|FINAL SO ||1||2||3||OT||SO||T|
|San Jose ||0||2||0||0||1 (2-2)||3|
|Anaheim ||2||0||0||0||0 (1-3)||2|
In a game the Ducks desperately wanted, they played exactly that way, but were ultimately frustrated by another shootout loss.
San Jose got two goals in the shootout while the Ducks could only manage one in a 3-2 defeat at Honda Center in which both teams fought for every puck. It was the final regular season home game and Fan Appreciation Night at Honda Center. More importantly, it was a vital game for the Ducks to increase their chances of winning the Pacific Division and opening the playoffs at home.
Scott Niedermayer scored his career-high 15th of the season to put the Ducks up 2-0.
The shootout came on the heels of an overtime period that initially looked like a major opportunity for Anaheim. A hooking penalty by San Jose's Craig Rivet late in the third carried over to the overtime, seemingly giving the Ducks a 4 on 3 for the first 1:25. But just before the overtime started, the Sharks asked officials to check the width of Teemu Selanne's stick. It was judged to be illegal, and Selanne was assessed 2 minutes in the box.
"We had an inkling that his stick might be too wide," said San Jose head coach Ron Wilson. "I was just rolling the dice and I figured I'd do it in the overtime because 4 on 3, 5 on 3, it doesn't matter. They're probably going to score. The only way to negate that would be to make the call. If I was wrong, it's 5 on 3 and it's game over. If you don't make the call it's 4 on 3 and probably game over anyway with that group. So, I rolled the dice and it worked."
Said Selanne, "I wasn't very happy with what happened, but it goes both ways. I didn't expect that call. It was Ron Wilson's decision. I have a lot of respect for him, but I wasn't expecting that.
The Ducks still had several scoring chances in the overtime, but couldn't get any through.
"We had a number of great scoring chances in the third and in overtime to get the win," Chris Pronger said. "But it's 50-50 in the shootout and they were fortunate enough to score twice in that."
Ryan Getzlaf opened the shootout with a goal, but that was the last for the Ducks in the tiebreaker. Teemu Selanne was roadblocked by San Jose goalie Evgeni Nabokov in between two successful attempts by Sharks Jonathan Cheechoo and Ryan Clowe. Andy McDonald's attempt to extend the shootout fizzled when he lost control of the puck.
Ilya Bryzgalov started in goal for the Ducks as J.S. Giguere tended to wife Kristen and their new baby boy, Maxime, born at 12:20 a.m.
The Ducks looked outstanding in the first period and got on the board first at 6:19 into the game. That's when Andy McDonald picked up a loose puck between the circles and fired a wrister that trickled through the legs of Nabokov.
Later in the period, Chris Pronger rifled a slap shot from the right point that bounced off Nabokov in front. Scott Niedermayer picked up the puck and in one motion put it just under the cross bar. It was the 15th of the season for Niedermayer, a career high.
But the Sharks showed why they have been at the Ducks heels for the past month by coming back hard in the second. The Sharks outshot the Ducks 15-9 in the period, and Bryzgalov made several big saves.
But he couldn't stop two Sharks goals, the first by defenseman Scott Hannan at the 7:57 mark. Hannan nailed a slap shot from the right point that got all the way through thanks to screens in front by Mike Grier and Steve Bernier.
Bernier tied it with a goal of his own at 15:42 when teammate Marcel Goc stole the puck in the corner and it shot out to Kyle McClaren. He fed a wide-open Bernier in front for a top-shelfer.
The predictably hard-fought third say both teams fighting for every possession. That effort couldn't produce a goal for either team, although the Ducks had several chances, outshooting San Jose 14-5 in the period. That included a breakaway by Teemu Selanne with less than a minute left in which he was hooked from behind by Rivet before getting off a shot and then missing wide on another effort during the delayed penalty.
The two points for San Jose pulls them within three of the Ducks in the Pacific Division race, while the Ducks picked up a point on idle Dallas. Anaheim plays at Dallas Friday, then Columbus to close the season.
The Ducks have recorded standing points in five of the last six contests (4-1-1) and 12 of the last 13 at home (8-1-4).
