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Ducks push Sharks to the brink
Rookie Ryan man handles San Jose
4/23/09 - By Mike Lee -

A lack of urgency and numerous defensive breakdowns have the Sharks teetering on the brink of elimination from their quarter finals playoff series with the Anaheim Ducks. Anaheim ’s top line of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan continue to lead the way, while the Sharks top players have gone AWOL. Patrick Marleau failed to generate a single shot on goal and Joe Thornton played one of his worst defensive games in teal as the Sharks were shutout 4-0.

The shutout was the second in the series for Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller, but the Ducks goaltender faced little pressure all night. San Jose out-shot the Ducks 31-26, but again San Jose insisted on sending the puck on net from long range. Hiller has proven to be more than capable of stopping long, unscreened shots, but the Sharks have yet to figure that out.

Sharks head coach Todd McLellan didn’t mince words after the third disappointing performance by his club in four games.

“The only word I can use is ‘disappointed’”, said McLellan. “I think our character was questioned tonight.”

McLellan also put focus on Thornton after praising the Ducks top line.

“The Getzlaf-Perry line was better than him (Thornton) tonight. It was reflected on the score sheet.”

Any momentum the Sharks carried into the game was squelched by a pair of 1st period penalties that kept them on the defensive. Joe Pavelski took a tripping penalty 7 minutes into the game and Devin Setoguchi followed that up with a holding infraction less than 6 minutes later.

Setoguchi would draw a Ducks penalty right after exiting the box, when Andrew Ebbett was sent off for holding after the two tangled in the corner of the Anaheim zone. San Jose had one scoring chance on the ensuing power play, but failed to crack Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller.

The Sharks looked flat to start the 2nd period and the Ducks would capitalize. Rookie forward Bobby Ryan would score his 3rd goal of the series at 6:33 , after the Sharks failed to cover the right winger. Ryan Getzlaf carried the puck up the left wing, before putting on the breaks and sliding a pass to Ryan who trailed on the play. Ryan slipped a Jonathan Cheechoo check then whipped a shot past Evgeni Nabokov for the 1-0 Ducks lead.

The game was interrupted midway through the 2nd period when Milan Michalek checked Ryan into the glass that separates the two benches, shattering the pane. It took the Anaheim arena facility team 18 minutes to repair the glass and get the broken glass cleaned up on the benches.

The delay did little to energize the Sharks. Once play resumed Ryan would do his thing again, putting the Ducks up 2-0. Chasing the puck, San Jose would get caught out of position as a Corey Perry shot pin-balled off Nabokov, kicking out to the slot. Ryan swooped in and pumped a shot past Nabokov.

James Wisniewski would head to the box 30 seconds after Ryan’s goal, but the Sharks couldn’t put anything together on the power play. As has been the case for the majority of the series, the Sharks passive approach to the man-advantage resulted in little pressure on Hiller.

The 3rd period proved no better for San Jose , who failed to generate any energy. It didn’t require much effort by Anaheim to suppress the Sharks, who played with little urgency or intensity.

Perry would ice the game with 6 minutes to play, when he deflected a Getzlaf shot past Nabokov. As was the case on all three Ducks goals, the Sharks were more spectator than participant, except for the fact that Thornton ’s blind pass from the end boards ended up on Getzlaf’s stick. Anaheim ’s top line simply outplayed the Sharks all night, and the Perry goal was the result of one team fighting and the other losing focus.

“We allowed them a lot of time in our zone and they capitalized on it,” added Rob Blake, who had a team high 5 shots on goal for San Jose .

In a true act of optimism, McLellan pulled Nabokov with a minute remaining in the contest with his team trailing by 3 goals. The move simply setup the inevitable, allowing Drew Miller to score an empty-net goal with 41 ticks left on the clock.

“We need to show up with a desperate attitude,” defenseman Dan Boyle said. “We didn’t have that tonight.”

Game Notes:

The Ducks made their first lineup change of the series, benching Petteri Nokelainen. Ryan Carter made his first appearance of the playoffs for Anaheim .


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 0 0
ANA 0 2 2 4
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, Ryan 3 (Getzlaf, Whitney), 6:33 . 2, Ryan 4 (Perry), 10:13.
3rd period - 3, ANA, Perry 1 (Getzlaf), 14:09 . 4, ANA, Miller 2 (R. Neidermayer, Marchant), 19:19 , (en).
1st period - Pavelski, SJ (tripping), 6:56 ; Setoguchi, SJ (holding), 12:48 ; Ebbett, ANA (tripping), 15:06 ; Clowe, SJ (roughing), 20:00 ; Brown, ANA (roughing), 20:00.
2nd period - Wisniewski, ANA (holding), 10:54 ; Marleau, SJ (high sticking), 18:18.
3rd period - Murray , SJ (cross checking), 19:48 ; Roenick, SJ (roughing), 19:48 ; Roenick, SJ (10 min misconduct), 19:48 ; Brookbank, ANA (10 min misconduct), 19:48.
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 25 22
SJ - empty net 1 0
ANA - Hiller 31 31
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 10 9 12 31
ANA 8 12 6 26
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 2
ANA 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Bobby Ryan
Ryan Getzlaf
Corey Perry
Referees: Rooney, Watson. Linesmen: Arnell, Cvik.

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