By: Matthew Garcia
Tonight the Anaheim Ducks (27-19-10) would be closing out their brief two-game home-stand against their rivals from up north the San Jose Sharks. (29-18-8) In their last game against Edmonton, the Ducks would stand victorious as 3-2 winners despite a late third period charge from the Oilers. San Jose would be playing on the tail end of back-to-back games as they hosted the Oilers last night in which they were victorious by a final score of 6-4. The starting goaltenders for tonight’s game would be John Gibson for the Ducks, and Martin Jones for the Sharks.
The puck would drop on period one and Anaheim would get started very quick as it only took 2:39 for the Ducks to strike first as Ondrej Kase would take a pass from Adam Henrique, skate down the right-wing boards and just fire a puck on net that would find its way through the legs of Jones and into the back of the net to put Anaheim on top 1-0. The Ducks would get a great chance to add to their lead midway through the period as Sharks defenseman Brent Burns would receive a penalty for holding against Kase, but despite putting up four shots on the power play the Ducks would not be able to convert against the league’s number one penalty kill. Late in the period, the Ducks thought that they had taken a 2-0 lead off a bomb from Corey Perry, but a challenge from Sharks coach Pete DeBoer would pay off as it was deemed that the Ducks were offsides prior to the puck entering the net. The first period horn would sound and the Ducks would instead take a 1-0 lead into the locker room and would be 0/2 on the power play in the game so far.
Anaheim would find themselves in some penalty trouble early in the middle frame as Ducks defenseman Brandon Montour would be on the receiving end of a tripping call as he would upend Mikkel Boedker as he was getting ready to fly the zone. Anaheim would get out of the frying pan as they would hold off a spirited San Jose charge on the power play as they would fire five shots on goal that Gibson would steer aside. Gibson would have to be alert all period long as he would face a plethora of San Jose shots in this second period that would eventually come to an end for the Ducks who were flat-footed most of the period as they would have difficulties getting out of their own zone throughout a majority of the period. At the end of the second period, the Ducks would carry their 1-0 lead into the third and final period but would need to tighten up on defense as they would get heavily outshot 14-2.
The Ducks enter the third and final period of play with a 1-0 lead and will look to build on it against a San Jose team who is on the tail end of back-to-back games. Anaheim would do just that as Cam Fowler would find a rebound laying to the side of Jones and put it top corner to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead just 6:28 into the final frame of play, Kase would draw the primary assist giving him two points on the night as well as Nick Ritchie who would continue to add to his current assist streak. The Sharks, however, wouldn’t wait very long to pull within one, as Logan Couture would fire a bomb from the blue line that would find its way over the glove hand of Gibson and into the back of the net just over four minutes after the Ducks notched their second goal of the night. The Sharks would pull their goalie late in the third period in hopes of tying the game and take it into overtime, and they would do just that as Timo Meier would get a re-direct on a Couture point shot and past Gibson for the tying goal with just 54 seconds remaining in regulation. The third period horn would sound and we would be heading to overtime!
Both the Ducks and Sharks have non-impressive overtime records as the Ducks have dropped 10 between overtime and shootouts while the Sharks have dropped eight between both overtime and the shootout. The Ducks and Sharks would trade numerous opportunities, but both Jones and Gibson would stand tall and turn away a combined total six shots (three apiece) and we would head to a shootout all tied up at two.
Adam Henrique – NO GOAL
Joe Pavelski – GOAL
Rickard Rakell – NO GOAL
Logan Couture – GOAL
Final Score: Sharks – 3 Ducks – 2 (Shootout)
Now that their brief home stand has come to an end, the Ducks are set to hit the road yet again as they will head to the midwest as their first stop will be against the Detroit Red Wings (22-23-9) on Tuesday, the Ducks will face-off against a struggling Red Wings team who has found themselves near the bottom of the Eastern conference, but are still in a position to squeak into a wild card spot if they are to catch fire here in the near future so the Ducks will need to continue to play a fast-paced, hard-hitting game if they are to come out on top against a very competitive Detroit team. It will mark the first of two meetings between the two teams as they will meet again on March 16 at Honda Center to close out their regular season series. After their game in Detroit, the Ducks will head to Illinois to square off against the Chicago Blackhawks (24-23-8) who absolutely thrashed the Ducks in their first meeting by a final score of 7-3 back on November 27th. The Blackhawks find themselves in unfamiliar territory as they are at the bottom of the Central division for the first time in a long time. The Ducks will close out their regular season series against the Blackhawks in Anaheim on March 4th.
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February 12th, 2018