The San Jose Sharks lost for just the fourth time in regulation at the HP Pavilion this evening, falling 2 to 5 against their arch-rival, the Anaheim Ducks. The loss puts an end to the Sharks' three game win streak, one week after it started.
Four Ducks had a multi-point showing = most impressively, Ryan Getzlaf had 4 assists; Corey Perry had a goal (his 30th of the year) and an assist; Erik Christensen had 2 assists; and Bobby Ryan had two goals - his 29th and 30th of the year - as well as a game-high 7 shots.
In addition, former Canuck Mike Brown and former Shark Teemu Selanne scored, while perennial Lady Byng candidate Chris Pronger had an assist. Brown's goal was his second of the season - and his second game-winning goal of said season (the other being against Buffalo).
For the Sharks, Joe Thornton potted his 25th goal of the season, and Milan Michalek scored on the power play. Dan Boyle and Christian Ehrhoff notched assists, as did Evgeni Nabokov - his first point of the season.
Anaheim's win solidifies their hold on a playoff spot - they are currently seventh-seeded, and two points ahead of both St. Louis and Nashville, while one point behind Columbus. An Anaheim win tomorrow as well as a Columbus loss to Chicago would mean the Ducks would take 6th place. Hypothetical scenarios aside, Anaheim is fully in the playoff picture - quite a different scenario from several weeks ago.
As for the Sharks' race for the President's Trophy and / or the #1 seed in the Western Conference - Boston won today, and are thus just 1 point behind the Sharks with the same number of games played. Their final opponents are Ottawa, Montreal, Buffalo, and the New York Islanders.
Meanwhile, Detroit can come within 2 points of San Jose - assuming the Sharks lose again tomorrow - by defeating Minnesota and Buffalo on Sunday and Monday, respectively. Their remaining opponents are Nashville and Chicago, the latter of whom they play twice.
Lest the situation seem too dire, take heart in the fact that the Dallas Stars were eliminated from playoff contention tonight - at home, no less. Accordingly, Mike Modano potentially has just 3 games remaining in his long career.
But I digress. A period-by-period analysis of tonight's less-than-inspiring game is after the jump.
- SCORE = After winning the faceoff against Joe Thornton in the Sharks' zone, Ryan Getzlaf makes a no-look behind-the-back pass to Bobby Ryan while behind Evgeni Nabokov's net. Nabby is entirely fooled, and Ryan wrists it past him at 2:47 to put the Ducks up 1-0, on their third shot on goal. Corey Perry earned the secondary assist, having made a shot just a second earlier before Getzlaf's quick maneuver. On ice for Anaheim - Getzlaf, Ryan, Perry, S. Niedermayer, and Wisniewski. On ice for San Jose - Thornton, Roenick, Cheechoo, Blake, and Vlasic.
- Devin Setoguchi stubbornly tries to pass the puck through two of Anaheim's backcheckers - and seems surprised that the result is a giveaway, at 4:17.
- Setoguchi gets a chance to redeem himself when Scott Niedermayer commits the same sin, at 4:38. Seto's shot is blocked by Jonas Hiller.
- SCORE = After Ryan Getzlaf wins the faceoff in the neutral zone against Joe Thornton (sound familiar?), the Ducks manage to cycle the puck in the Sharks' zone. Chris Pronger almost misplayed the puck, but barely kept it in the zone - and passed it to Getzlaf, who set up Corey Perry, who scored from the right circle, beating Nabokov on his stick side. Anaheim now led 2-0 on their second shot in a row (4th of the night), at 5:46. On ice for Anaheim - Getzlaf, Ryan, Perry, Whitney, and Pronger. On ice for San Jose - Thornton, Roenick, Cheechoo, Blake, and Vlasic.
- Hits galore - 5 per team, a different player each time.
- SCORE = Dan Boyle skates coast-to-coast, and Ryan Whitney's poke check inadvertently creates a drop pass for Joe Thornton. Jumbo Joe notches his 25th goal of the year from the slot, beating Hiller on his stick side. The Ducks' lead is cut in half, at 9:35. On ice for San Jose - Thornton, Roenick, Cheechoo, Murray, and Boyle. On ice for Anaheim - Getzlaf, Ryan, Perry, Whitney, and Pronger.
- More hits - 7 for Anaheim, 6 for San Jose.
- In the midst of the hit parade, Setoguchi works Ryan Whitney, seizing his giveaway at the boards, and rushes on goal for a shot, at 14:14.
- Around 16:30, Dan Boyle cycles the puck to Brad Lukowich, who feeds it to Joe Thornton, who quickly gets it to Jonathan Cheechoo for a prime scoring chance. The Sharks seem hungry....
- ...And Anaheim seems sloppy, making 5 straight giveaways over 7 minutes.
- A close chance in the waning moments of the period, as Jamie McGinn can't get the puck past Hiller as it sits near the goal line.
- Penalty = Rob Niedermayer is called for elbowing Marcel Goc with 3.6 seconds left in play.
- Score at the end of the period = 2-1, Anaheim. Shots on goal = 8-11, San Jose. Faceoff wins = 12-5, Anaheim (ugh). Hits = 13-19 (!!), San Jose. Giveaways = 6-6 (hmmm...). Takeaways = 2-4, San Jose. Blocked shots = San Jose blocked 5, Anaheim 2.
