By Adam Tenebaum (Summary) and Mike Walters (Analysis and Stats)
After a week off due to the All-Star Break, the Anaheim Ducks returned home to face their division rivals, San Jose Sharks at Honda Center. The Ducks come in 22-18-7, good for 51 points while the Sharks are 26-18-4, good for 56 points and currently sit in second place in the Pacific Division. The starting goalies for the game were Martin Jones for the Sharks and Frederik Andersen for the Ducks. The game also marked the return of Ducks defenseman, Cam Fowler, who had been out since Dec 27 with a knee injury.
In the first, the Sharks dominated the early scoring chances having a 7-2 shot advantage before getting the games first power play chance 6:54 into the first, as Hampus Lindholm was called for interference. The Ducks would kill the power play, as the game remained scoreless. Late in the period, Rickard Rakell would settle a fumbling puck in the offensive zone, and then beat Jones short side off the post and in for a 1-0 Ducks lead. The goal was Rakell’s 11th of the season, and was assisted by Patrick Maroon (7) and Corey Perry (14). The Sharks would challenge the goal for being offsides, but after video review the call on the ice would stand. The Ducks would take the 1-0 lead into the locker room after the first 20 minutes of play. Shots in the first were 14 to 10 in favor of San Jose.
In the second, the Sharks wasted little time as a Brent Burns shot from the point was tipped by Dainius Zubrus in front past Andersen, tying up the game at one. The goal was the second of the year for Zubrus, assisted by Burns (26) and Paul Martin (10), just 2:43 into the second. After the goal, the Sharks would go on the power play, as Rakell was called for tripping. On the power play, the Sharks turned the puck over and Ryan Getzlaf picked it up and skated behind the net, before finding Lindholm in the slot, who wristed it past Jones for a short-handed goal, giving the Ducks a 2-1 lead. The goal was Lindholm’s 4th of the year, and was assisted by Ryan Getzlaf (29). The Ducks would then kill off the remaining penalty time as they held their 2-1 lead. Later in the period, the newest- Duck, Ryan Garbutt would cash in on a rebound off Jones, and extend the Ducks lead to 3-1. The goal was the first as a Duck and third of the season for Garbutt, assisted by Chris Stewart (8), and Josh Manson (3). The Sharks would quickly answer back as Tommy Wingels settles a bouncing puck from Joonas Donskoi, and beats Andersen short-side, to cut the lead to 3-2. The goal was the fifth of the year for Wingels, assisted by Donskoi (15) and Marc-Edouard Vlasic (19). Following the goal, Vlasic was called for a high-sticking penalty, giving the Ducks their first power play. On the power play, Wingels would run into Andersen in the offensive zone, and was called for a goaltender interference, giving the Ducks a two-man advantage for 55 seconds. The Ducks would not score as the game remained 3-2 after two periods of play. Shots in the second were 9 to 8 in favor of the Sharks.
Ducks would go on the power play again, as Martin was called for delay of game, as he threw the puck over the glass in the defensive zone. On the power play, Matthew Nieto would be called for high-sticking, as the Ducks got another two-man advantage, this one for 22 seconds. Again, the Ducks would fail to score as they held onto their one goal lead. Late in the period, Fowler would be called for hooking, as the Sharks went on the power play with 2:07 left in the game. On the power play, the Sharks would pull Martin Jones for an extra attacker, as they had a 6 on 4 advantage. Andersen would come up big on the penalty kill, as he made big stops against Joe Pavelski and Burns to hold the lead. In the waning seconds, Andersen was without a stick, but Pavelski’s shot missed wide and the horn would sound, as the Ducks held on to beat the Sharks 3-2, and secure the two points. Shots in the third were 9 to 7 in favor of the Sharks.
Play of the Game:
The turning point in the game was in the second period as the Ducks went on the penalty kill, after giving up the tying goal early in the second. On the penalty kill, the Ducks would force a key turnover and Getzlaf would find Lindholm in the slot, who found the back of the net for a short-handed goal that gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead.
Player of the Game:
Despite not being voted as one of the three stars of the game, Frederik Andersen is deserving of player of the game. He stopped 30 of 32 shots against him, and was big in the first period and at the end of the third to save the Ducks tonight.
This wasn’t the Ducks best performance, but they managed to pull out an important win against a division opponent. In the beginning of the game the Sharks came out strong with the first six shots of the game and held a 10 to 5 advantage just over halfway through the period. Andersen made some quality saves to keep San Jose scoreless. The second period saw the Ducks give up two goals, but they also scored two goals. Lindholm had a nice short-handed goal and Garbutt got his first as a Duck. The penalty kill came up strong again in this game not allowing a goal while short-handed, but the power play struggled. The Ducks had two 5-on-3 abbreviated advantages, but could not score. The Sharks made a push to start the third period and had a great opportunity with a power play in the final 2:07 of the game. The Ducks defense got hemmed in often in the third, but Andersen blocked everything that came his way in the period.
Ducks extend their winning streak to four games and finish the season 3-1-0 against San Jose.
Anaheim has given up the least amount of goals in the Western Conference at 113. Only Washington(109) and Florida(110) have given up less goals.
Garbutt scored his first goal, the game-winner as a Duck. He has two points in three games in Anaheim since being traded.
This was the first game David Perron failed to register a point in Anaheim, but he had some good opportunities to score.
The Ducks travel up the 5 Freeway to Los Angeles to play the Kings this Thursday. We will have a watch party at El Ranchito in Orange starting at 6pm. Address is 182 S. Orange St. For more details visit here: DucksNPucks Watch Party
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