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Game Forty-Four Wrapup: Anaheim Ducks 4, San Jose Sharks 3 (OT)

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Two words which if the name Fred Flintstone doesn't ring a bell will probably mean nothing to you:

Hoo.

Boy.

Going into this game, we all knew the stats.  The Sharks never lose when they score three or more goals.  Well, scratch that.

The first two periods were good, hard, and competitive by both teams.  Yes, it was irritating to give up the two-goal lead so quickly, but going into the third period you had to feel good about San Jose's chances.

This feeling quickly dissipated while watching shift after shift of the Sharks doing absolutely nothing other than try to hold on.  Why?  Is Anaheim that much more a dominant team that the only way to beat them is by somehow getting the lead and immediately climbing into a shell?  No.  They're not that much better than San Jose... or at least we'd like to think so.  After last night I'm not so sure.

You can't play prevent defense in hockey.  (Or football, for that matter; but that's for the NFL and NCAA bloggers here at SBN to discuss.)  Yes, the Sharks outshot Anaheim by a wide margin.  But outside of Patrick Marleau getting stuffed at point-blank range by Jean-Sebastien Giguere, how many of those shots were genuine scoring chances?  Oh wait, let me answer that.  None.  It was skate it into the Ducks zone, lob a marshmallow at Giguere, and retreat.  Time and again.

That all said, the goal that tied the game was a pure fluke; a weird ricochet you can neither plan nor defend.  The winning goal... well, that was the defense getting beat and leaving the goaltender high and dry.  Period.

As to the goaltender, Thomas Griess showed some nerves, especially on the first Anaheim goal, but other than that acquitted himself well.  Well enough to be counted on should Evgeni Nabokov get hurt?  Um... get back to you on that.  Nowhere near enough evidence to make a conclusion.

At any rate, what's done is done.  Time for the Sharks to regroup and face a rapidly improving and confident bunch of Coyotes tomorrow.