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Sharks fend off Ducks to take 4-3 roadie
SJ scores 3 goals in the opening period then hold on
2/2/11 - By Mike Lee -

After stunning the Phoenix Coyotes with a big 3rd period on Tuesday night, the Sharks almost got a dose of their own medicine as they kicked off a 7-game road trip in Anaheim. A big first period would stake San Jose to a 3-0 lead, then they spent the rest of the night fending off a spirited comeback attempt by the Ducks at the Honda Center in Southern California. Nine different Sharks got on the score sheet, as the Sharks won on back-to-back night 4-3.

The Sharks quick start was a blessing considering the quick turnaround after their big win over Phoenix. The fatigue would show in the 3rd period as the Ducks wore down San Jose and tried to duplicate the Sharks heroics.

San Jose picked up right where they left off less than 24 hours after their big 3rd period against the Coyotes. Dany Heatley snapped a four-game goalless streak by sliding a puck past Jonas Hiller just 14 seconds into the game. Heatley skated around the back of the Ducks net, before pushing the puck on net from the top of the left post.

The Sharks would fail to capitalize on an Andy Sutton tripping penalty, but Ben Eager posted his first goal in teal with a wicked shot from the top of the left circle at 7:34. Eager took a feed from Devin Setoguchi at the blueline then ripped a shot with defenseman Lubomir Visnovksy draped all over him.

Jason Demers would make it 3-0 less than four minutes later on a blast from the left point. Getting some scoring from teh defensive corps is something the Sharks need to see more of as they head toward the stretch. Much like the Sharks predicament against the Coyotes, the Ducks would pull Hiller to try and snap them out of their funk.

Jofrey Lupul would cut into the Sharks lead with his 5th goal of the season at 5:44 of the 2nd period. Lupul took a pass near the left wing boards near the blueline, then headed for the slot before uncorking a shot from 40 feet that beat Antti Niemi. The Sharks goaltender was sliding across his crease from left to right, getting crossed up by the shot.

Patrick Marleau would plaster Bobby Ryan with a hit from behind 46 seconds later to earn a penalty for boarding, but his teammates would pick him up by killing off the Ducks power play.

A Cam Fowler hooking penalty put the Sharks on the power play with 6 minutes remaining in the period and they would use the opportunity to reclaim a three-goal lead. Ryane Clowe snapped a rebound past Hiller's replacement, Curtis McElhinney, for his 14th goal of the season. Dan Boyle tried pushing a puck past McElhinney from the right side, but the shot deflected to the far side for Clowe for the put back.

San Jose would take a penalty for too many men on the next shift to put the Ducks on the power play. Fowler would atone for his transgression by punching home a Corey Perry deflection at 17:52, for his 6th goal of the season. The Ducks had pinned the Sharks back against their goal and began to pepper Niemi with point blank shots. Douglas Murray had a chance to clear the puck, but he kicked it back out to Perry for the shot that setup Fowler's goal.

The Ducks would turn up the heat to start the 3rd period, controlling the puck and the temp for most of the opening five minutes of the period. Bobby Ryan would pull the Ducks to within a single goal with a goal at 5:36 of the period. Dany Heatley crossed up Dan Boyle by skating back between two Ducks, but failing to mark either of them. Boyle assumed that Heatley had Ryan who snapped a 35-foot shot past Niemi.

Dan Sexton was denied by Niemi on a breakaway chance two minutes later after the Ducks winger raced up the right wing and tried lifting a shot past the Sharks netminder.

Ryan was denied by Niemi with 6 minutes to play, when his attempt near the right post was turned aside by a pad save.

Anaheim threw everything they had at Niemi in the final 4 minutes. San Jose would hold on, thanks in part to a great final shift by top line. They hemmed the Ducks back in their own zone and kept it pinned for a good 45 seconds. Anaheim would get one last rush up the ice, but Boyle played keep away and cleared it as time expired.

Game Notes:

Logan Couture missed his second straight game with the flu. He traveled with the team to Anaheim, but did not play.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 3 1 0 4
ANA 0 2 1 3
1st period - 1, SJ, Heatley 19 (Thornton, Murray), 0:14. 2, SJ, Eager 4 (Setoguchi, Boyle), 7:34. 3, SJ, Demers 2 (Clowe, Setoguchi), 11:15.
2nd period - 4, ANA, Lupul 5 (Lapeirre, Sexton), 5:44. 5, SJ, Clowe 14 (Boyle, Pavelski), 15:39. 6, ANA, Fowler 6 (Perry, Koivu), 17:52, (pp).
3rd period - 7, ANA, Ryan 23 (Perry, McElhinney), 5:36.
1st period - Sutton, ANA (tripping), 4:57; Boyle, SJ (tripping), 8:12; Clowe, SJ (slashing), 17:44.
2nd period - Marleau, SJ (boarding), 6:30; Fowler, ANA (hooking), 13:57, Bench, SJ (too many men), 16:36.
3rd period - Eager, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 9:29.
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 30 27
ANA - Hiller 10 7
ANA - McElhinney 18 17
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 10 9 9 28
ANA 11 8 11 30
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 2
ANA 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Cam Fowler
Devin Setoguchi
Corey Perry
Referees: Morton, Walkom. Linesmen: Cameron, Cvik.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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