The Anaheim Ducks survived a late surge by the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night, but walked out of San Jose with the 7-4 victory and an important two points. The two teams will meet again in less than 24 hours when they take the ice in Anaheim for the second leg of the home-and-home series.
for video highlights from Tuesday’s game.
San Jose played the first of back-to-back games against the Ducks. San Jose saw the return of Kyle McLaren as Ron Wilson dressed seven blueliners. In addition, Joe Pavelski
was placed on the injured reserve list.
The game’s first scoring chance came from the hard work of Curtis Brown-Mike Grier-Patrick Rissmiller. Rissmiller’s initial shot panged through J.S. Giguere and trickled through the crease. Brown reached for the puck, but as his shot headed for the far post, Giguere slid over just in time.
The game’s first big highlight wasn’t a goal, but a massive hit. Anaheim’s Shawn Thornton was skating out of the offensive zone and looking to pass. What he should have been looking for was the fast closing Rob Davison who hip-checked him to the ice.
Both sides were playing strong early hockey, but Anaheim quickly broke through with successive goals. The first was Travis Moen and that was quickly followed by Samuel Pahlsson. Both shots, just 32 seconds apart, snuck just inside the post, giving the Ducks an early advantage.
San Jose looked to close the gap when Scott Niedermayer was sent to the box, giving Team Teal two minutes of power play time. Milan Michalek just missed from the low slot on San Jose’s best attempt, but the zone was controlled the entire time and momentum began moving toward San Jose’s offense.
On the first even strength shift, Mark Bell and Grier teamed up for goal number one. Skating deep along the goal line, Bell threw one into Giguere’s feet that he could not find. Grier saw that nobody could locate the puck and skated by whacking at it, then watched it cross the line from his backside behind the net.
Anaheim led 2-1 after 20 minutes of action.
San Jose began the second pounding Giguere with scoring opportunities, but he fended off the early rush. The pressure continued with Team Teal posting seven shots to Anaheim’s two in the second, but the tying tally could not be found.
Sparks of another kind flew when Scott Parker flattened Ryan Getzlaf with a big hit and George Parros took exception. The two danced for several seconds as the crowd roared in anticipation, but Parker took the Ducks tough guy to the ice before much could develop.
Anaheim would again push the lead to two, this time on what appeared to be a simple dump-in. The problem was the Sharks coverage missed a wide-open Andy McDonald and when the Duck got possession, he took the quick pass and fired before Toskala could slide over.
When matching minors brought four-on-four action, Anaheim upped their lead to three. Rob Niedermayer was simply in the right space at the right time when a Sharks turnover went directly to him in the slot. The younger Niedermayer’s shot found the back of the twine and the score was 4-1.
When Jonathan Cheechoo’s wraparound attempt slid through the crease, Anaheim used their next possession to pad their lead. Dustin Penner took a perfect feed from Todd Marchant on a two-on-one to go top shelf on Toskala, making things 5-1.
Things only got worse as Team Teal pressed for a late tally. A blueline pinch led to two-on-two rush and a perfect Rob Niedermayer pass hit Moen in stride for the easy tap in and the 6-1 lead.
Anaheim had a commanding five-goal lead heading into the second intermission.
Beginning the third period on the power play, Patrick Marleau
pumped some life into the crowd with his 28th
goal of the season. A Vlasic shot was directed behind the net by Clowe. Marleau then grabbed the lose puck and skated around for the wraparound tally.
San Jose would use another power play tally with 7:34 left to close the gap to three. Working the puck under the right faceoff circle, Marleau found Cheechoo in the slot and the Moose Factory, Ontario product ripped home the power play goal.
Then with 5:43 to go, Cheechoo made it two in a row and the previously silent crowd was on their feet. This time he took an errant pass out to the blueline and fired on net. With two Sharks players out front, Giguere was screened and the puck sailed past him, closing the gap to two.
Less than a minute later, a Matt Carle just missed making it a one-goal game, but the Sharks were decidedly going down fighting. The next Sharks shot saw Cheechoo hit the post. The offensive attack forced Anaheim into a penalty and Team Teal went on the power play.
Unfortunately Anaheim added the empty-netter to thwart the comeback and finish of the contest 7-4.
Toskala - Schaefer
San Jose will face the same Anaheim Ducks Wednesday night in Southern California. The 7 p.m. game will be carried by FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.
|FINAL ||1 ||2 ||3 ||T |
| ||Anaheim ||2 ||4 ||1 ||7 |
| ||San Jose ||1 ||0 ||3 ||4 || |
|ANA: ||MOEN, T. (13:16 in 1st), PAHLSSON, S. (13:48 in 1st), MCDONALD, A. (08:29 in 2nd), NIEDERMAYER, R. (11:51 in 2nd), PENNER, D. (16:13 in 2nd), MOEN, T. (18:27 in 2nd), GETZLAF, R. (SHG, 18:23 in 3rd) |
|SJS: ||GRIER, M. (18:09 in 1st), MARLEAU, P. (PPG, 01:19 in 3rd), CHEECHOO, J. (PPG, 12:26 in 3rd), CHEECHOO, J. (14:17 in 3rd) |