Saturday night was a tough outing for the Sharks as they played a strong hockey game, but saw the game-winning goal come on an unusual bounce and then watched Anaheim add an empty netter in the 2-0 loss.
San Jose outshot the Ducks 35-24 on the night and posted double digit shots each period, while holding Anaheim to single digit shots each stanza.
“I don’t think we had enough traffic, in front of the goal,” said Scott Thornton.
And when San Jose did get traffic or had enough time to make a move, Jean-Sebastian Giguere was there.
“He made the big saves,” said Thornton.
“This is one of the best nights I’ve seen him have controlling rebounds,” said Ron Wilson. “He wasn’t giving any up and he was catching everything.”
Still the Sharks felt they could have done more.
“Both of their goaltenders play very well with a stand up style,” said Preissing. “We were part of it tonight. We missed the net or hit him.”
Nabokov played a second consecutive strong contest against the Ducks, only to lose when San Jose left the goose egg on the board offensively.
“We have to stick to the plan,” said Nabokov. “This one is over and we have to forget it and get ready for the next game.”
Anaheim’s tally was set up when Todd Fedoruk controlled the play behind the net and as Evgeni Nabokov was sliding back to hug the post. While still behind the goal line, Fedoruk tossed the puck toward the crease and Nabokov could only watch the shot glance off him and in.
“I was coming back to hug the post and it hit my skate and went in,” said Nabokov. “I don’t think we played bad, but it wasn’t it wasn’t good enough to win. Whatever it’s going to take to make the playoffs, we’re going to have to do it to the end. We are only satisfied with a win.”
POWER PLAY STUGGLED In Anaheim Wednesday night, San Jose converted three times while up a man. Saturday night was a different story as San Jose was 0-8, including an extended two-man power play.
“The power play is something you want to capitalize on, especially five-on-three,” said Thornton.
Half the Sharks power plays came in the first period.
“I don’t know how many power plays we had, but it felt like we were on it the whole time,” said Tom Preissing. “We needed to come out of it with a goal and we didn’t.”
San Jose may have been 0-8 while up a man, but the Ducks missed eight such chances themselves.
WILL SEE IT MORE The clogging of the neutral zone is something the Ducks have done extremely well against the Sharks in two of the last three contests against, and something the Sharks know they will see more of.
“It seems to be a pattern out here with teams playing the way we did a couple of years ago,” said Thornton. “We should be familiar with it.”
With four games in six nights, the Sharks weren’t looking for excuses.
“A lot of teams play four in six nights,” said Preissing. “That would be a poor excuse.”