Sharks take step back with 3-1 loss to Ducks


Sharks take step back with 3-1 loss to Ducks


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.

Rewind: Sharks fall behind early again, lose 3-2 to Ducks

Rewind: Sharks fall behind early again, lose 3-2 to Ducks

ANAHEIM – Spotting a team the first two goals is a difficult recipe for winning hockey games. That’s even truer when you’re the Sharks, and you’re having tremendous difficulty scoring more than two goals on any given night in the first place.

While the Sharks hung with Anaheim in a closely contested game at Honda Center on Friday night, the Ducks got that extra necessary score. Brent Burns and Kevin Labanc answered first period goals by Rickard Rakell and Antoine Vermette, but Hampus Lindholm’s marker with 5:38 to go in the third period was the difference.

For the fifth time in their last six, and ninth in their last 12, San Jose's scuffling offense couldn’t eclipse the two-goal plateau in a 3-2 defeat.

Coach Pete DeBoer said giving up the first two scores, like they also did on Wednesday in a similar loss against Ottawa, “is not optimal, obviously. But we battled back, and I thought the game could have gone either way. 

“I give our guys credit for battling back. … We didn't hang our head, we battled, and we're just finding a way to lose right now instead of win, which, we've been winning games like that."

For the second straight game, Sharks captain Joe Pavelski had numerous prime chances but couldn’t find a way to get one. An early third period opportunity stood out among the rest, though, when Pavelski was staring at a wide open net in a 2-2 game from close range.

Typically that’s an automatic score for Pavelski, who led the league in game-winners last season. But this time, it went five feet wide.

“Kind of rolls up, catches the blade, and it’s not even close,” Pavelski said. “Those are the moments you’ve got to cash in on. I haven’t done that.”

The Sharks’ best stretch came early in the second period, when they outskated the Ducks and peppered Jonathan Bernier while trailing, 2-1. The Ducks goalie turned them all away until Labanc squeezed one through at 8:40 after the rookie was nicely set up by linemate Logan Couture.

“He didn’t give me much room. You just want to get that off as quick as you can,” Labanc said. “Just took a quick shot, and it went in the net.”

In a game of momentum swings, though, the Ducks outplayed San Jose in the third. They took the lead when Joel Ward gave Lindholm a little too much room to pick his spot on a wrist shot from the top of the circle.

After looking like they were in good shape after two periods, Labanc thought the Sharks were “a little too confident” headed into the third.

“We stopped skating, stopped dumping the puck in, and working hard in the corners,” he said.

Pavelski bemoaned the fact that for the second straight game, a regulation loss in the final minutes, that the Sharks didn't even manage to get the point in the standings for forcing overtime despite fighting back.

"The last few games you have a chance to at least push it to the end," he said. "We're not giving up a whole lot."

The Sharks nearly did tie the game with Martin Jones pulled for an extra attacker, though. After Burns made a pair of remarkable shot blocks on Andrew Cogliano bidding for an empty netter, DeMelo and Ward each had whacks at the puck, but somehow it remained out. 
“A bunch of chaos, really,” is how DeMelo described it. “It was really tight. I think we were just inches away from getting the equalizer.”

Again, though, they just couldn’t find a way to get that third score.

“We were close,” DeBoer said, “but not close enough."

Instant Replay: Sharks' comeback thwarted by Lindholm goal

Instant Replay: Sharks' comeback thwarted by Lindholm goal


ANAHEIM – For the second straight game, the Sharks fell into an early 2-0 hole.

And for the second straight game they erased that deficit, only to lose on a late third period marker. Hampus Lindholm scored with 5:38 to go in regulation, pushing the Ducks to a 3-2 win over the Sharks at Honda Center on Friday night.

Lindholm snapped a 2-2 tie when he found open ice at the top of the circle and buzzed a wrist shot past Martin Jones, for the defenseman’s first of the season.

Anaheim improved to 5-0-1 in the last six head-to-head matchups between the Pacific Division rivals, and moved ahead of the Sharks by two points in the standings.

The Sharks lost their second straight game, including a 4-2 defeat to Ottawa on Wednesday night at SAP Center. They have scored two or fewer goals in nine of their last 12 games, going 6-5-1 over that span.

Rickard Rakell opened the scoring at 4:44. The forward found the rebound of a Shea Theodore shot after Marc-Edouard Vlasic failed to clear the zone for his 11th goal.

Antonie Vermette increased the lead to 2-0, finishing off a rush at 15:06 when he slid the puck past Jones’ far side.

San Jose got one back just before the intermission, though. One second after a power play had expired, Brent Burns hammered home a one-timer from the circle on a pass from Patrick Marleau with just six seconds left in the period, after Vlasic nicely kept the puck in at the offensive blue line.

Burns has now scored one goal in each of the past three games, and has six in the last nine games overall.

The Sharks pushed the pace early in the second period, but Jonathan Bernier made stops on Mikkel Boedker, Joonas Donskoi, Joe Pavelski and Melker Karlsson to keep the Ducks lead intact. That is, until Kevin Labanc knotted it at 2-2, finishing off a cross-ice pass by Logan Couture at 8:40 for the rookie’s third of the season.

The Sharks had a great chance to take their first lead of the night early in the third period, but Joe Pavelski missed a wide open net less than three minutes into the final frame.

The Sharks and Ducks split the first two meetings of the season series. San Jose returns to Honda Center later this month on Dec. 27.

Special teams

The Sharks were officially 0-for-1 on the power play. They killed off all three Anaheim advantages, ending a three-game streak of one power play goal against.

In goal

Starting for the 10th time in the last 11 games, Jones allowed three goals on 32 shots. He fell to 3-7-0 in his career against Anaheim.

Bernier was playing for the first time since giving up eight goals to Calgary on Dec. 4. He made 22 saves to pick up the win.


Defenseman David Schlemko missed his second straight game with a right ankle injury. Mirco Mueller was recalled on Friday morning, but did not play.

Rakell returned from being out for the last two games with an upper body injury.

Up next

The Sharks return home for the second of a back-to-back on Saturday against the Hurricanes, who claimed a 1-0 win in Carolina on Nov. 15.

A four-game road trip begins in Toronto on Tuesday, Dec. 13.