The Ducks finished the season having sold out 22 consecutive home contests (longest streak since 1998) and 24 of the last 25. The club recorded 25 total sellouts on the season, 13 more than it had all of last season. The 25 sellouts matches the most since the 1997-98 season. The Ducks averaged 16,377 fans per game this season, an 8.2% increase over last year (15,131). The club's average attendance and percent capacity (95.4%) were also the highest since the 1997-98 season.
With tonight's goal, Scott Niedermayer set a new career high for goals in a season with 15. He broke his assist and point career-high totals on Mar. 23 vs. DAL (previously 13-50=63 set last season).
Chris Pronger has a three-game point streak (2-4=6) and has recorded points in four of his last five at home (2-4=6).
Andy McDonald has a three-game point streak (3-2=5), having recorded points in nine of the last 11 home contests (8-10=18).
Chris Kunitz has a three-game assist streak (0-3=3) and has recorded points in eight of the last 10 games at home (4-6=10).
Ilya Bryzgalov has stopped 184-of-198 shots in his last seven starts, posting a 1.97 GAA and .929 SV%.
1. ANA Ryan Getzlaf's attempt is GOOD
SJ Jonathan Cheechoo's attempt is GOOD
2. ANA Teemu Selanne's attempt is kicked away by Nabokov
SJ Ryan Clowe's attempt is GOOD
3. ANA Andy McDonald's attempt is NO GOOD as he loses control of the puck
5:00 - We're going to a shootout.
2:00 - The Ducks kill the penalty.
0:00 - Teemu Selanne is nabbed for having an illegal stick. That sends him to the penalty box for 2 minutes and creates a 3 on 3 situation to begin the OT.
20:00 - The Ducks can't score on the man-advantage, but have 1:25 of 4 on 3 going into overtime.
19:24 - Teemu Selanne expertly creates a breakaway situation for himself and gets hooked from behind. He then almost scores on the delayed penalty, before it's whistled dead. Craig Rivet gets 2 for hooking.
17:22 - Both teams continue to fight hard for the puck, with the Ducks' best chance coming on an Andy McDonald slapper from the right point. It slips through Nabokov, who looks back to see it go ... wide left.
13:48 - Nabokov backs into the goal during a Corey Perry shot, knocking it off its moorings. That causes a skirmish that involves all 10 skaters. No penalties.
During the timeout, fans win a CD by the unfortunately named band Saliva, known around these parts for the Ducks pregame song. A 4-pack to WWE! More Rubio's burritos! Champions on Ice tickets!
13:17 - Both teams battle hard for the puck and have chances in front of the net, before things calm down with a SJ icing that leads to a TV timeout.
8:20 - Bryzgalov makes a huge save on a one-timer attempt from Joe Thornton to Jonathan Cheechoo
0:00 - The Ducks and Sharks get underway in a big third period. The Ducks are 11-4-3 when tied after two periods.
20:00 - End of period. The Sharks come back in a big way, outshooting the Ducks 15-9. Bryzgalov makes several good saves, but two get past him.
17:58 - Corey Perry and Christian Erhoff fall to the ice behind the net and end up in a slight tangle. Erhoff gets 2 for roughing while Perry gets 2 for high sticking. We're 4 on 4.
15:42 - SJ GOAL - STEVE BERNIER (15): Marcel Goc gets the puck away from Joe DiPenta in the corner and it shoots out to Kyle McClaren, who feeds a lonely Bernier in front for the top-shelfer. It ties things up at 2.
Everyone in section 320 won burritos from Rubio's. Section 440, row A won a whale-watching trip.
14:20 - A San Jose shot got behind Bryz, but Beauchemin scooped it out of the crease.
During the timeout, all of the fans in section 435 won a free beverage from California Pizza Kitchen. That did not receive the same reaction as the burritos. Another fan won pizza for an entire year from First Class Pizza. Gym membership not included.
9:16 - ANA PENALTY - Rob Niedermayer 2 min. hooking. San Jose is 0-1 on the power play.
7:57 - SJ GOAL - SCOTT HANNAN (4): Hannan fires a slap shot from the right point that gets all the way through thanks to screens from Mike Grier and Steve Bernier. It pulls the Sharks within one.
During the timeout, two sections won half-pound bean and cheese burritos from Del Taco
5:08 - ANA Shawn Thornton and SJ Ryan Clowe engage in a long fight after Thornton puts a big hit on SJ captain Patrick Marleau. The fights ends with no real victor, but both get 5 minutes in the box.
