SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks’ three-game winning streak ended and their injury woes got worse as Marc-Edouard Vlasic left after the second period in a 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at the SAP Center on Saturday night.
The Sharks drew two penalties within the game’s first eight minutes, and scored the game’s first goal on their second power opportunity of the game. Logan Couture snapped a shot top shelf past Jonathan Bernier, and San Jose led 1-0 just 8:40 into the game.
That lead lasted all of 64 seconds. Ryan Garbutt intercepted Paul Martin’s cross-ice pass in the Sharks’ offensive zone. He barreled down the right wing into Martin Jones and knocked the net off of its moorings with a little help from Brent Burns. Upon review, the referees determined that the puck crossed the goal line before the net was dislodged. The goal stood amidst Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer’s challenge, as Anaheim tied the game.
With 6:39 left in the period, the Ducks scored again off of the rush to take the lead. Rickard Rakell backhanded a redirected Ryan Getzlaf pass past a scrambling Jones, who was caught out of position by the puck’s change of direction.
Around the midway point of the game, Dylan DeMelo capped off a dominant shift from the fourth line with a slap shot from the right point to tie the game at two. DeMelo, David Schlemko, Micheal Haley, Ryan Carpenter, and Kevin Labanc cycled the puck throughout the offensive zone, and their control culminated in Labanc’s pass to DeMelo for the goal. DeMelo was not supposed to play tonight, but made the most of the opportunity after Brenden Dillon was a late scratch.
The tie stood for just over three minutes, until Anaheim took the lead with Justin Braun in the box for elbowing. Ryan Getzlaf buried Ryan Kesler’s below-the-goal-line feed with a shot from the low slot, and gave the Ducks a 3-2 lead. Martin Jones denied Getzlaf from a similar spot moments before, but couldn’t stop the Ducks’ captain a second time.
The Sharks entered the third period down a goal and another defensemen. Marc-Edouard Vlasic did not return to the ice to start the final frame, and Sharks PR told CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz that he was evaluated for an injury.
Anaheim applied the early pressure in the third period. 2:41 in, the Ducks almost doubled their lead, but Martin Jones slid across his crease to deny Andrew Cogliano on a mini two-on-one opportunity. Just under three-and-a-half minutes later, Jones stopped Kesler’s attempt to jam the puck from in close. He made another great save with just over ten minutes left in regulation, when he stopped Ryan Getzlaf on an odd-man rush.
Jones kept the Ducks’ lead at one goal, but the Sharks could not capitalize on, or generate many chances. Anaheim controlled play in the third period, as they outshot and outposessed the Sharks for much of the period despite holding a one-goal lead. San Jose pushed for an equalizer late, but could not find a tying goal.
With the loss, San Jose failed to extend its winning streak to a season-high four games, and to take first place in the Pacific Division.
Fear the Fin’s Three Stars
- Ryan Getzlaf
- Corey Perry
- Dylan DeMelo
- We will know more about Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s injury at the conclusion of Pete DeBoer’s postgame press conference. I did not see what happened to him, and only noticed his absence when Burns skated a shift with Justin Braun. Vlasic’s arguably San Jose’s most important defenseman, and an extended absence would not be ideal.
- The officials’ call on the Garbutt goal was confusing. I don’t think he intentionally ran into Jones, but it was readily apparent that the puck crossed the line because of the collision. As pointed out by many on Twitter, the play was reminiscent of Joe Pavelski’s overturned overtime goal in the playoffs last year against Nashville. Unlike that goal, this one stood. According to the NHL, the call was “made in accordance with Note 2 of Rule 78.7 (ii) which states, in part, that the goal on the ice should be allowed because ‘the attacking Player was pushed, shoved or fouled by a defending Player causing the attacking Player to come into contact with the goalkeeper.’”
- A late addition for the second time in three nights, Dylan DeMelo played very well. He skated alongside David Schlemko, which is sure to help matters, but demonstrated strong instincts in all three zones. Barring injury, it’s not likely he will displace one of the Sharks’ top six defensemen. But, it’s understandable why San Jose has not waived him to get more playing time, given his contract and skillset. It hasn’t been ideal for DeMelo, but it’s good San Jose has him in light of Vlasic’s injury.
- The fourth line of Haley, Carpenter, and Labanc looked great in the two periods they played together. Micheal Haley played one of his best games in teal, Labanc picked up a point for the second straight game, and Carpenter looked like he could be a fit on the fourth line in the absence of Tomas Hertl and Tommy Wingels. Even if Wingels is to return shortly, Carpenter earned an extended look in that spot.
- They only played together for two periods because DeBoer swapped Labanc and Mikkel Boedker, whose offensive slump continued tonight. Boedker did not play for the entirety of the third period. He’s now just scored twice in 21 games with San Jose. I understand why DeBoer shortened the bench, but considering how well the fourth line played in their limited minutes and the Sharks’ third period, it was a bit of a head-scratcher.