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Sharks Top Ducks 3-1 In Home Preseason Opener

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks

The San Jose Sharks battled the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night, opening their preseason home schedule against their intrastate rivals. Behind stellar netminding from Evgeni Nabokov, the Sharks prevailed 3-1.

Click here for game highlights (VIDEO ).Click here to view photos from tonight's game.

Sharks forward Joe Pavelski made it a 1-0 game with 8:59 to play in the first, beating Ducks goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov on a redirected shot from blueliner Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Defenseman Alexei Semenov earned the secondary assist on the play.

Both teams stalled while on the power play in the early going, each going 0-for-2 in the opening frame. Sharks goaltender and bona fide No. 1 Evgeni Nabokov made several key stops, preserving San Jose's one-goal lead.

Anaheim closed the period on the power play when Sharks roster hopeful Lukas Kaspar took an interference penalty on Anaheim's Rob Niedermayer, but Team Teal killed the first half of the advantage and took the 1-0 lead into the locker room.

The second stanza saw a goal from each club.  Anaheim tied the contest  on a Bobby Ryan power play goal, but Devin Setoguchi found the back of the net to once again provide San Jose the lead.

San Jose had their second five-on-three of the night early in the third, but could not connect for the two-goal lead.

Late in the third, the Sharks looked to score on a third five-on-three, but were thwarted by an unlucky bounce off the post.  However, with two seconds left in the second minor penalty, Pavelski struck again.  This time he fooled Brett Skinner along the boards with a deke to the middle.  The Wisconsin native needed just the little break to skate in another stride and uncork a bombthat beat Bryzgalov.

San Jose would look to make the two-goal lead hold up for the final three minutes and did just that despite a late Anaheim power play.

Nabokov kept 18 of 19 shots out of the net in his preseason debut.

“He looked very confident on the ice,” said Kyle McLaren. 

Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson liked what he saw from his team in general. 

“I liked our speed,” said Wilson.  “One thing in the people we’re looking at is they have speed.  In our league speed is the number one asset.”

Joe Pavelski played a strong game, scoring the Sharks first and third tallies.  On the first, he took advantage of hard work from his teammates.

“The first was off a little broken play,” said Pavelski.  “Pickles (Marc-Edouard Vlasic) made a nice play.”

The second was all Pavelski.  Coming down the wing, he faked chipping it in and deked to the middle.

“He (the defender) got caught flat-footed and we had been chipping it in a lot,” said Pavelski. 

Pavelski also had the chance to run the point on the Sharks power play.

“He hasn’t done it, so we decided to see what happens,” said Ron Wilson.

In his effort to make the big club, former first rounder Devin Setoguchi had the chance to play alongside Joe Thornton.  He took advantage by scoring his second of the preseason, including the game-winner, and registering several other chances.

“I had fun out there,” said Setoguchi.  “When he gets the puck, you just find open ice.  It’s not hard to play with him.  Tonight, I got to play with the best player in the league.  I got one, but could have gotten another.”

Setoguchi is one of the many talented young Sharks trying hard to impress Ron Wilson.

“I don’t think about it too much,” said Setoguchi.  “I’m just trying to give them reasons not to send me back.”

The Ducks showed they would not change their ways when the led the NHL in fighting majors by a large amount.  There technically weren’t any fights, but there were plenty of skirmishes, including one at the end of the game.

“I think the combination of playing them the other night and they’re getting ready for the regular season next week,” said McLaren.  “They’re trying to get in regular season mode as fast as possible.  We won’t back down, but if they're tripping and slashing, we want to get the power plays.”

The Sharks couldn’t convert on three five-on-threes, but that was not a concern for Wilson.

“We haven’t even worked on it,” said Wilson.  'We hit the post and got opportunities.  “We used everyone on the power play and next week we’ll refine it. 

San Jose outshot the Ducks 36-19 on the evening.

The Sharks will be back in action Saturday night at HP Pavilion at 7:30 p.m. against Vancouver.  Tickets are still available at the HP Pavilion Box Office and at






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