This is still Sharks Territory.
The game-winner came as a result of non-stop effort. "We're taught to play until the whistle, and I didn't hear a whistle, so I kept whacking at (the puck)," said captain Patty Marleau.
The difference was the energy and control exhibited at the start of the period. Coming out of each of the first two intermissions, the Sharks did not control things like they wanted to. "We know there are going to be periods like that," said coach McLellan after the game. "It's very hard to keep the pedal all the way to the floor for 70 minutes. You need to be able to weather the storm when the other team brings pressure, but we weren't happy with the start to the second and third periods, and we talked about it before overtime."
That old gang of mine was re-united, and it felt so good...Marleau, Thornton and Setoguchi, the top line for almost the entire season, played together all night. Marleau and Thornton met with McLellan before yesterday's skate, at McLellan's request, and they each asked for Setoguchi to be returned to the line with them.
He was,. and that line scored all three goals tonight.
"Sometimes, you get a gut feeling as a coach that a line isn't working, and you tinker with it. That was never the case tonight," said the coach.
Asked if this game produced a momentum shift in the series, McLellan was adamant: "We talked about that after Game 3. Momentum is something you have to win each night. We can't bottle this and take it into their building. Game six will require us to play much better, and work even harder, than tonight did. We've answered the questions about individual, and team character, but only for one night. We have to do it again Monday."
We will let Dan Boyle
have the final word: "Game Six down there will be our toughest game of the year."
9:57 p.m.WE ARE GOING TO ANAHEIM!
6:02 into the overtime, Patrick Marleau
stuffed the puck between Hiller's legs, off assists from Boyle and Setoguchi.
Reviewed on video, it stands.
Back after the dressing room.
Michaek with a snap shot from the high slot, trapped by Hiller against his chest.
Oh, SO close! Torrey Mitchell
got in front of Sheldon brookbank and poked a backhander on Hiller that nearly ended it.
AFter 60 minutes of hockey, the Sharks had 22 scoring chances, to 10 for Anaheim. The tv just showed a montage of Sharks shots that have drawn iron. They need consistent, extended pressure in the Anaheim end.
Or, finally, some puck luck of their own.
The last Shark to post a game-winner in overtime was Joe Pavelski
last year against the Stars.
Under way in OT.
Remember, this is the playoffs. No 4-on-4. No skills competition to decide a hockey match. Just 5-on-5, with a full 15 minutes between periods. "Old-time hockey, eh?"
For Anaheim, this is sudden victory. For the Sharks, sudden death. Their entire playoff hopes will live or die on the next goal scored.
One minute in regulation.
With 2:21 to play, the Ducks have carried the play much of the third period, and scored the only two goals of the period. The Sharks only need one, though, to win this. The fans are standing, waving their rally towels as we come out of the final media timeout of the third period., urging on their team. The top line is on the ice for San Jose.
3 minutes left to play. Each team has had a chance at a breakout in the past two minutes, but has been unable to control the puck into the offensive zone.
8 minutes remain, and neither team has really sustained much pressure in the past five minutes. It feels like each is waitinfg for that one break that will determine this game, and perhaps this series.
We've played almost 16 minutes since the last penalty was called.
It always helps to have good fortune, and the Ducks just got some, as Joe Thornton
put a shot behind Hiller that hit both posts and ricocheted out.
The Sharks put on a flurry of pressure there, getting several shots through and with traffic at the net, but did not score.
The passes are not right on the tape right now, and they've turned over the puck a couple of times as a result.
Getzlaf just skidded through the crease, but no Duck could get the puck to him while he was behind the goalie.
Media timeout. The intensity and energy level of the first two periods didn't come out of the dressing room after the second intermission. The Sharks have been out-played by Anaheim after each intermission, but in the second period, San Jose re-established dominance and carried it to the end of the period.
They need to do it again.
Just that fast, it's tied. Corey Perry, with a forehand scoop from the left circle in full stride, ties the game at 4:42 of the period. 15 minutes and change to decide this one.
This is why the cushion is so important. Andrew Ebbett found Ryan Carter in the slot, and Carter slapped a one-timer between Nabby's legs to halve the gap to 2-1.