0:00 - The Ducks and Sharks are back on the ice for the second.
During the intermission, a woman from Santa Ana won a new Honda Ridgeline
20:00 - End of Period. The Ducks outshoot the Sharks, 10-9 but more importantly, outscore them 2-0.
14:36 - SJ PENALTY - Joe Thornton 2 min. roughing. The Ducks are 1-2 on the man advantage
14:01 - ANA POWER PLAY GOAL - SCOTT NIEDERMAYER (15): Chris Pronger fires a slapper from the right point that bounces off Nabokov in front. Niedermayer quickly picks it up and in one motion puts it top shelf. It's Niedermayer's 15th, a career high. It's Pronger's second assist of the game.
12:46 - SJ PENALTY - Patrick Marleau 2 min. interference. The Ducks are 0-1 on the power play.
9:55 - SJ PENALTY - Curtis Brown 2 min. tripping. The Ducks go 5 on 4 for the first time.
6:19 - ANA GOAL - ANDY MCDONALD (27): McDonald picks up a loose puck that came off Kunitz's stick and fired a wrister that trickles through Nabokov's legs. Ducks lead 1-0.
3:37 - ANA PENALTY - Teemu Selanne 2 min. hooking. The Sharks go on their first power play.
0:00 - The Ducks and Sharks are underway in front of a loud Honda Center crowd. The Sharks are in their black uniforms, while the Ducks are wearing their white jerseys.
NOTE: J.S. Giguere is a healthy scratch while tending to his wife and new son, Maxime, born at 12:20 a.m. this morning at 6 pounds, 8 ounces.
Starting Goaltenders: ANA Ilya Bryzgalov, SJ Evgeni Nabokov.
Starters: ANA Teemu Selanne, Chris Kunitz, Andy McDonald, Sean O'Donnell, Chris Pronger; SJ Marcel Goc, Scott Hannan, Steve Bernier, Ryane Clowe, Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Scratches: ANA J.S. Giguere, Ric Jackman, George Parros, Todd Marchant, Ryan Shannon; SJ Douglas Murray, Rob Davison, Joe Pavelski
In the final regular season home game of the season, the Ducks face San Jose tonight needing a win to maintain their distance in the race for their first Pacific Division title. It is the eighth and final regular season meeting for the Ducks and Sharks, who trail Anaheim by four points in the division. Dallas is also four points back.
x Clinched playoff berth * Division leader
|Western Conference Leaders|
|1||x - DETROIT*||80||49||19|| ||12||110||245||194||28-4-8||21-15-4||5-2-3|
|2||x - ANAHEIM*||79||47||20|| ||12||106||251||200||26-6-8||21-14-4||6-3-1|
|3||x - VANCOUVER*||79||48||24|| ||7||103||216||192||26-10-4||22-14-3||7-1-2|
|4||x - NASHVILLE||80||49||23|| ||8||106||264||209||27-8-5||22-15-3||3-5-2|
|5||x - SAN JOSE||79||49||26|| ||4||102||248||190||24-12-3||25-14-1||8-1-1|
|6||x - DALLAS||79||48||25|| ||6||102||220||192||26-11-2||22-14-4||7-2-1|
|7||x - MINNESOTA||80||46||26|| ||8||100||227||190||27-7-5||19-19-3||7-2-1|
All three teams have clinched playoff berths, but are all jockeying for position in the division and the Western Conference. The Ducks need to capture the division title to ensure they open the playoffs at home, on either April 11 or 12.
A victory by the Ducks tonight eliminates the Sharks from title contention in the Pacific Division. It also would leave the Ducks needing one point in their final two games to secure first place and guarantee home-ice advantage in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Ducks (47-20-12) have 106 points - the most ever by a team from the West Coast, and have set franchise records for wins and points in a season. They are also in contention for the Presidents' Trophy, awarded to the team with the most points in the NHL.
Anaheim has won three straight games, including a 3-2 overtime victory over St. Louis on Saturday, but San Jose is the division's hottest team. Since capping a season-worst four-game skid with a 3-1 defeat to the Ducks on March 2, the Sharks have gone 11-1-2, outscoring opponents 55-21.
