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Sharks keep rolling with comeback over Ducks
SJ hit 100 point mark with 4-2 win
4/2/11 - By Mike Lee -

The Pacific Division parade continued on Saturday night for the Sharks as they close out the regular season. San Jose slept through the opening 20 minutes against the visiting Anaheim Ducks, then stormed back from a 2-0 deficit with four unanswered goals en route to a 4-2 win. Devin Setoguchi pumped home a power play goal with just over 5 minutes remaining in regulation to give the Sharks their 7th win in the last 8 games.

With the Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes within 3 points of the Sharks division lead and Anaheim another 3 points behind them, coasting to the end of the regular season could land San Jose anywhere from a 2nd seed to the 8th spot in the playoffs. Anaheim entered the game with an 8-2-0 record in their last 10 games and eager to move up from their 7th spot in the standings.

Not only did they win the game in regulation, denying Anaheim from gaining any ground on any of the six teams ahead of them, but the Sharks also hopped back over the Detroit Red Wings into the 2nd seed. San Jose also eclipsed the 100-point mark with the win.

What made the win most impressive was the methodical comeback the Sharks engineered after falling behind in the opening period.

The Ducks got the start they wanted, scoring early in the game on Bobby Ryan's 34th goal of the season. Anaheim took advantage of a defensive miscue after Devin Setoguchi and Jason Demers failed to keep the front of their own net covered. Corey Perry saw the opening and snapped a pass fro the left corner to Ryan on the doorstep for an easy tap in.

San Jose would only muster two shots on goal through the first 11 minutes of the contest, partly due to a pair of Sharks penalties.

The latter would cost the Sharks, when Lubomir Visnovsky pumped a shot past Antti Niemi from the left point at 11:15 of the period. San Jose was down a man because Dan Boyle allowed a Ducks forward Teemu Selanne to slip past him, forcing the Sharks defenseman to take a hooking penalty.

The goal would also snap the Sharks modest streak of six straight penalties killed. That streak was something the Sharks have been trying to build after their penalty kill ranking slipped to 24th in the league.

Dany Heatley cut the Ducks lead in half 2:01 into the 2nd period, sliding a shot from the slot past Ray Emery. The Sharks sniper carried a puck in on net from the left corner, and tried to slip a pass to Joe Pavelski on the doorstep. The puck never got there, but it was deflected back to Heatley for the scoring chance. He would convert his 25th goal of the season.

The Sharks took advantage of some misfortune to the Ducks, after Ryan was hit in the face by a deflected puck in front of the Anaheim net. With Ryan laid out behind the net, Setoguchi gathered in the puck and fed Patrick Marleau at the top of the crease. Marleau drew the puck to his right and slipped it past Emery for his 36th goal of the season.

Setoguchi missed on a golden chance 9 minutes into the 3rd period, pushing a one time blast wide left after Joe Thornton stripped Sheldon Brookbank of the puck in the Ducks zone. There was nothing between Setoguchi and Emery, but the puck rode up on him just as he was uncorking the shot.

Logan Couture followed that chance with a nice backhand shot two minutes later that bounced off Emery's chest before being swept safely out of the zone.

The Ducks lost Visnovsky with 8 minutes to play when Douglas Murray finished a check on the defenseman then forced him awkwardly into the side boards. The hit was on of nine that Murray would dole out during the evening, tying a club record.

Anaheim put a shot off the left post that would then deflect into Niemi.

Jason Blake took exception to a check behind the Sharks net and made it a point to hunt down a Shark. He would earn a trip to the box for his efforts after he hooked Heatley as the Sharks were pressing on the Anaheim net.

The Sharks 3rd ranked power play took advantage of Blake's infraction, scoring a minute into the man-advantage. Setoguchi sent a one-timer past Emery from the left dot, after exchanging passes with Boyle. Joe Thornton parked himself in front of the Ducks net, blinding Emery from the big blast.

Anaheim pulled Emery with 1:10 left in regulation, but the Sharks finished things off with an empty-netter by Marleau.

Things got testy with 4 ticks left on the clock when George Parros tried to take a couple of whacks at Marc-Edouard Vlasic. The Sharks on the ice responded by swarming the Ducks enforcer. Jarkko Ruutu made the mistake of trying to tie up Ben Eager, who responded with a fist that snapped the winger's head back.

Carlyle stormed off the ice in disgust shouting profanities at Murray. The Ducks head coach appeared to be miffed at the Sharks defenseman for his hit on Visnovsky.

The victory gave McLellan his 150th win in his first three seasons as an NHL bench boss. Mike Keenan holds the record for wins in that span with 152.


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1 2 3 T
ANA 2 0 0 2
SJ 0 2 1 3
1st period - 1, ANA, Ryan 34 (Perry, Getzlaf), 3:21. 2, ANA, Visnovsky (Fowler, Perry), 11:15, (pp).
2nd period - 3, SJ, Heatley 25 (Clowe, Murray), 2:01. 4, SJ, Marleau 36 (Setoguchi, Boyle), 12:45.
3rd period - 5, SJ, Setoguchi 21 (Boyle, Marleau), 14:39, (pp). 6, SJ, Marleau 37 (Pavelski, Setoguchi), 19:19, (en).
1st period - Desjardins, SJ (high sticking), 5:12; Boyle, SJ (hooking), 10:49.
2nd period - Setoguchi, SJ (tripping), 3:21.
3rd period - Blake, ANA (hooking), 13:38; Parros, ANA (10 min misconduct), 19:55; Ruutu, ANA (10 min misconduct), 19:55; Mayers, SJ (roughing), 19:55; Eager, SJ (10 min misconduct), 19:55.
Shots Saves
ANA - Emery 32 30
ANA - empty net 1 0
SJ - Niemi 22 20
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
ANA 7 10 5 22
SJ 6 13 14 33
Power Play Conversion
ANA 1 of 4
SJ 1 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Devin Setoguchi
Douglas Murray
Patrick Marleau
Referees: Lee, Walkom. Linesmen: Heyer, Pancich.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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