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HP Pavilion is a house of horrors for Ducks
Sharks score first 5 goals then cruise
10/30/10 - By Mike Lee -

There were two popular Halloween costumes being donned by Anaheim Ducks players on Saturday night at HP Pavilion. The first was a sieve, which was most popular among Ducks defensemen throughout the evening. Other Duck players elected to go with the punching bag costume after taking more than their share of punches in the head in San Jose’s 5-2 white washing of the Ducks. Nine Sharks skaters recorded points in another goal-fest at home.

Twelve fighting majors were handed out, in a punch-a-thon that evolved from early Shark goals. The game was the first of six games between the two teams, so all the physical drama sets the stage for a great set of games this season.

The Sharks top line picked up right where they left off on Wednesday night, when Dany Heatley and Joe Thornton teamed up for a goal just 36 seconds into the game. The Sharks capitalized on a nice forecheck, deep in the right corner of the Anaheim zone. Thornton sent a pass from the corner to the front of the net, where Heatley was parked. Ducks goaltender Curtis McElhinney failed to cover the backside of the net, which allowed Heatley to redirect the puck into the open goal.

“When we came back from Europe we didn’t have any rhythm in our game, and I used that word before," said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan. "Now we’re starting to find that even in practices you can see they’re settled in a little more. They’re prepared to go. Routine is real important with us and I think we’re starting to see the benefits of that.”

An interference penalty to Danny Syvret put the Sharks on the power play at 3:22 to setup the Sharks next goal, but not before Saku Koivu almost bagged a short-handed goal after the Sharks defense was crossed up on a two-on-two break. Once again, it was Thornton with the primary assist, sliding the puck out to the slot, after Heatley cranked a shot on net. Logan Couture was Johnny on the spot, pouncing on the Thornton pass in the high slot before pivoting his body to square himself to the goal and depositing his 4th of the season.

Two more power play chances in the period setup a bushel of juicy chances for the Sharks, but McElhinney weathered the storm. San Jose would outshoot Anaheim 16-4 in the period.

Sharks fan favorite Correy Perry would put San Jose right back on the power play to start the 2nd period after he ran into Sharks netminder Antero Niittymaki. Heatley would convert his 2nd of the night on the man-advantage after Joe Pavelski made a nifty pass through the crease.

Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle decided to try and send a message by having his tough guys drop the gloves. Kyle Chipchura and Aaron Voros would simultaneously drop the gloves with Scott Nichol an Jamal Mayers. That preceded fights between George Parros & Frazer McLaren, and Sheldon Brookbank & Ryane Clowe a period earlier.

Niitymaki made the save of the game on Bobby Ryan, after the Ducks forward undressed Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray with two stick-handling moves in the slot. Niittymaki held his position and stopped Ryan’s scoring attempt by pinning his right skate against the post.

The hapless Ducks would miss on a wide open net with 8 minutes to play in the period when Teemu Selanne took a split second too long to get the shot off. Dan Boyle would block the shot and just like that San Jose was headed up ice.

The would be Anaheim goal turned into San Jose’s 4th tally of the night, when Scott Nichol skated the puck to the left corner, then sent a centering pass to the slot. Defenseman Niclas Wallin pinched from the point and deflected a rebound off his shin pad past McElhinney at 12:32 for the 4-0 Sharks lead.

Patrick Marleau got in on the act less than three minutes later when he picked up a deflection in his own zone then raced up the left wing and snapped home his 4th goal of the season. Marleau beat Andreas Lilja, the former Red Wings defenseman who tried out with San Jose during training camp, before sending the puck between McElhinney’s pads.

“It was scrambling hockey, we were running around trying to do too many things," said Carlyle. "We were puck chasing. We didn’t have our positional play. I don’t know if we were over aggressive from the stanbdpoint of defending. It was one of those games where we didn’t look like we had much structure to it.”

Jason Demers would give the Ducks their first power play of the evening 4 minutes into the 3rd period and the league’s 9th ranked power play took all of 12 seconds to cash in when Ryan Getzlaf swept home a deflection from Perry in front of the net.

Murray leveled Chipchura with an open-ice hit midway through the period that sent the Ducks centerman staggering back to the Anaheim bench. Voros would engage Murray later in the period in retaliation, but the big Sharks defenseman tattooed the Ducks left winger with a series of upper cuts.

Wallin would earn a two-minute rest for planting Jason Blake with a hit from behind, and Anaheim would convert once again on the power play. This time, Perry would deposit a 10-foot shot from the right side after Selanne skated the puck toward the net from the right corner before dishing to his linemate.

A tripping call on Logan Couture made things a bit more interesting, allowing Carlyle to pull McElhinney to setup a 6-on-4 chance to possibly generate some offense, but it was too little too late. Game Notes:

Wallin’s goal was only the second form a Sharks defenseman this season. Dan Boyle has the other. Thornton set a Sharks record for contributing points in 9 consecutive Shark goals with his three helpers.

“Usually these games end up being frustrating," added McLellan. "I was walking off the bench and I was frustrated and unhappy but you have to take a deep breath as a coach and take a look at it from a player’s perspective. They did a lot of good things. We’re begging them to be perfect all the time and there’s no such thing. If they can learn from some of the mistakes they made tonight then we’ll be a better team when we get in this situation again. If they don’t then we have some work to do.”


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1 2 3 T
ANA 0 0 2 2
SJ 2 3 0 5
1st period - 1, SJ, Heatley 4 (Thornton, Boyle), 0:36. 2, SJ, Couture 4 (Thornton, Heatley), 4:45, (pp).
2nd period - 3, SJ, Heatley 5 (Pavelski, Thornton), 2:08, (pp). 4, SJ, Wallin 1 (Nichol, Clowe), 12:32. 5, SJ, Marleau 4 (Boyle), 15:17.
3rd period - 6, ANA, Getzlaf 4 (Perry, Selanne), 4:20, (pp). 7, ANA, Perry (Selanne), 11:18, (pp).
1st period - Parros, ANA (fighting major), 2:23; McLaren, SJ (fighting major), 2:23; Syvret, ANA (interference), 3:22; Blake, ANA (delay of game), 5:52; Brookbank, ANA (fighting major), 7:01; Clowe, SJ (fighting major), 7:01; Syvret, ANA (hooking), 14:10.
2nd period - Perry, ANA (goaltender interference), 1:18; Voros, ANA (fighting major), 2:10; Chipchura, ANA (fighting major), 2:10; Nichol, SJ (fighting major), 2:10; Mayers, SJ (fighting major), 2:10; Mara, ANA (holding), 16:59; Carter, ANA (elbowing), 17:46.
3rd period - Demers, SJ (interference), 4:08; Carter, ANA (fighting major), 5:16; Nichol, SJ (fighting major), 5:16; Voros, ANA (fighing major), 10:11; Murray, SJ (fighting major), 10:11; Wallin, SJ (boarding), 10:22; Couture, SJ, (tripping), 17:13.
Shots Saves
ANA - McElhinney 41 36
SJ - Niittymaki 24 22
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
ANA 4 7 13 24
SJ 16 22 3 41
Power Play Conversion
ANA 2 of 3
SJ 2 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Dany Heatley
Joe Thornton
Niclas Wallin
Referees: O'Rourke, Meier. Linesmen: Nelson, Gibbs.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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