San Jose beat Los Angeles 6-2 on Sunday for its third consecutive win. The Sharks are two points away from tying their franchise-best total of 104 set in 2003-04, which is also the last time they won the Pacific. All 11 of San Jose's recent wins have come by at least two goals. They easily handled Los Angeles with a four-goal second period, including a hat trick from Jonathan Cheechoo.
The Sharks right wing has eight career three-goal games - including three against the Ducks.
Anaheim has taken five of seven meetings with San Jose this season. The Ducks are coming off a 3-1 road trip, suffering their only loss to Detroit.
Andy McDonald scored his second goal of the game 25 seconds into the extra period Saturday, while Scott Niedermayer added a goal and an assist for Anaheim, which is 5-for-10 on the power play over the last two games.
"Everybody looked at the schedule and said we had the most difficult one, and you'd have to agree," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, whose team went 10-3-2 in March for its second 10-win month of the season. "We just found a way to get the points (Saturday) with not one of our better efforts."
The Ducks have had no problem earning points at home, where they are 26-6-8 going into the finale there before concluding the season with visits to Dallas and Columbus.
Anaheim's Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who made 20 saves Saturday, is 3-1-0 with a 2.61 GAA in five starts against the Sharks this season.
- Associated Press contributed to this report
| ||Mar 2, 2007||3 - 1||J. GIGUERE||C. KUNITZ|
| ||Feb 26, 2007||3 - 2||I. BRYZGALOV||T. SELANNE|
| ||Feb 7, 2007||3 - 2||V. TOSKALA||M. MICHALEK|
| ||Feb 6, 2007||7 - 4||J. GIGUERE||D. PENNER|
| ||Dec 26, 2006||4 - 3||M. WALL||C. PERRY|
| ||Dec 16, 2006||4 - 3||Y. NABOKOV||J. THORNTON|
| ||Nov 21, 2006||5 - 0||J. GIGUERE||C. PRONGER|
| ||Mar 2, 2007||CHRIS PRONGER|
| ||Feb 26, 2007||ILJA BRYZGALOV|
| ||Feb 7, 2007||JONATHAN CHEECHOO|
| ||Feb 6, 2007||ROB NIEDERMAYER|
| ||Dec 26, 2006||COREY PERRY|
| ||Dec 16, 2006||JONATHAN CHEECHOO|
| ||Nov 21, 2006||CHRIS PRONGER|
| ||RECENT 5 GAMES|| |
|Apr 1, 2007|| LAK 2 @ SJS 6|
|Mar 30, 2007|| PHX 2 @ SJS 4|
|Mar 27, 2007|| LAK 1 @ SJS 3|
|Mar 24, 2007|| SJS 4 @ CAR 6|
|Mar 22, 2007|| SJS 5 @ ATL 1|
|Mar 31, 2007|| ANA 3 @ STL 2|
|Mar 29, 2007|| ANA 5 @ CBJ 2|
|Mar 28, 2007|| ANA 3 @ CHI 1|
|Mar 26, 2007|| ANA 0 @ DET 1|
|Mar 23, 2007|| DAL 2 @ ANA 3|
| ||NEXT 5 GAMES|| |
|Apr 4, 2007|| SJS @ ANA|
|Apr 5, 2007|| CGY @ SJS|
|Apr 7, 2007|| VAN @ SJS|
|Apr 4, 2007|| SJS @ ANA|
|Apr 6, 2007|| ANA @ DAL|
|Apr 7, 2007|| ANA @ CBJ|
|2006-2007 Team Stats|
|1||Power Play Rank:||3|
|13||Penalty Kill Rank:||5|
|.853||Win % When Leading After 1:||.741|
|.889||Win % When Leading After 2:||.861|
|.292||Win % When Trailing After 1:||.450|
|.136||Win % When Trailing After 2:||.200|
| || |
|GOALS:||B. GUERIN||36||T. SELANNE||45|
|ASSISTS:||J. THORNTON||88||S. NIEDERMAYER||53|
|POINTS:||J. THORNTON||109||T. SELANNE||91|
|+/-:||J. THORNTON||22||C. PRONGER||27|
|OT GOALS:||B. GUERIN||2||T. SELANNE||2|