ANAHEIM A virtual unknown and an old nemesis teamed up to give the Sharks their first loss of the season.
Jonas Hiller made rookie Maxime Macenauers first period goal stand up, as the Anaheim Ducks beat the Sharks at the Honda Center on Friday night. Hiller stopped all 31 shots the Sharks threw his way in what was a sloppy game at times, as both clubs had not played since last Saturday.
Hes a world class goalie, but we have some world class players here that can score, said Joe Thornton. Im disappointed we couldnt score on him.
Hillers biggest save came early in the game. Joe Pavelski, who had two goals in the season opening 6-3 win against Phoenix, beautifully skated the puck through Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman and fired a wrist shot on net. Hiller snagged it with his quick glove hand halfway through the first period.
Pavelski blamed himself for the failed opportunity, which could have led to an entirely different outcome.
I believe the corner was there, I just didnt get it up, he said. You get a chance like that you want to finish, especially early in the game. It changes the whole dynamic.
Still, it would have been hard to imagine Hiller would have been any less spectacular even if he had given up that goal. The All-Star goalie was strong from start to finish, especially in the third period, when the Sharks applied good pressure on a late power play.
Ryane Clowe had a great opportunity to tie it at 1-1, but couldnt get a handle on a bouncing puck.
I think if I get that on net, its in. It just hit the side of the net, he said.
Clowe was asked if he was discouraged to get blanked so early in the season. The Sharks are now 1-1 after two games.
I dont think its real discouraging, to be honest, he said. I think if we felt like we played a bit better and controlled most of the game it would be discouraging. The second period they completely outworked us and in the third it was back and forth. Its discouraging we didnt play better, but not so much about the shutout.
The Sharks came out of the gate strong, winning the puck possession game as well as most of the first period faceoffs. The problem was they didnt generate enough when they had the puck.
We were one-and-done in their end, said Logan Couture. We didnt really create second chances. Thats why they beat us.
Too much one-and-out tonight, agreed Todd McLellan.
On the other end, it was Macenauer taking advantage of what McLellan categorized as a missed assignment. Hes likely referring to Andrew Desjardins, who failed to pick up Macenauer in front of the crease.
You have a simple assignment and youve got to accomplish it, said McLellan. Thats the difference between winning and losing at this level. There is so much parity that you have to be sharp all the time.
Among the 36 skaters dressed for the game, Macenauer was as unlikely a name as any to score the games lone goal. A 2007 third round pick by the Ducks, the 22-year-old was playing in just his third career NHL game.
Its always a lift when those guys can contribute, said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. We had a short side play on and they executed it to a tee.
On a positive note for the Sharks, goaltender Thomas Greiss was outstanding. After allowing the goal to Macenauer, the German native held his ground and kept the Sharks within reach, especially in the second period when Anaheim controlled the pace.
Hiller played an exceptional game tonight, but I guess the good news for us is that I thought our goalie matched it, said McLellan.
Greiss finished with 22 saves.
It was tough for him to not get the win, said Clowe.
The Sharks return Saturday night to face the St. Louis Blues at HP Pavilion. Theyll get another shot at Hiller and the Ducks on home ice on Monday night a fine opportunity to put tonights frustration behind them.
We have to play them Monday so its a good chance to improve, said Clowe.
Ducks winger Jason Blake was taken to the hospital after being cut by Brent Burns' skate in the third period. ... Antti Niemi served as Greiss backup, and will likely play in one of the two upcoming home games. Jim Vandermeer was the healthy scratch, but look for him to play Saturday, probably in place of White. ... The Sharks were 0-for-4 on the power play, and killed off both Ducks chances. ... San Jose won 28 of 44 faceoffs (64 percent).