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Opening night cobwebs costs Sharks
Ducks big 3rd period sinks San Jose
10/03/18 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks kicked of their 2018-19 campaign with a home affair, pulling back the curtain on their shiny new defenseman in Erik Karlsson at SAP Center on Wednesday night. The Karlsson unveiling was the highlight of the night for the Sharks, who played 40 minutes of hockey before rolling over in the 3rd period. Beset with injuries, the visiting Anaheim Ducks scored four unanswered goals across the final 22 minutes of the game to spoil the party with a big 5-2 win.

If the training camp is intended to help players shake out the cob webs, then San Jose may want to consider opening camp earlier next season. The club played a spirited 38 minutes of hockey, but they were disjointed enough throughout the evening to allow the Ducks to hang around.

Sharks goaltender Martin Jones was the player who looked least prepared for the start of the season. The netminder surrendered 4 goals on a paltry 14 shots, most of the head-shaking variety.

Jones allowed rookie Max Comtois to kickoff his NHL career in storybook fashion, by scoring on the first shot of his career which came 49 seconds in the game. Joakim Ryan tried to stab at a loose puck near center ice, but Adam Henrique's stick was a bit longer. chipping it to Comtois who was skating toward the Sharks zone. Brent Burns was too far forward, allowing the Ducks rookie to skate up the right wing before slipping a puck through Jones' pads.

The Sharks had a pair of power plays that book-ended a Joe Thornton tripping penalty, but the special teams failed to deliver. San Jose would go 0-for-3 on the man-advantage, missing on key chances to grab some momentum.

Evander Kane tied the game 7 minutes later, undressing Ducks defenseman Josh Manson along the left wing boards with a deek to his right before snapping a shot that beat Gibson through the five-hole for his first goal of the season.

San Jose continued to pepper Gibson, finishing the opening frame with 11 shots on goal. They would add another 15 shots in the 2nd period. One of the shots came from Tomas Hertl, who intercepted a puck at center ice while the Sharks were killing a Kane tripping penalty. Hertl skated the puck to the right wing boards and pulled the puck across his body to fool defenseman Cm Fowler. The Sharks forward then drove to the net and snapped a shot past Gibson for the 2-1 lead.

That would be the only lead of the evening for San Jose and it lasted a mere 46 seconds.

Rickard Rakell finished the Kane penalty with a backdoor goal after the Sharks defense got caught watching Jakob Silfverberg stick handle outside the right post before sending a pass through Brent Burns skates to the left side. That goal came with 2 minutes remaining in the period, and denied San Jose from carrying any momentum into the 2nd intermission.

The 3rd period was all Ducks. Kane had a chance to put the Sharks back on top 5 minutes into the period when he found himself one-on-one with Gibson, but the Ducks goaltender denied a shot that bounced off his left pad.

Jones gave up the worst goal of the night, when he failed to cover the near side of the net as defenseman Brandon Montour carried the puck around the left dot. Montour lifted a 30-foot backhand shot that caught the upper left corner of the net, as Jones was late.

Logan Couture made an appearance in the game midway through the period when he took a bad interference penalty. Anaheim used a low-high passing sequence that ended with Adam Henrique one-timing a Silfverberg pass from the top of the crease past Jones for the 4-2 lead.

The Sharks spent the next ten minutes flailing in the wind, unable to mount any organized attack on Gibson and the Ducks net. They looked out of sorts, unable to hang on to the puck in traffic and unable to move it when it toward the goal mouth. In a play indicative of the Sharks approach, Joe Thornton found himself with the puck and a free lane to the Anaheim net, but he elected to skate the puck around the back of the goal rather than force the issue with a shot on net. They decision ended with a turnover well away from the net.

It also ended any chance for a comeback.

Game Notes:

* Erik Karlsson's debut was nothing to write home about. The defenseman finished the game with a -2, recording 1 shot on goal to go along with 4 misses. Karlsson was on the ice for the Ducks 3rd and 4th goals of the game, bit coming in the 3rd period.

* Brent Burns line looked better than it actually was. His even plus minus came courtesy of the fact that he was on the ice for both Kane and Hertl's goals. He was on the ice for three Ducks goals, but the empty-netter at the end does not affect plus/minus.

* Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture and Joe Thornton accounted for 3 shots on goal in total.

* Evander Kane led all skaters with 5 shots on goal. Joonas Donskoi had 4 shots. No Duck had more than 2 shots on goal.





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Scoring
1 2 3 T
ANA 1 1 3 5
SJ 1 1 0 2
1st period - 1, ANA, Comtois 1 (Henrique, Silfverberg), 0:49. 2, SJ, Kane 1 (Braun), 7:51.
2nd period - 3, SJ, Hertl 1 (unassisted), 17:14, (sh). 4, ANA, Rakell 1 (Silfverberg, Getzlaf), 18:00, (pp).
3rd period - 5, ANA, Montour 1 (Rakell, Getzlaf), 8:02. 6, ANA, Henrique 1 (Silfverberg, Rakell), 10:22, (pp). 7, ANA, Rowney 1 (Street, Sherwood), 19:36, (en).
Penalties
1st period - Manson, ANA (interference), 2:47; Thornton, SJ (tripping), 4:03; Aberg, ANA (goaltender interference), 4:52.
2nd period - Manson, ANA (tripping), 13:13; Kane, SJ (tripping), 16:24.
3rd period - Couture, SJ (interference), 10:08.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
ANA - Gibson 33 31
SJ - Jones 14 10
SJ - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
ANA 5 4 6 15
SJ 11 15 7 33
Power Play Conversion
ANA 2 of 3
SJ 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
John Gibson
Rikard Rakell
Jakob Silfverberg
Attendance
SAP Center - 17,562
Officials
Referees: Schlenker, Watson. Linesmen: Knorr, Sericolo.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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