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Early season skid continues
Even Anaheim looks good against SJ
10/5/19 - By Mike Lee -

The sluggish start that has plagued the Sharks to start the new season wasn't corrected on Saturday night in Anaheim. Losing a pair of games to the Vegas Golden Knights wasn't the end of the world, because that's a good hockey team. Dropping a 3-1 affair to the Ducks is a different story. The Ducks aren't expected to be a playoff caliber team, but they controlled San Jose at the Honda Center for 60 minutes. San Jose continues to have too many players who are along for the ride.

Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer tried to shake things up by starting Aaron Dell in net, relieving Martin Jones who had a pair of nightmarish outings to start the season. Dell didn't fare much better. The Sharks backup netminder was careless early, and a victim of the Sharks inability to defend an opponent later.

That resulted in another lose by a multi-goal deficit. The optimists will look at it as an improvement, as the three goals surrendered were the fewest the Sharks have allowed this season. It was a gap the Sharks couldn't overcome nonetheless.

If the Sharks are going to work their way out of this early season funk, they have to omit mistakes like Dell's 3:38 into the game. The Sharks netminder tried to play the puck from behind his own net, but he tried clearing it along the end boards past Ducks forward Ondrej Kase. That went by the wayside when Kase intercepted the attempt, before sliding the puck out to Michael Del Zotto in the slot for an easy deposit in to a wide open Sharks net.

The Ducks played their typical game, leaning on the physical play to try and intimidate San Jose. The Sharks took exception to that plan when it came to taking liberties with defenseman Erik Karlsson. Brendan Dillon responded by dropping the gloves with Nicolas Deslauriers. The fight will go in the books as a draw between the two skaters, but the message was sent.

San Jose briefly tied the game, when newly anointed captain Logan Couture took a feed from Erik Karlsson as he skated toward the right circle at 5:44 of the 2nd period, before snapping a shot that caught the upper left corner for his 1st goal of the season.

The tie would last all of 67 seconds. The Ducks senior statesman, Ryan Getzlaf slipped past the Sharks defense when Brent Burns overcommitted to the left side of the ice. Getzlaf took a pass from Kase, then skated in on Dell and put his 1st goal of the year past the Sharks netminder.

A pair of Ducks penalties setup a couple of opportunities to fight back in the period, but the special teams has been as bad as the offense and defense. Both chances went wasted, which made their plight even more precarious.

Anaheim pushed their lead to 3-1 with 1:12 remaining in the period when Adam Henrique blew past Kevin Labanc on the left side then skated in on Dell and lifted the puck top shelf for his 1st tally of the season. Labanc made no effort to catch up to Henrique, and stopped skating as he watched his counterpart push the Sharks deeper in to the chasm.

Labanc's level of effort was hard to comprehend given Labanc's stature on this team and the Sharks unimpressive performances to date this season.

Erik Karlsson shattered his stick over the crossbar, expressing his disbelief with the level of effort.

Entering the 3rd period, San Jose had to scratch out some sort of offense in order to get back into the game, but the team simply doesn't have any answers.

Vegas and Anaheim have the Sharks offensive approach figured out. They both knew that Sharks players don't venture to the front of the net, which allowed them to setup at their blueline and suppress any attempt to even gain the offensive zone.

The Ducks played a feisty game, and let the Sharks have it whenever the puck even sniffed the net.

Game Notes:

* Marcus Sorensen was injured in the 2nd period, when he tripped past the Ducks goal and crashed into the end boards with his head bouncing off the wall. Sorensen did not return.

* Marc-Edouard Vlasic was one the ice for all three Ducks goals. The defenseman has struggled the past year, and his issues were on full display on Saturday night.

* Trevor Carrick made his Sharks debut, skating just 8 shifts. He was recalled from the Barracuda after defenseman Jacob Middleton was injured on Friday night against Vegas.

* Evander Kane was a suspension scratch for the third consecutive game. He has fulfilled his suspension, which was issued for abuse of an official in the preseason.

* The Sharks are the first team to drop their first three games of the season. San Jose is one of 11 teams who have yet to win a game this season, but they are the only team to drop their first three games.

* San Jose's ills in the faceoff circle continued on Saturday. The Sharks were 19-for-49 in draws (39%). Joe Thornton was 4-for-15 (27%), and Barclay Goodrow was 2-for-7 (29%).


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 1 0 1
ANA 1 2 0 3
1st period - 1, ANA, Del Zotto 1 (Kase), 3:38.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Couture 1 (E. Karlsson, Dillon), 5:44. 3, ANA, Getzlaf 1 (Kase, Lidholm), 6:51. 4, ANA, Henrique 1 (unassisted), 18:48.
3rd period - None.
1st period - Dillon, SJ (fighting major), 11:25; Deslauriers, ANA (fighting major, 11:25; Bergmann, SJ (slashing), 13:08; Labanc, SJ (hooking), 15:07.
2nd period - Terry, ANA (hooking), 2:22; Manson, ANA (cross checking), 15:46.
3rd period - Silfverberg, ANA (tripping), 8:35; Bench, ANA (too many men), 17:51.
Shots Saves
SJ - Dell 33 30
ANA -Gibson 36 35
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 7 15 14 36
ANA 12 10 11 33
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 4
ANA 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Ondrej Kase
Hampus Lindholm
Ryan Getzlaf
Honda Center - 15,795
Referees: Luxmore, O'Rourke. Linesmen: Mach, Toomey.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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