Just as in their last meeting, Joonas Donskoi was the star of the show. Despite struggles with their offense so far this season, the Sharks came out strong, dominating much of the first period. Three and a half minutes in, Donskoi was able to get one in five-hole on the back-up to the back-up goaltender, Reto Berra.
That glimmer of hope went away fast, as the Sharks weren’t able to sustain pressure. The Sharks put six shots on goal in the first, while the Ducks managed to fire out ten, even with the Sharks controlling significant stretches of play.
As good as the Sharks looked in the first few minutes, the Ducks exceeded it in the second period. Corey Perry netted his third goal of the season 45 seconds in, his last one coming on November 4th against...the San Jose Sharks. Yikes. Halfway through the period, the Ducks struck again, a Corey Perry feed finding its way to Rickard Rakell while creating confusion in front of Martin Jones.
The rest of the period dragged on. The Sharks’ offense retreated again, but the defense was able to hold off the Ducks, with both teams putting up 13 shots.
Down by one, the Sharks came back in the third, not unlike their recent win over the Los Angeles Kings. A line shuffle promoted Timo Meier to the Joe line, bumping Kevin Labanc to the third, Mikkel Boedker to the fourth, and the bottom six centers switched places, getting Daniel O’Regan deservedly off the fourth line.
With Jakob Silfverberg in the box for slashing, Joonas Donskoi earned a much-needed power play goal.
Tied at two, the California rivals took it into overtime, the silver lining of a single point looming as a potential consolation prize. But when neither team scored in the bonus five minutes, the game went to a shootout for the second time in a row when these teams met this season.
Despite Donskoi, Brent Burns, and Tim Heed learning that backhanders get past Berra, a ninth round saw Tomas Hertl miss the net and Antoine Vermette won it for the bad guys. One point of a potential six to close out this home stand doesn’t create the best mojo moving forward into a more compressed schedule.
The Sharks will keep playing Pacific teams for a bit, meeting the Arizona Coyotes for the first time this season in Glendale on Wednesday.
- Danny O’Regan now has two assists in two straight NHL games this season. His play-making has stepped up from the couple of games he played in last season. DeBoer even put him out in the seventh round of the shootout, which is a pretty decent gesture of trust.
- Joe Pavelski is still in search of his 300th goal. Playing through an undisclosed injury, don’t count on it coming sooner rather than later.
- How about that Joonas Donskoi, eh? He’s now met his goal total for last year with six goals on the season. He was the third skater put out for the Sharks in the shootout and he delivered, even if he couldn’t win it for the Sharks again this time.
- With a tighter schedule coming up, Aaron Dell is likely going to see more ice time soon. It’s nice to see the Sharks aren’t afraid to rest Jones this year. He made 30 saves tonight and seemed very composed and smart between the pipes, no worse with the extra rest.