The Sharks traveled to Anaheim Tuesday night to faceoff against the Ducks, wrapping up their three game road trip. Thanks to an overtime goal by Samuel Pahlsson, Anaheim defeated San Jose by the final score of 5-4.
In perhaps their biggest game of the season thus far, the Sharks sent Evgeni Nabokov to the net for the second consecutive game, while the Ducks countered with Jean Sebastien Giguere.
Off the opening faceoff, Teemu Selanne led an odd man attack, skating in on Nabokov and flicking a shot on net, but the netminder showed he was ready for the important game.
Midway through the first period, Anaheim took the lead when Joffrey Lupul blasted a slapshot off the right post from the high slot. Anaheim led 1-0.
With four minutes left in the opening frame, Tom Preissing was called for hooking and the Ducks headed to the power play for the first time. Anaheim couldn’t manage a shot on goal during the two minute span and San Jose successfully killed of their 28th penalty in a row.
It was the Sharks who would gain the next man advantage when Rob Niedermayer hooked Jonathan Cheechoo, but the period would end with just 14 seconds left in the defenseman’s penalty.
Niedermayer’s penalty expired quickly as the second period started, but just seconds later, Christian Ehrhoff fired a slapshot from the blueline in which Joe Thornton
redirected in. The goal tied the game at one apiece.
San Jose dodged a bullet when Anaheim put pressure on Nabokov in front of the net. Three Ducks were in tight on the netminder, who was sprawled out on the ice, hoping a puck wouldn’t trickle by, but Josh Gorges was able to clear the puck out and avoid danger.
Todd Marchant was whistled for interfering with Patrick Marleau
and the Sharks went on their second power play of the night. Jonathan Hedstrom was called for tripping 24 seconds into Marchant’s penalty. The Sharks had 1:36 of five-on-three time, and as Hedstrom’s penalty was set to expire, Cheechoo gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead. He notched his 36th goal of the season, slipping a loose puck past Giguere after Ekman made the initial shot on goal.
Rookie Steve Bernier nearly extended the Sharks lead to two when he roofed a shot that rang off the crossbar when he was in on a breakaway.
With six minutes left in the second, Marcel Goc was sent to the penalty box for interference. Anaheim earned just over a minute of five-on-three time when Marleau was called for tripping. Gorges lost his stick for nearly 45 seconds during the advantage, proving to be too much for the defense, as Andy McDonald found the back of the net. The game was now tied at two.
McDonald wasn’t finished. Selanne fed McDonald, leading the center on a transition breakaway. McDonald beat Nabokov with a backhanded shot, giving the Ducks the 3-2 lead.
The teams headed to the locker room with the Ducks hanging on to their one goal lead despite being out-shot 29-22.
The Sharks came out in the third looking to tie the game at three and that’s just what they did nearly three minutes in. Ehrhoff fired a slapshot on net from the right faceoff circle in which Giguere lost in traffic.
Ruslan Salei was called for tripping five minutes into the third, but Team Teal couldn’t convert on the opportunity.
San Jose went back on the power play when Todd Fedoruk was penalized for holding Joe Thornton
, but once again Anaheim killed off the penalty, but not after the Sharks managed four shots on goal.
Alyn McCauley was whistled for hooking with just over eight minutes left in the contest and Anaheim would make the Sharks pay. Corey Perry snuck a rebound past Nabokov, once again giving the Ducks the lead.
But less than a minute later, Bernier, who had been all over the ice all night, re-tied the game at four when he wristed a shot past Giguere.
The teams tightened up and played stingy defense for the remainder of the third, sending the game to overtime.
It took 58 seconds for the Ducks to better the Sharks in the overtime stanza. Sandis Ozolinsh fired a slapshot on goal that Nabokov initially stopped, as the rebound went straight to Marleau. The Captain attempted to skate the puck around the net to clear it out, but Pahlsson managed to get a stick on Marleau's and forced the puck off Marleau's stick into the net, giving the Ducks the 5-4 overtime victory.
The Sharks will return home Thursday night to take on the Edmonton Oilers who currently hold down the eighth and final playoff spot. The game can be seen on FSN Bay Area and heard on the Sharks Radio Network or sjsharks.com.