 9-8 advantage on the shot counter by the end of the opening period, which was indicative of the Ducks desire to make a game of it. They played with more confidence, but it was the Sharks who carried the 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

The Sharks finished their scoring for the evening just 1:11 into the 2nd period when Tomas Hertl scored a highlight reel goal. The Sharks forward picked up a touch pass from Mikkel Boedker in the neutral zone and carried enough speed that it forced Montour to back up as he back-skated to cover the Czech. Hertl deeked left then slid the puck to his backhand on the right and lifted a shot that floated past Gibson catching the upper left corner of the goal.

Gibson was forced to cover the right side of the net as Hertl dangled the puck in the slot, but he carried too much momentum and couldn't react as the shot went against the grain in the opposite direction.

Paul Martin took a slashing penalty at 6:30 of the period giving the Ducks their first power play of the game. Hampus Lindholm cut the Sharks lead to a single goal when he sniped an uncontested shot from the slot for his 1st goal of the playoffs. The Ducks dumped the puck to the Sharks end boards, then worked it to the right corner where Ryan Getzlaf was parked. The Ducks captain setup Lindholm with a feed as the Sharks defense lost the defenseman, allowing him to pick a corner with his shot.

San Jose looked to expand their lead and establish a little breathing room, but the Ducks made things difficult. The 3rd period tested San Jose's mettle, especially when Kane lifted a puck over the glass, setting up the Ducks second power play of the game 6:12 in to the period. Anaheim put three shots on goal during the ensuing power play, but Jones earned his paycheck.

Anaheim looked as if they would tie the game when Corey Perry had a scoring chance from the front of the goal, but his shot clanked off the right post.

That would be as close as the Ducks would come to tying the game. Perry tried to generate some momentum when he hit Hertl with a shoulder that rang the Sharks forward's bell, which earned him an interference penalty at 16:17. That allowed the Sharks to burn valuable time.

The final two minutes was a wild flurry of attempts that fell short. When the final horn sounded, the Sharks held their two game advantage, and return home for a Monday match up that could seal the Ducks fate.

Game Notes:

* Evander Kane didn't produce the same offensive output as Game 1, but he did lead all skaters with 7 shots and was a constant presence in front of the Ducks net all night. Kane finished the evening a minus 1 with 4 penalty minutes.

* Aside for the game's first goal, Martin Jones was a force for San Jose as he denied the Ducks from gaining any momentum once the Sharks took their 1st period lead. His 1.00 GAA ranks second in the playoffs behind only Marc-Andre Fleury. His .964 save percentage also ranks second.

* The win marked the 4th time the Sharks have won the first two games of a series on the road. The win was also the 60th one-goal win in the playoffs for the Sharks in their team history.

* Logan Couture ranks third in Sharks history for playoff goals: Patrick Marleau 68, Joe Pavelski 42, Logan Couture 31. His 31st goal came on the power play on Saturday night.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 2 1 0 3
ANA 1 1 0 2
1st period - 1, ANA, Silfverberg 1 (Lindholm), 0:40. 2, SJ, Sorensen 1 (Karlsson, Dillon), 9:41. 3, SJ, Couture, 1 (Labanc, Pavelski), 14:41, (pp).
2nd period - 4, SJ, Hertl 1 (Boedker, Couture), 1:11. 5, ANA, Lindholm 1 (Getzlaf, Kesler), 7:51, (pp).
3rd period - None.
1st period - KAne, SJ (roughing), 6:12; Silfverberg, ANA (roughing), 6:12; Montour, ANA (hooking), 13:37.
2nd period - Martin, SJ (slashing), 6:30.
3rd period - Kane, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 6:12; Ritchie, ANA (tripping), 9:17; Perry, ANA (interference), 16:17.
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 30 28
ANA - Gibson 35 32
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 9 13 13 35
ANA 8 11 11 30
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 3
ANA 1 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Logan Couture
Hampus Lindholm
Tomas Hertl
Honda Center - 17,430
Referees: Charon, Watson. Linesmen: Sericolo, Racicot.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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