- The Niedermayer penalty is futile - Anaheim routinely clears the puck, forbidding San Jose from taking a shot.
- Penalty = About a minute after the Ducks killed the Niedermayer penalty, they find themselves shorthanded again. Ryan Whitney is called for interference against Brad Staubitz, at 3:02.
- SCORE (PP) = Milan Michalek makes up for the Sharks' previous lackluster power play by converting on their second man-advantage, tying the game at 2, at 4:07. His shot from the slot beat Hiller's glove side; assisting on the goal were Christian Ehrhoff and Evgeni Nabokov (!). On ice for San Jose - Pavelski, Setoguchi, Michalek, Ehrhoff, and Boyle. On ice for Anaheim - Nokelainen, Miller, S. Niedermayer, and Wisniewski.
- At 6:03, linesman Mark Shewchyk gets in the way of the puck, and the Sharks pay for his ineptitude with an offsides call.
- SCORE = Mike Brown breaks the tie at 8:07, after receiving a goal-line pass from Erik Christensen at the slot - itself a gift from Tomas Plihal, who gave up the puck seconds earlier. The Ducks lead 3-2 on their 12th shot on goal. On ice for Anaheim - Christensen, Brown, Parros, S. Niedermayer, and Wisniewski. On ice for San Jose - Staubitz, Plihal, Shelley, Murray, and Ehrhoff. Worth noting is that 15 seconds earlier, Christensen won the faceoff against Plihal.
- Brad Lukowich and Dan Boyle join forces... for 3 giveaways in 20 seconds, beginning at 13:03. Shots by Selanne and Christensen (and mercifully, saves by Nabokov) are a direct result.
- Penalties = Pushing, shoving, and punching erupts behind Hiller's net at 16:57. Brendan Mikkelson and Milan Michalek are each called for roughing. Also involved, but not cited, were Joe Pavelski / Sheldon Brookbank, and Douglas Murray / Rob Niedermayer.
- SCORE = Similarly to their game in Calgary, the Sharks demonstrate that they need work on the 4-on-4. Jonathan Cheechoo was stripped of the puck in the neutral zone by Ryan Getzlaf, who raced to the Sharks' zone. Once there, he fed the puck to Teemu Selanne, who quickly wristed it top shelf at Nabokov's doorstep, at 17:39, before Cheechoo pushed him over said goaltender. The Ducks led 4-2, on their 18th shot. On ice for Anaheim - Getzlaf, Selanne, Whitney, and Pronger. On ice for San Jose - Thornton, Cheechoo, Ehrhoff, and Boyle.
- Score at the end of the period = 4-2, Anaheim. Shots on goal = 11-12, San Jose. Faceoff wins = 10-8, Anaheim. Hits = 10-11, San Jose (although Anaheim had 5 straight hits before San Jose responded). Giveaways = 3-7, San Jose (UGH!). Takeaways = 6-2, Anaheim (UGH). Blocked shots = Anaheim blocked 3, San Jose blocked none.
- Hiller does the splits to make a nifty stop on Rob Blake, at 0:29. Jonathan Cheechoo misses on the rebound, allowing Hiller to cover up.
- Jamie McGinn has a huge chance against Hiller, deflecting a shot at 5:23, forcing the Anaheim netminder to come up big.
- Dan Boyle loses equilibrium at 6:07, sliding down in the neutral zone and depositing the puck to Nokelainen, who skates up to Nabby for a shot.
- Penalty = Rob Blake hooks Teemu Selanne at 11:59, and the Ducks go on their first power play of the night.
- SCORE (PP) = Bobby Ryan gets his 30th goal of the year at 13:14, with considerable help from Erik Christensen. The two forwards raced down from the Sharks end after out-muscling Tomas Plihal at the boards, and worked Douglas Murray over in the offensive zone to sneak one past Nabokov. On ice for Anaheim - Christensen, Ebbett, Ryan, Whitney, and Wisniewski. On ice for San Jose - Goc, Plihal, Murray, and Ehrhoff. The Ducks led 5-2 on their 26th shot.
- Penalty = Chris Pronger, for interference against Jonathan Cheechoo, at 16:56.
- With less than 5 seconds remaining in the power play, Jeremy Roenick tries to tip-in a shot, and Jonas Hiller covers the puck up - with his face. You don't see that every day...
- Final score = 5-2, Anaheim.
- Shots for the period = 9-7, Anaheim, for a total of 28-30, San Jose.
- Faceoff wins = 3-10, San Jose, for a total of 25-23, Anaheim.
- Hits = 1-8, San Jose, for a total of 24-38, San Jose.
- Giveaways = 3-6, San Jose.
- Takeaways = 4-1, Anaheim.
- Blocked shots = 2-2.
FINAL NERD NOTES
- Scott Niedermayer led all players in TOI with 25:31. Dan Boyle led the Sharks with 23:26.
- Bobby Ryan led the Ducks with 7 shots on goal, while Devin Setoguchi led the Sharks with 4.
- No Shark had a plus-rating, and no Duck had a minus-rating.
- Brown's goal was on his only shot of the night.
- This was the first time in four games between the clubs that no fighting majors were given - the clubs also didn't receive any on October 9th, when the Sharks won 4-1.
The Sharks head to the Pond tomorrow to redeem themselves, and stay afloat in the President's Trophy race. But you already knew that.