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Ducks End Sharks Road Winning Streak, 4-3 OT

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
Sharks rookie goaltender Thomas Greiss made his NHL debut against the division rival Anaheim Ducks and was 27.7 seconds away from his first career victory, but the Ducks tied the game in the closing seconds of the third and won the game in the opening seconds of overtime, 4-3 OT, on Sunday night in Anaheim.


Greiss started in place of No. 1 goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, who won his League leading 25th game in his 43rd consecutive start this season on Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs in San Jose.

The Sharks headed to Anaheim in search of their franchise-best 11th straight road victory and wasted no time in moving toward that goal, scoring just 2:11 into the game.

Click for pictures from Sunday night's game (PICS ).

After Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger was whistled for hauling down Joe Pavelski just 90 seconds in, Jeremy Roenick gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead. Sharks All-Star center Joe Thornton started the play when he found Captain Patrick Marleau slashing into the Ducks zone with speed, who in turn moved the puck to Roenick for the goal.

Anaheim forward Todd Bertuzzi responded for the Ducks with 11:02 to play in the opening stanza, banking in a shot off of Greiss to tie the game at 1-1.

Anaheim looked as though they were shifting the momentum in their favor when they were awarded their third straight power play, but Torrey Mitchell had other ideas. Mitchell, who scored a highlight reel shorthanded goal on Dec. 16 in Anaheim, scored his second shorthanded goal against the Ducks this season, making it a 2-1 game.

Douglas Murray stood up the Ducks attack with a precision poke check at the Sharks blueline, springing a 3-on1 for the Sharks. Mike Grier carried the puck down the right side, nearly lost the puck, then made a perfect pass to Mitchell who tipped home the goal.

The opening period closed with the Sharks leading 2-1.

The second period opened with the Ducks getting their fourth consecutive power play of the game when Mitchell was called for tripping Anaheim forward Brad May. But as they did the previous three times, the Sharks killed the man advantage and preserved the one-goal lead.

Milan Michalek appeared to make it a 3-1 game with 11:09 to play when he jammed home a loose puck past Ducks goalie J-S Giguere, but referee Marc Joannette blew the play dead before Michalek capitalized on the goal.

With 5:58 remaining in the period, Michalek again put the puck in the net, but this time was rewarded with his 15th goal of the season. Thornton earned the primary assist on the play on a sensational individual effort in behind the Ducks cage.

San Jose’s two-goal lead was short-lived however as Perry responded just 2:53 after the Sharks goal, to make it 3-2. A bouncing puck careened over Greiss, who had moved on top of his crease to make a save and landed right on Perry’s tape as he jammed home the goal.

The two teams played out the remaining time in the second and the Sharks headed to the locker room with the 3-2 advantage.

Things escalated in the third when Bertuzzi bowled over Greiss with 15:34 to play, making no effort to avoid contact with the Sharks netminder. Bertuzzi earned a goaltender interference penalty on the play for his questionable actions.

Before the puck was even dropped following the Bertuzzi minor, Perry began shoving Michalek who responded with some shoves of his own. The linesmen attempted to intervene and while Michalek was tied up, Perry dropped the gloves and began throwing punches over the scrum. Thornton came to the aid of his linemate and tied up Perry. For their efforts, Perry and Michalek were given coincidental roughing minors.

San Jose earned a pair of chances on Bertuzzi’s minor, but were unable to extend their lead.

Both teams picked up their intensity following the altercation and the pace picked up. The Sharks nearly made it a 4-2 game in the late stages of the third when Jonathan Cheechoo found Marleau with a perfect pass, but Giguere made the save of the game moving to his right to turn away the Sharks Captain.

With under a minute remaining Anaheim pulled their goalie in lieu of the extra attacker and the move paid dividends. Anaheim dumped the puck into the Sharks zone and it was retrieved by Alexei Semenov.

Semenov attempted to clear the puck out of the zone, but Pronger held the zone and moved the puck to Doug Weight. The Anaheim winger found a shooting lane and banked a puck in off of Semenov, who had moved back to the edge of the crease to protect the backdoor pass, and into the net to tie the game at 3-3 with 27.7 seconds remaining.

The two teams headed to overtime and as quickly as they tied the game, the Ducks came back to win it. Needing just 33 seconds in the extra frame, Anaheim defenseman Francois Beauchemin beat Greiss, spoiling the netminder’s NHL debut, 4-3, and ending San Jose’s 10-game road winning streak.

LINEUP

Steve Bernier (flu) and Kyle McLaren (knee) were out of the lineup on Sunday, giving way to Rob Davison and Alexei Semenov. McLaren was placed on injured reserve, Semenov was activated off injured reserve and Bernier is day-to-day.

9 Milan Michalek – 19 Joe Thornton – 27 Jeremy Roenick
8 Joe Pavelski – 12 Patrick Marleau – 14 Jonathan Cheechoo
34 Patrick Rissmiller – 17 Torrey Mitchell – 25 Mike Grier
5 Rob Davison – 37 Curtis Brown – 11 Marcel Goc

18 Matt Carle – 52 Craig Rivet
3 Douglas Murray – 10 Christian Ehrhoff
44 Marc-Edouard Vlasic – 21 Alexei Semenov

1 Thomas Greiss – 20 Evgeni Nabokov

NEXT GAME
The Sharks will close out their brief two-game road trip on Tuesday, when they travel to Phoenix to take on the Coyotes. Game is set for 6:30 PM (Pacific) and will be broadcast on FSN+, then joined in progress on FSN Bay Area in HD, as well as KFOX 98.5 FM, Sharks Radio Network Affiliates and SJSHARKS.com.
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