Sharks take step back with 3-1 loss to Ducks

March 29, 2012, 4:27 am
Share This Post


ANAHEIM Teemu Selanne broke a tie game in the third period and the Anaheim Ducks beat the San Jose Sharks for the fifth time in six tries on Wednesday night at Honda Center, 3-1.A blast from Luca Sbisa was tipped by the 41-year-old forward past Antti Niemi at 5:22.For Selanne, it was his 50th career goal against San Jose the most of any opponent in franchise history. He nearly got another one, too, but was stopped on a breakaway by Niemi with about five minutes left.The loss was a costly one for the Sharks (39-28-10, 88 points). Dallas and Los Angeles both won their games in Edmonton and Calgary, respectively, moving the Sharks back into the eighth spot in the Western Conference. San Jose is one point ahead of the Phoenix Coyotes, whom they meet on Thursday night at Arena.The Stars took over the Pacific Division lead with 89 points, while the Kings own the tiebreaker with San Jose by virtue of one more regulationovertime win. All four teams competing for the final three spots have played 77 games.The teams traded goals less than a minute in the second period to make it 1-1 after 40 minutes.Anaheim struck first. Bobby Ryan charged through the slot through TJ Galiardi and Dan Boyle before converting on a pass from Devante Smith-Pelly at 9:22.San Jose responded thanks to a giveaway by defenseman Francois Beauchemin. Logan Couture gained control of the puck behind the net and quickly found Ryane Clowe in front before goaltender Jonas Hiller could get back into position after leaving the crease. Clowe took advantage of the open net by lifting in his 15th goal at 10:14.Hiller made the save of the game with about five minutes left, robbing Pavelski from the slot with a quick glove.All of Anaheims five wins this season against the Sharks came in regulation, meaning San Jose recorded just two of a possible 12 points against its Pacific Division rival.The Sharks had a couple of great opportunities to take a first period lead when Justin Braun drew a trip on Lubomir Visnovsky at the nine-minute mark. Boyle missed a wide-open net, though, and Pavelskis shot from the circle went wide shortly after.Earlier, Pavelski hit the cross bar about seven minutes into the game when he was left alone in front of Hiller.The teams traded more chances in the second when it was still scoreless. Niemi left a juicy rebound in the slot on a shot by Andrew Cogliano that looked like an easy goal for Selanne, but Joe Thornton managed to keep it out when the shot from Selanne deflected harmlessly off of the Sharks captains left skate six minutes in.Galiardi, playing after missing the last six games with a back injury, fired high on a breakaway about half a minute later.Douglas Murray left the game after the first period and his status was not immediately known.Corey Perry was awarded a goal with 8.9 seconds left when the referee ruled that Boyle intentionally pushed the net off of its moorings with Perry looking at an open net with Niemi pulled for an extra attacker.