The San Jose Sharks have come out of the Christmas break on a positive note by snapping their three-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks.
During 5-on-5 play, the Sharks generated 13 scoring chances in the first period, but unfortunately took two penalties, one of which came back to haunt them in the form of Jakob Silfverberg taking advantage of Martin Jones losing track of the puck to open scoring.
In the final minutes of the period, contribution from the Sharks' fourth line resulted in Melker Karlsson tying the game before the intermission after receiving a pass from Joonas Donskoi.
In the second period, the Ducks lost goaltender John Gibson, who appeared to be favoring his back after a save late in the first. As a result, Chad Johnson took the reigns of the Ducks' net, but the Sharks were able to grab the lead early with a goal by Marcus Sorensen, who jammed a loose puck past Johnson.
There wasn't much scoring in the second period, but it didn’t mean the game was dull. Radim Simek ramped up the chippiness between the two teams after a late whistle hit on Brandon Montour, leading to Simek dropping the gloves against Daniel Sprong. Finally, Jones made a spectacular glove save on Silfverberg in the final minutes of the second, but he then followed it up by nearly scoring in his net while trying to play the puck.
Even with only one goal, the second period between the Ducks and Sharks was an interesting one.
Throughout the game, Jones had bounces go his way, but in the third, it appeared as though he’d maxed out his lucky breaks. Kiefer Sherwood tool a shot that trickled between the arm and body of Jones to tie it at two.
Tonight was game No. 1000 for Brent Burns, and it wouldn’t feel right if he didn’t have a say in the score. With less than ten minutes in the game, Burns tallied the eventual game-winner from the blue line to make it 3-2 Sharks. Tomas Hertl then iced the game with an empty netter, 22 seconds before the final horn signaled a Sharks victory.
Coming into their homestand, the Sharks were riding a five-game winning streak. Since then, the Sharks have dropped their last three games, including two overtime defeats at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings and Arizona Coyotes. These two bottom of the standings teams are opponents that the Sharks should be beating with ease for two points in the division.
Now, the Sharks will begin a string of three games against division opponents who are in the hunt for the playoffs in the Pacific.
After a slow start to their season, the Ducks find themselves two points back of the Sharks. The resurgence of the team has been by the committee of Ryan Getzlaf, Adam Henrique and Rickard Rakell, who are the only players over 20 points. What was once a weak division early in the season has now turned into a five-team race for just three guaranteed spots.
The Sharks' lineup will look similar to what Head Coach Pete DeBoer rolled out toward the end of Sunday’s match against the Coyotes. Lukas Radil will take over Tomas Hertl’s spot alongside Logan Couture and Timo Meier. As for Hertl, he will move over to the center position. DeBoer will also reunite the Joes, who will play with Marcus Sorensen.
Meanwhile, the Ducks could be without Rakell, which may be a major blow to their offense. Nonetheless, it looks as though the Ducks' lines will look the same prior as to the Christmas break.
Looks like the same lines and pairs as in the final couple of games on the pre-Christmas trip. No sign of Richard Rakell (ankle) and Cam Fowler (facial surgery).— Elliott Teaford (@ElliottTeaford) December 27, 2018
Where to Watch
Puck drop from SAP Center is at 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET and can be watched on NBC Sports California, with the radio call on 98.5 KFOX. Check back for live reactions and updates.
Hey everyone, Eddie here and I’ll be on liveblog duties tonight as the Sharks will go duck hunting as they play the final game without Erik Karlsson and long to snap their three game losing streak.
20:00: Okay, three days without Sharks hockey was enough, so let’s drop the puck and get this match going!
19:37: Turnover by the Sharks but Martin Jones denies Ryan Kesler
16:41: Tomas Hertl with a scoring chance but is denied by John Gibson
15:37: Penalty. Marc-Edouard Vlasic is called for delay of game and so the penalty kill is on for the Sharks
14:01: Penalty. Jakob Silfverberg is called for tripping, 4-on-4 hockey for a few seconds before the Sharks head to the power play
11:59: Sharks are unable to capitalize on the odd-man advantage as the Ducks kill the penalty
10:41: Loose puck opportunity, but the Sharks are unable to put it in the back of the net
10:30: Penalty. Marcus Sorensen heads to the penalty box for cross-checking
9:27: Goal. Silfverberg takes advantage of Jones not knowing where the puck is as the Ducks strike first on the power play
3:06: Logan Couture sets up Lukas Radil for a scoring opportunity but Radil is unable to beat Gibson
1:55: GOAL! Melker Karlsson ties the game as he scores off a pass from Joonas Donskoi
:12: The puck gets behind Jones, but Braun is there to clear the puck from the crease
20:00: Chad Johnson is in for John Gibson to start the period
17:25: Pavelski with a scoring chance on the backhand shot but Johnson denies him
14:16: GOAL! Johnson makes the initial save, but Sorensen jams the puck in to make it 2-1
14:16: Ducks are challenging the Sorensen goal
14:16: Call stands, it’s a good goal
13:50: Power Play. Josh Manson heads to the penalty box for cross-checking and the Sharks are on the power play
11:49: Ducks are able to kill the penalty and the Sharks are 0-2 on the power play
10:57: Penalty. Kalrsson heads to the penalty box for slashing
10:06: Evander Kane with a short-hand breakaway chance but Johnson denies him
8:57: Sharks kill the penalty
8:18: Jones makes a heads up save to deny Sherwood after the puck bounces off his skate
7:03: Simek with a hit on Montour after the late whistle and it creates a gathering
7:03: No penalty as Nick Ritchie was in the box and now he’s out
4:41: More gatherings after the Jones save as Ritchie and Dillon exchange words
3:50: Simek and Sprong throw punches, it’s now 4-on-4 after offsetting roughing minors
2:27: JONES! Jones robs Silfverberg with the glove to deny him the opportunity to tie the game
2:05: Jones hits the post trying to play the puck and almost scores an own-goal
1:37: Penalty. Barclay Goodrow heads to the box
20:00: Ducks will open the third period on the power play
16:08: Goal. Sherwood ties it as the puck goes between the arm and body of Jones
14:18: Karlsson with a scoring chance but Johnson holds onto the puck
9:39: GOAL! In his 1000 game, Brent Burns gives the Sharks a 3-2 lead
9:39: Power Play. Sharks head to the man advantage
7:39: Sharks are 0 for 3 on the man advantage as the Ducks kill the penalty
2:42: The Ducks with some scoring chances but the puck stays out of the net
1:09: Empty net for the Ducks
:22: GOAL! Hertl scores the empty netter and makes it 4-2 Sharks
Final: Sharks 4, Ducks 2