The Sharks may not have had their desired first period, but the 40 minutes that followed in Saturday’s 4-2 victory over Anaheim was impressive. The Ducks are an offensively gifted club fighting for a playoff spot and that San Jose shut them out for the last 40 minutes and slowly but surely dominated play was a site to see.
“You’ve got to play for 60 minutes in order to win in the playoffs,” Douglas Murray
said. “The last two periods were better and the end result was great. I think we gave away the puck way too much.”
“I thought after the first period we got back to our game plan and got pucks deep,” Setoguchi said. “We threw pucks at the net from bad angles and got guys going to the net. That’s how we got our (first) goal.”
The players knew they had much more in them than what they displayed early.
“We talked about how we worked so hard lately to get back to the top of our division,” Setoguchi said. “Just to let it slip like that and have a bad period is not something we wanted to do.”
“We showed a lot of heart coming back,” Dany Heatley said. “We got to our game in the second and third and took over.”
Murray was visible doing battle all night against big first line of Anaheim. People fell when he hit them. People fell when they hit him. When all was said and done, Murray had tied a Sharks record with nine hits.
“Cranky plays that way every night, I’m not surprised at all,” Setoguchi said of Murray tying the record. “Every time he gets the puck someone tries to hit him and ends up falling over. He’s been playing well every night.”
Since the game came against Anaheim, the physical flair was not a surprise.
“It always is,” Murray said of the rivalry games. “It’s towards the end of the season and the playoffs are right around the corner. Actually, it doesn’t matter if it’s the 10th or 20th game, it’s pretty physical.”
The Sharks had rallied from two down to tie the game, but the rally was not complete until Devin Setoguchi (10 points in his last 7 games) banged home his 21st goal of the season. It marked the Sharks second power play tally of the night.
“Our power play has been pretty effective lately,” Setoguchi said. “We got one there and it won the game. I knew I had to get it upstairs.”
Heatley sparked the rally and Marleau tied the contest during the second period. Heatley was glad to get a nice tally with his dad in town.
“He’s pretty hot this year, it’s nice to score when your parents are here,” Heatley quipped.
BACK TO 2ND
Detroit’s win against Nashville earlier in the evening allowed the Red Wings to jump ahead of San Jose temporarily for second in the conference. This victory put San Jose back in that spot.
“We’re in a race for second,” Setoguchi noted. “We can’t catch Vancouver. We’re not going to just sit back. L.A. and Phoenix are a few points back. We have a goal to get second and try to get home ice.”
In the Pacific Division race, the Sharks, who have four games remaining, now hold a five point lead on Los Angeles and Phoenix. The Kings have four remaining contests while the Coyotes have three.
The Sharks reached the 100 point mark for the fifth consecutive season and the sixth time in the last seven seasons. They recorded 99 points in 2005-2006.
According to an online report, the Sharks run of 100 point seasons is the second longest current streak (trailing the Red Wings at 11, an all-time mark) and the tied for the fourth longest streak ever.
5 FOR 5
Dany Heatley provided a correlation to a certain game day occurrence that has coincided with some recent wins.
“The trainers had Five Guys burgers today before the game and they are 4-0 when they eat Five Guys burgers before a game, so we knew we had a pretty good chance,” Heatley dryly stated, drawing a laugh from the media.
did not record one faceoff in the game, but there was a method to the madness as Patrick Marleau
won 12 of 20 for 60 percent.
“We wanted Patty to work a little more in the faceoff circle,” Sharks Coach Todd McLellan said. “Jumbo has had a good season there. That’s part of our penalty kill, Patty has to take a lot of them. He’ll get more opportunities down the stretch. I think by putting him in that situation, it’s going to help our penalty kill.”
Marleau posted his fourth two-goal game in the last five outings and has 10 goals in his last seven games. He also has 25 points in his past 17 games.
picked up an assist, extending his nine game point (5-12=17) streak.
DUCKS HEAD COACH RANDY CARLYLE
“We had a couple chances to clear the zone and we didn’t get it done. Then Setoguchi got the puck at the point and we didn’t line up in the shooting lane. We gave him a clear shot. We had I think two chances to get the puck down the ice and we just couldn’t get control of it.”
The Sharks host Los Angeles at 7 p.m. on Monday and tickets for the game can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at www.ticketmaster.com. The game will be on CSN California, 98.5/102.1 KFOX and www.sjsharks.com.