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Road weary Sharks stumble in Anaheim
Ducks take 2-1 shootout win
2/6/21 - By Mike Lee -

The road weary Sharks showed a little of the fatigue that goes with 9 consecutive games away from home ice. Throw in a modified training camp that was held in Arizona, and the Sharks may not even remember where they live. They forgot where the opposing net was on Saturday night, dropping a 2-1 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center after scoring off the opening faceoff.

San Jose salvaged a point in the standings, which is a probably the silver lining for a game that had little to feel positive about. The Ducks looked beatable, but the Sharks just didn't have the jolt of energy required to take the 2 points. They played a mediocre game against a mediocre team and it cost them.

The Sharks wasted no time grabbing a lead, jumping on veteran goaltender Ryan Miller just 11 seconds into the game. Couture bagged his 5th goal of the season in similar fashion to his goal on Friday night against John Gibson. The Sharks captain was lurking in front of the net, where he punched home a rebound after Evander Kane forced a shot on net on a wrap-around chance on the right post. The puck kicked out to Mario Ferraro for a put back chance prior to Couture's deposit to earn the primary assist, but it was Kane who applied the pressure that put Miller on tilt.

Devyn Dubnyk helped the Sharks hold their slim lead by stopping all 12 shots he faced in the opening 20 minutes. He would make 32 saves in the game, but it wasn't enough to secure his first victory as a Shark.

The Sharks entered play a -12 in the 2nd period this season, which was magnified by a horrific middle frame in Friday night's win that saw the Ducks put 3 goals past MArtin Jones. You could call the outcome of that middle 20 minutes in this game an improvement, even though they surrendered a single goal.

Anaheim tied the game 5:42 into the period when Isac Lundestrom deflected a Hampus Lindholm shot from the slot area. Lundestrom jumped up in the air, thinking the shot might catch him in the lower half, but he extended his stick out to deflect the stick back down to the ice and past Dubnyk.

San Jose then made things difficult for themselves by taking penalties at 7: 44 and 12:24 of the period. Tomas Hertl was whistled for tripping less than a minute after Lundestrom scored to make things extremely precarious for the Sharks. They would kill the penalty but Timo Meier was sent off less than 3 minutes later.

Scoring wasn't a priority for the Sharks in that middle period, but holding serve was. Dubnyk stopped 8 of 9 shots in the period to help that cause.

Neither team could generate any scoring in the 3rd period, but Anaheim held the advantage in puck possession. The Ducks out-shot San Jose 10-5 in the period, holding San Jose to a single shot for the first 15 minutes of the period.

The overtime was all Anaheim. They controlled the puck for more than 4 minutes in the extra 5 minute period. The Sharks came closest when a Timo Meier shot rang off the crossbar. San Jose would record no official shots in the overtime.

Dubnyk deserved better, but his inability to stop the Ducks in the shootout cost him and the Sharks. Troy Terry and Max Comtois put the first two chances past the Sharks netminder, and San Jose could only respond with a Ryan Donato goal. Logan Couture and Kevin Labanc looked lost in their chances to beat Miller.

Game Notes:

* Rudolphs Balcers made his NHL debut, skating on the 4th line for San Jose.

* Patrick Marleau tied Jaromir Jagr for 3rd on the all-time games played list with 1,733 contests.

* Logan Couture took yet another puck to the mouth. The sharks captain has a habit of getting hit in the chops. He lost several teeth in Nashville in March of 2017, costing him any shot at making the People Magazine - Most Beautiful People edition.

* Ice time is something coveted by NHL players, but the Sharks had too many guys extending shifts well beyond the length which would return effective performances. Evander Kane and Brent Burns were guilty of multiple shifts that provided little benefit for San Jose.

* Erik Karlsson's primary role on the Sharks is to generate offense from the back end, but his indecisiveness with the puck cost San Jose. Karlsson recorded 2 shots on goal, but the Sharks struggled to move the puck out of their own end most of the night. They need Karlsson to quarterback breakouts, and to help open up the ice for his forwards. That didn't happen on Saturday.


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1 2 3 OT SO T
SJ 1 0 0 0 0 1
ANA 0 1 0 0 1 2
1st period - 1, SJ, Couture 5 (Ferraro, Kane), 0:11.
2nd period - 2, ANA, Lundestrom 1 (Lindholm, Shattenkirk), 5:42.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - None.
Shootout- ANA: Terry (goal), Comtois (goal), Shattenkirk (miss). SJ: Donato (goal), Couture (miss), Labanc (miss).
1st period - Knyzhov, SJ (hooking), 2:54; Bench, ANA (too many men), 14:37; Gambrell, SJ (roughing), 17:18; Comtois, ANA (roughing), 17:18.
2nd period - Simek, SJ (roughing), 6:27; Henrique, ANA (roughing), 6:27; Hertl, SJ (tripping), 7:44; Meier, SJ (hooking), 12:24.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
SJ - Dubnyk 33 32
ANA - Miller 27 26
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 10 12 5 0 27
ANA 12 9 10 2 33
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 1
ANA 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Isac Lundestrom
Ryan Miller
Devyn Dubnyk
Honda Center - attendance unavailable
Referees: Rehman, StPierre. Linesmen: Gawryletz, Gibbons.

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