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Little things cost Sharks
SJ heads to Christmas break on a sour note
12/22/14 - By Mike Lee -

Monday night was the game that got away. Out playing the Anaheim Ducks for most of the night, the Sharks did the little things that amounted to an overtime loss that could have ended more favorably. Failing to score early and then hold on to a lead late amounted to a Sharks 3-2 loss against their in-state rival. Aided by a penalty late in the game, the Ducks cashed in to steal two points and extend their lead at the top of the Western Conference standings. The loss also snapped San Jose's 5-game winning streak.

Playing without Sharks agitator Corey Perry, the Ducks weathered an opening flurry by the Sharks that had the ice tilted in San Jose's favor through the first 20 minutes of play. The Sharks put 15 shots on net in that opening frame and had another 8 shots blocked.

Tomas Hertl closed out the period with a scoring chance from in tight that Ducks netminder Frederik Andersen denied with a crazy pad save. Andersen followed that up a second later after the puck kicked back out to Hertl.

San Jose opened the 2nd period with a handful of shots that could have potted goals had it not been for Andersen.

The Ducks capitalized on all the Sharks missed opportunities, bagging a goal on a fluky bounce 7:20 into the 2nd period. Ducks winger Rickard Rakell tapped home his 1st NHL goal after Emerson Etem tried winding the puck along the end boards, only to have it hit a stanchion and kick out to the front of the San Jose net. Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi and defenseman Justin Braun crossed each up as they both tried clearing the puck, only to offset each other and allow the puck to trickle to the top of the crease where Rakell got a stick on it for the 1-0 Anaheim lead.

The Sharks were setting up a scoring chance a on the next shift, but James Sheppard caught an edge as he was winding up for a shot, and ended up dribbling the puck to Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen. Right as Andersen gloved the puck, Ducks winger Tim Jackman tried checking Sharks tough guy John Scott away from the left side of the net. Scott reacted by trying to brush Jackman away, but caught the Duck with either an elbow or the butt-end of his stick, knocking him out cold.

Jackman laid on the ice for several seconds before coming to his senses.

Facing a 3rd period deficit, the Sharks got the break they needed early when Clayton Stoner was sent off for hooking 1:35 into the period. The Sharks took advantage of the penalty when Joe Pavelski scored his 16th goal of the season by deflecting a knee-high shot off the stick of Brent Burns.

The Ducks countered moments later, but Niemi saved the day with a kick save, extending his right leg pad out to deny what appeared to be shaping up as a sure goal for Anaheim.

The Sharks youth movement continued to pay dividends when Melker Karlsson scored his 1st career NHL goal at 7:56 of the period. The Sharks rookie carried a long Barclay Goodrow pass up the right wing before uncorking a shot from the top of the right circle. Defeseman Mark Fistric was late to cutoff the shot, but Andersen allowed the puck to squeeze through his pads.

San Jose went into a prevent mode, which would bite them with 4:16 left in regulation. The Ducks pressed the puck deep in the Sharks zone, then activated defenseman Cam Fowler who waltzed thrugh the slot before taking a pass from Ryan Getzlaf out of the left corner. Fowler side stepped a Niemi stick poke, then slid the puck home for the 2-2 tie. Tommy Wingels and Patrick Marleau missed the defensive assignment allowing the Ducks blueliner to drive on the net unimpeded.

Things got more difficult for San Jose late in regulation when Burns was called for a high sticking penalty with 1:07 remaining. The Sharks killed the 67 seconds of remaining regulation time, then defended against the carry-over time skating 4-on-3. Problem is Ryan Kessler got a shot off from the left dot before Burns could rejoin the play and that shot found the top right corner of the net.

Braun tried to step in front of Kessler's shot, but ended up partially screening the puck.

Games Notes:

* Braun, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Logan Couture were all -2 on the evening.

* Joe Thornton passed Phil Esposito for 22nd on the all-time assists leader list with his 874th career assist. Thornton needs 4 assists to pass Niklas Lidstrom.


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1 2 3 OT T
SJ 0 0 2 0 2
ANA 0 1 1 1 3
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, ANA, Rakell 1 (Etam, Belesky), 7:20.
3rd period - 2, SJ, Pavelski 16 (Burns, Thornton), 2:00, (pp). 3, SJ, Karlsson 1 (Goodrow, Dillon), 7:56. 4, ANA, Fowler 4 (Getzlaf, Smith-Pelly), 15:44.
Overtime - 5, ANA, Kessler 12 (Maroon, Getzlaf), 0:58.
1st period - McGinn, sJ (fighting major), 9:29; Stoner, ANA (fighting major), 9:29; Lindholm, ANA (holding the stick), 16:42.
2nd period - Desjardins, SJ (goaltender interference), 8:18; Hannan, SJ (tripping), 17:15.
3rd period - Stoner, ANA (hooking), 1:35; Burns, SJ (high sticking), 18:53.
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 32 29
ANA - Andersen 32 30
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 15 11 6 0 32
ANA 7 10 13 2 32
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 2
ANA 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Ryan Kessler
Cam Fowler
Antti Niemi
Referees: Hebert, Kimmerly. Linesmen: Sharrers, Cvik.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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