And the Ducks are keeping the pressure on. The puck has stayed in the Sharks' end since the goal was scored. Pavelski with a great poke-check in the crease to relieve the pressure for a moment.
20 minutes stand between the Sharks and a trip back to Anaheim, where the Ducks had the 6th-worst home ice record in the league this year.
After posting 30 total shots toward the net in the first period, the Sharks added 28 more in the second.
17 shots on goal, 3 misses, and 8 more blocks by the Ducks.
San Jose skates off the penalty, and the period ends with the Sharks posting 17 shots to 7 for the Ducks in the period, for a 28-12 edge. More important is the 2-0 bulge on the scoreboard.
20 more minutes at this level of intensity should result in victory.
Devin Setoguchi wins a battle for the puck behind the net, brings it out on Hiller's stick side, shows him the puck, then pulls it back and flicks a wrister between Hiller and the post.
2-0 Sharks on Setoguchi's first goal of the playoffs, from Thornton and Cheechoo, at 17:16 of the period.
And now, the Ducks are getting very physical in front of the net.
Marcel Goc takes an interference penalty at 17:39, so Anaheim will have the man-advantage for virtually the rest of this period.
And it's chippy at the first faceoff.
After a media time out, the Ducks finally break San Jose's string of 12 unanswered shots, but the Sharks put up two more, as Milan Michalek beat Scott Niedermayer to a potential icing call, then pulled the puck from behind the net and fired point-blank from the crease. Neither that shot, nor the rebound, got behind Hiller, though. 3:25 to play in the period.
10 minutes ago, we posted that the Ducks had the only three shots of the period. Since then, the Sharks have the only 10 shots of the period.
With just seconds remaining in the power play, Ryane Clowe
JUST misses stuffing it past Hiller's glove side, as the puck just catches a piece of the pipe and glances off.
The game is half-over, the Sharks have dominated virutaly all phases of the game, except goal-scoring. They need to give Nabby some breathing room. He's been superb so far, but puck luck can decide a one-goal game. They need to take luck out of the equation.
A major momentum shift. Milan Michalek steals the puck in the neutral zone, gets a breakaway for a short-handed attempt, and just misses the shot, but Travis Moen draws an interference penalty on Wisniewski, giving 19 seconds of 4-on-4, then a San Jose power play of 1:41.
Rob Blake to the penalty box 6:51 into the second period, whistled for hooking. After a penalty-free first period by San Jose, they've been caught twice in about five minutes. This is a huge penalty kill.
Opportunity after opportunity -- the Sharks have come close several times already this period to opening up a two-goal lead. One of these scoring chances has to pay off here, or it will wind up a benefit to the Ducks instead.
45 seconds left in the penalty. The Ducks have the only three shots on goal for the period.
Moments before the penalty, the Ducks nearly had a disaster, as Scott Niedermayer tried to glove a clear in front of his own net and partially missed it, deflecting it directly on net and high, nearly over Hiller and into the net.
Mike Grier draws the first Sharks penalty, for "tripping" Teemu Selanne. It looked on replay like Selanne may have just lost an edge, but the Sharks must keep the momentum from swinging to Anaheim here.
The first minute of the second period has been played entirely in the Sharks' end. Nabby breaks the momentum with a great glove save of a point-blank shot from the slot, but the puck is still in the Sharks' zone.
As important as it was to score first, it's maybe even more important to add on at this point in the game.
If the Sharks can play 40 more minutes of hockey like the 20 they just completed, the series will return to Anaheim.
They are doing it with, essentially, three lines, too. The fourth line of Jonathan Cheechoo, Torrey Mitchell
and Jeremy Roenick have only seen 4 shifts on the ice so far, about 2:45 each. Joe Thornton
, having his best game of the series, has 11 shifts, one more than any other forward, and leads all forwards with 6:25 of ice time in the first period.
No Anaheim player has more than 10 shifts, and Todd Marchant's 6:33 leads their forwards in ice time.
Second period is about to begin.
