Jan 29, 2013
This will be remembered as one of those “shoulda, coulda, woulda” games.
The Ducks shoulda won :
Because they outshot the San Jose Sharks 13-4 in the first period, but instead of getting the lead, found themselves down 1-0 at the first intermission. A faceoff in the Sharks’ zone wound up turning into a 2 on 1 break headed the other way. Joe Thornton fed a perfect pass to Joe Pavelski who scored what would be the only goal of the period, at 9:46. Though the Ducks carried most of the momentum, Sharks’ goalie Antii Niemi was equal to the task.
The Ducks coulda won :
Because they got great scoring chances in the second period, and took the lead as well. Francois Beauchemin scored on a steep angle shot at 8:40 to tie the game. Shortly thereafter, former Shark Daniel Winnick went hard on the forecheck, and got the puck to Ryan Getzlaf behind the net. Getz slid the biscuit to Matt Beleskey in the high slot, and the latter rifled a wrist shot over the glove of Niemi at 9:39 to give the Ducks a 2-1 lead at the end of two periods.
The Ducks woulda won:
Had they scored on a rush late in the game. There were less than four mins remaining in regulation time. The Ducks had the puck in the Sharks’ zone, and a shot from close range, rang off the post. Just as they had in the first period, the Sharks went on a rush from their own end. This time it would be Logan Couture with the heroics, as his shot from the right wing side, somehow trickled past Ducks’ goalie Jonas Hiller, and tied the game 2-2 with just 2:45 remaining in regulation.
What did happen :
There were few shots in the overtime period. The Ducks had two shots on goal, the Sharks, only one.
San Jose chase Michal Handzus, Joe Pavelski, and Ryan Clowe. The Ducks chose Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry, and Teemu Selanne.
The Sharks chose to shoot first. Handzus moved in on Hiller, taking the puck all the way to the crease, and then roofed a forehand shot over the glove of Hiller. That would be all the home team would need. This was ultimately a disappointing loss for Anaheim, despite their efforts.
Perhaps it could be summed up in how things went for Selanne on his shootout attempt. The Finn beat Niemi with a shot that went high to the glove side, only to hear that sickening clang as the puck hit the inside of the crossbar, and deflected down to the ice.
Final score : Sharks 3, Ducks 2.
Ducks outshot San Jose 30-18.
Ducks were 0-4 on the power play; Sharks were 0-2.
Ducks next game will be Friday night in Anaheim, vs Minnesota.
Three Stars of the game:
1) Antti Niemi (Sharks)
2) Logan Couture (Sharks)
3) Jonas Hiller (Ducks)
Ducks line combinations:
*Emerson Etem was just called up from AHL – This was his first NHL game. Etem is from Long Beach,CA and was a 1st Rd draft pick of the Ducks in 2010. Etem turns 21 on Jun.16, 2013.
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Email – Charles@Officialinsidesports.com