The Sharks suffered their first shutout of the season at the hands of Ilya Bryzgalov and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks Thursday night at HP Pavilion. In what was a one-sided affair for the majority of the contest, the Ducks out worked the Sharks in nearly every aspect of the game, despite flying in late after their loss last night against Edmonton.
“I don’t think we came out very prepared tonight,” said Scott Hannan. “We came out flat and we weren’t working together. Defense was just two guys, offense was just three forwards and you can’t play that way.”
The Sharks were out-shot 26-10 through two periods of play, showing that they couldn’t muster up much offense against their Pacific Division rivals.
“We had a good third period but the first two were no good,” said Joe Thornton
. “We were taking some penalties and in the first two periods they were carrying the play. We just didn’t have enough to respond in the third. We weren’t skating tonight and their goalie played great.”
Bryzgalov was hit with an onslaught of shots from Team Teal in the third period, but managed to preserve his first career shutout.
On the other side of the ice, the one bright spot of the night was goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. The netminder played one of his better games of the season, stopping 30 of 32 shots while keeping the Sharks in the game throughout the entire contest. But no matter how well Nabokov played, you can’t win a game unless you find the back of the net.
“That was a collective dud with the exception of Nabby,” said Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson. “It was one of his better performances this year. He was on top of his game and we wasted it. You’d expect that after a bad first period we’d come out in the second and respond, but we actually played worse.”
“Give them credit, they came out and played a solid game against us, but I don’t think we came with the drive we needed to win a big game,” said Hannan. “Part of it was the puck not bouncing for us. Those are the times when you don’t have the legs or you don’t have the hands. Some games just happen like that, but you have to be able to work past that. Your effort has to be there and I don’t think it was tonight. We didn’t change our game and that’s what killed us.”
The Sharks will have a chance to avenge their loss to the Ducks next Wednesday in Anaheim, but first they must travel to Phoenix and Dallas to take on two Divisional rivals who are fighting for the very points they are.
- Jonathon Cheechoo’s 12 game consecutive scoring streak ended tonight after the Sharks were shutout by Anaheim, 2-0. Over the last 12 games Cheechoo scored 19 points 10-9=19.
- The shutout of the Sharks was two games short of the all-time record of games without being shutout. San Jose just missed the mark, going 60 games without being blanked. The old mark of 62 was set from April 1995-Feb. 1996.
PARKER BACK AND SKATING
Scott Parker is back in town and working out with his teammates at Logitech Ice.
“He came back and is starting to work out,” said Wilson. “He’s got to be symptom free. They do the tests and he has to be symptom free. We told him to take some time off and he did.”
IT’S IN THE BLOOD
Viktor Tikhonov, the son of former Sharks Assistant Coach Vasily Tikhonov, is currently the 29th rated skater by Central Scouting’s mid-term report.
San Jose will next play in Phoenix Saturday night against the Coyotes in a 6 p.m. start. The game will be aired on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.