It wasn’t the second period the Sharks wanted Tuesday night in their 7-3 loss to Anaheim, but it came close to being the third period that Sharks fans could have remembered for a long time.
Trailing 6-1 after two periods, the Sharks turned on the gas in the third. First Patrick Marleau
got the power play off the skids with a tally. Then the Captain set up Jonathan Cheechoo for a second power play goal to make things 6-3.
Then the game became truly interesting when Cheechoo fired a long, screened shot for another tally, making it 6-4. San Jose still needed two goals, but all signs looked positive. However, the closest goal number five would come was at the three minute mark when Cheechoo rang another attempt off the post.
Still, it is not the rally the Sharks will say fell short, but their second period that created the deficit.
“Obviously, we had a couple of mistakes, but what bothered me more was we didn’t respond to adversity,” said Ron Wilson. “The first seven to eight minutes of the second, they had nothing. When they scored the third goal, I don’t know if they felt sorry for themselves, but they didn’t stick to the plan.”
The Sharks had their own chances in the second, but couldn’t convert at the rate the Ducks did.
“We had a few missed opportunities,” said Cheechoo. “I missed an open net when I hit a stick. I have to bear down and do something to get (that in).”
“They buried their chances, but when you look at the tape, we (probably) out chanced them by a great margin (for the game),” said Ron Wilson.
Anaheim did a bulk of the damage by sitting back and counterattacking.
“They moved the puck up really well and got a lot of their attack off the counter,” said Cheechoo. “We weren’t paying attention to detail. I was guilty on their second goal. The puck went through my legs on the facoeff. Things like that cost us.”
Team Teal was also disappointed they couldn’t pull to within one point in the Pacific Division race.
“It was a big game for us with a chance to catch them in the standings,” said Cheechoo. “We let it slip away.”
Still, the Sharks can jump right back to within three points with a win Wednesday night in Anaheim.
There were two big Sharks hits, as well as a big fight by Scott Parker after he flattened Ryan Getzlaf with a crushing open-ice blow. George Parros immediately issued a challenge, but the scrap was short-lived.
“It was kind of short unfortunately,” said Parker. “I went to re-grab him and he lost his balance.”
Parker’s hit was a crowd-pleaser, but so was a strong hip check by Rob Davison in the first period.
“Those always bring the spirit up on the bench,” said Parker. “I like the physical game.”
POWER PLAY SCORES TWICE
The Sharks were on an extended power play drought, so while the win would have been nice, the special teams unit coming through was still pleasing.
“It is important to get our game back,” said Marleau.
Part of the scoring on the power play, and in the third, came from blueliners firing on net.
“It helps the cause to have those,” said Marleau. “We shouldn’t have had to score that many in the third, but it was a good effort. If we play like we did in the third, it can be a different outcome tomorrow. We need to redeem ourselves.”
The Sharks traveled to Anaheim immediately following the contest for a 7 p.m. rematch in Southern California. The game will be carried on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.