The San Jose Sharks continued their exhibition season Wednesday night facing the new look Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Head Coach Ron Wilson, again showing off the depth of his squad, only dressed four players that had competed in Tuesday night's 3-1 victory in Los Angeles against the Kings. The Ducks, who were embarrassed by the Kings in a 7-1 trouncing on Monday, came out energized with something to prove.
Sharks goaltender Vesa Toskala withstood a barrage of Anaheim shots, stopping each of the 16 shots he faced in the first. His counterpart in net, Anaheim’s J-S Giguere, also turned aside the eight shots he faced. Though each team had a power play opportunity in the first, the game remained scoreless after one period of play.
The second period would be a whole different story.
Toskala opened the second stanza in the same way he closed the first, making save after save and surviving the Anaheim attack. Just over four minutes into the second period, Anaheim left winger Todd Fedoruk broke loose, sprung out on a breakaway, and looked to give Anaheim the lead. However, Toskala made two sensational saves with his right pad, initially on the breakaway then also on the rebound, to keep the game scoreless.
Not to be denied, Anaheim continued to apply the pressure on Sharks in the offensive zone. It would be Anaheim center Dustin Penner who would open the scoring nearly half way through the second period, scoring a goal that seemingly jumpstarted the Ducks offense. Penner chipped the puck past Toskala as linemates Ryan Shannon and Todd Marchant each picked up assists.
Penner scored his second goal of the night, just three minutes and 42 second after his first, expanding the Ducks lead to 2-0. Again, it was Penner and Marchant who combined for the goal. Just 29 seconds later, Anaheim right wing Corey Perry scored expanding the lead to 3-0.
On the ensuing faceoff, Scott Parker was whistled for slashing, putting the Ducks on the power play. It took the Ducks 52 seconds to convert on the man advantage as Andy McDonald deflected a Chris Pronger slap shot that was stopped by Toskala, but former Shark Teemu Selanne was there to bury the rebound.
The Penner-Marchant-Shannon line would again land on the scoresheet, this time with Marchant taking a feed from Penner and Shannon giving the Ducks the 5-0 advantage.
In an attempt to energize his squad, Sharks right wing Scott Parker dropped the gloves with Fedoruk, trying to generate any sort of spark that could set the Sharks in the proper direction. After the Parker-Fedoruk skirmish, the Sharks responded drawing a penalty on the subsequent shift. On the ensuing power play, Sharks left wing Milan Michalek got the Sharks on the board before the period’s end on a great individual effort, stealing the puck on the forecheck and burying the shot past Giguere. Michalek’s goal cut into Anaheim’s five-goal lead making it a 5-1 game.
Once the dust had settled on the wild second period, the Ducks had scored five unanswered goals in seven minutes in the second period, shutting down the Sharks offensively and overwhelming Team Teal offensively.
Sharks goaltender Thomas Greiss
replaced Toskala for the third period as Coach Wilson looked to get his goaltending prospect his first bit of work at the NHL level.
Looking to respond in the third period, Sharks captain Patrick Marleau
lit the lamp for Team Teal, making it a 5-2 game. But it just seemed to be Anaheim’s night as Anaheim forward Stanislov Chistov again made it a four goal game beating Greiss.
Sharks defenseman and Southern California native Garrett Stafford also lit the lamp for the Sharks to pull Team Teal within three, but that’s as close as they would get as Anaheim went on to defeat the Sharks by a final score of 6-3. The Sharks will be in action again on Thursday for their third exhibition game in as many nights. Team Teal will return to HP Pavilion at San Jose to play host to the Vancouver Canucks.
FROM MINK TO MONK
Sharks rookie forward Graham Mink appeared in his first NHL exhibition game on Wednesday night and is building his case to stay in San Jose as long as possible. Mink went 2-for-2 in the faceoff circle, registered a hit, and dropped the gloves with Anaheim’s Shane O’Brien landing a few solid shots and literally ripped the jersey off his opponent.
Members of the production crew for the Emmy-Award Winning comedy “Monk” will be on hand at HP Pavilion at San Jose on Thursday as the Sharks host the Vancouver. The production crew will be gathering footage for an upcoming episode of the show.
THE NEW LOOK ANAHEIM DUCKS
If you did not pay much attention to the NHL news ticker this summer, you might have been in for a surprise Wednesday night as the Anaheim Ducks have made major changes to several aspects of their organization. Aside from the name change (no longer the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, just the Anaheim Ducks), the Ducks have also redesigned their uniforms and logo, gone through the renaming of their home arena from the Arrowhead Pond to the Honda Center and made a blockbuster trade that sent Joffrey Lupul, Ladislav Smid and three draft picks to Edmonton in exchange for former League MVP Chris Pronger. Pronger made his debut official debut for the Ducks on Wednesday night against the Sharks, logging over 21 minutes of ice time and adding an assist.
Forwards: Michalek, Marleau, Bernier, Rissmiller, Brown, Parker, Clowe, Plihal, Iggulden, Kaspar, Pavelski, Mink.
Defensemen: Ehrhoff, Gorges, Murray, Ferguson, Stafford, Joslin
Goaltenders: Toskala, Greiss