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Quick Bites: Donskoi helps Sharks escape Ducks 2-1 in shootout

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San Jose’s winning streak continues after taking down their Pacific Division rival in a classic first game meeting this season.

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at San Jose Sharks Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Joonas Donskoi scored the game winning goal in the sixth round of the shootout as the San Jose Sharks beat the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 on Saturday night, extending their winning streak to four in a row for the first time this season.

It’s only fitting that as the Sharks celebrated Star Wars Night night inside the SAP Center tonight, the team went to their first overtime/shootout game of the season. Must be “The Force.”

Though San Jose was shorthanded on the blue line with top defensemen Mark-Edouard Vlasic (head injury) and Paul Martin sidelined, the Ducks were also dealing with the injury bug, playing without their captain Ryan Getlaf, Ryan Kesler, Cam Fowler and Patrick Eaves. The Sharks saw Barclay Goodrow and Dylan DeMelo suit up in teal tonight, both of whom have been healthy scratches for most of the season so far, shaking up their bottom six and defensive pairings a bit. After a blowout loss to the Predators, Anaheim threw their forwards lines into a blender, hoping to spark some much-needed offense.

Both teams came out playing fast pace exchanging chances, but it was the Ducks who struck first. The goal came courtesy of a Corey Perry breakaway, with 13:37 left in the first period, that squeaked through the legs of Martin Jones.

A few minutes later, an interference call on Antoine Vermette against Joe Pavelski sent the team to its first power play of the game. Sharks, who are ranked 12th in power play percentage, never really set up in the offensive zone and came up empty, only generating two shots on goal.

Though the Sharks generated some good chances, especially out of the gate, the game was mostly evenly matched, with the Ducks having a slight edge in possession that lessened as the game went on.

http://hockeystats.ca/game/2017020212

San Jose then opened the second period on their second power play of the game after Nick Ritchie was called for slashing Kevin Labanc at the end of the first. The power play ended with no score and that would be the common theme of the second and most of the third period.

During the third period, a Dylan Demelo penalty sent Anaheim to their first power play of the game, but it was the Sharks who finally broke through with Joel Ward scoring the game-tying goal, sending the game to an eventual overtime.

Neither team scored in overtime, so the game went to a shootout. Pavelski scored the first shootout goal and then Anaheim tied it up in the second round. The shootout would go on for six rounds, but it came down to Donskoi scoring the eventual game winner and goalie Martin Jones stopping the Ducks last four attempts.

In this slugfest of a game, both Jones (25-26 saves) and Ducks goalie Ryan Miller (44-45 saves) did their best brick wall impersonations stopping a combined 69 of 71 attempts, not including the shootout.

San Jose now moves to an 8-5 record, while the Ducks drop to 6-6-2.

San Jose’s next game will be against the high-powered Tampa Bay Lightning (11-2-2) in the third match of their four-game home stand at the SAP Center. The game begins at 7:30 p.m.