The Ducks pressured the net and had a scoring chance in the final minute, but lost the zone with 38 seconds left and made a line change. They had another scoring chance in the final seconds of the period, but it ends 1-0 Sharks. San Jose led in shots, 11-5, but that does not begin to tell the story. To the 11 shots, add 9 more shots that missed the net, and 10 more that were blocked by the Ducks. A total of 30 shots directed to the net in 20 minutes of play.
One item of concern through the series has been giveaways, and it may become a factor tonight, too. The Sharks have five giveaways already in 17 minutes, to only three for the Ducks.
Francois Beauchemin is getting a little testy, snapping at Vlasic's stick as they both skated off the ice on a line change.
With 5 minutes left in the first period, faceoffs are even at 7 apiece. Hits are evening out, too, at 17-14 in favor of the Sharks. Chew on that stat for a moment -- 31 hits have been dished out in 15 minutes of play. It's a physical game, but not chippy. Not so far, anyway.
12 minutes into the game, the Sharks hold a 9-2 edge in shots, and it's well-deserved. The puck has spent much more time in Anaheim's zone. If anything, the last couple of shifts looked like there might be just a touch too much adrenaline, as passes were just ahead of teammates, and pucks were just out of reach or control behind the net. But, better too much adrenaline than too little.
And it's fun to watch.
Media time out with 6:52 to play.
The Sharks have an odd-man rush, and Devin Setoguchi just misses from point-blank range. The Sharks are creating more spce and time on the ice in this game, they are using their skating ability better than in prior games.
As if drawing the first two penalties wasn't enough, Joe thornton
won the draw, then camped out at the corner of the net, and scored a tap-in off a feed from Rob Blake and Patrick Marleau
. 7:25 into the game, the Sharks have struck first.
And they score on the power play.
Ryan Getzlaf takes a hooking penalty 6:51 into the game, and the Sharks go on their second power play. Again, it's Thornton who draws the penalty.
26 seconds into the penalty, Hiller stops action by gloving the puck, and there's an immediate scrum in the crease.
In the game's first 5:03 of play, the Sharks were credited with 11 hits to three for Anaheim -- and, typically, it's the team chasing the puck that's doling out the punishment, not the other way around.
It's very important for the Sharks to score first tonight, and keep the energy in the building. The team that has scored first in each of the four games play so far has gone on to win the game.
In the first five minutes of play, the Sharks hold a 4-1 edge on shots, and most likely a 4:00 - 1:00 edige in ice time in the Ducks' end. It's hard to imagine sixty minutes of hockey at this pace.. The hits are coming fast and furious.
The Sharks have two excellent chances, and register three shots, but don't score on the PP. However, Hiller doesn't look quite as sure of himself as he has in past games.
The crowd is the seventh man right now. Outstanding energy, all of it positive.
The Sharks win the first draw, deliver the first two hits, and keep the puck in the Ducks' end for 40 seconds, an entire shift.
And 46 seconds into the game, the Sharks are on the power play, as Corey Perry, one of the Ducks' better PK players, goes to the box for cross-checking Joe Thornton
Starting for the Sharks:
Marleau, Thornton and Setoguchi on the front line.Douglas Murray
and Christian Ehrhoff on the blue line.
Nabby in goal.
The fans sound ready. The players have to be ready. It's do or die in Game 5.
Sharkie is on the ice, skating in the shadows, the tunnel from the dressing room is being pumped full of fog for the team's entry onto the ice.
Here are tonight's scratches:
ANAHEIM: Goalie Jean-Phillipe Levasseur; D Bret Hedican; C Petteri Nokelainen, LW Brad Larsen; RW Troy Bodie; D Brendan Mikkelson.
SAN JOSE: D Alexei Semenov; RW Claude Lemeiux; C Tomas Plihal; D Kent Huskins; LW Jody Shelley; LW Jamie McGinn
Fresh rally towels for the crowd tonight, and up here at suite level, it's like a blizzard -- so many particles from the towels being shaken in unison to the beat of the drums as the shark's head descends to the ice, that we're sneezing from all of it.
Sharkie at center ice, in the spotlight, and here come the boys, led by Nabby.