Sharks lose momentum with 5-3 loss to Ducks

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Sharks lose momentum with 5-3 loss to Ducks

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE The Anaheim Ducks scored three unanswered goals and prevented the Sharks from re-taking the Pacific Division lead with a 5-3 win over San Jose at HP Pavilion on Monday night.
The Sharks (36-26-10) remain in ninth place in the Western Conference, on the outside looking in with just 10 games left in the regular season.
Should the Sharks end up missing out on the playoffs, their lack of success against the rival Ducks will be a big reason why. Anaheim, buried in last place in the Pacific Division, has won four of five games against San Jose in the season series. They meet once more at Honda Center on March 28.
The Ducks scored three straight goals to take a 4-2 lead.
The first came on the power play late in the first, after an undisciplined and avoidable penalty by Brent Burns, who interfered with Teemu Selanne for some reason at the defensive blue line after a dump in. Francois Beauchemin got position in front of the net and put in a pass from Nick Bonino at 17:52 to make it a 2-2 game at the intermission.
Anaheims momentum carried over into the second. A pass from Joe Thornton hopped over the stick of Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and the puck bounced into the neutral zone. Ryan Getzlaf gobbled it up and skated in on a breakaway, and although Niemi made the stop, a charging Corey Perry put in the rebound less than a minute into the frame.
There was more. Nate Guenins shot from the point one of 20 from Anaheim in the second found the back of the net with Nick Palmieri setting a screen at 9:59 to give the Ducks a 4-2 lead.
The Sharks made it a 4-3 game on Joe Pavelskis deflection of a Burns wrister from the point at 17:29, but Anaheim responded just 33 seconds later. Thomas Greiss, who entered for Antti Niemi after Guenins goal, came out to challenge a shot from Palmieri skating up the wing. Douglas Murray blocked the shot, but Palmieri got it right back and beat an out of position Greiss to give the Ducks their two-goal cushion back before the intermission.
Jeff Deslauriers made it hold up in the third, although the Sharks didnt give all that much of a push. San Jose had a power play when Devante Smith-Pelly went off for a high-stick, but the Sharks didnt generate much towards the net despite good zone time by their top unit.
The Sharks struck first on Marty Havlats third goal in the last two games. Havlat, at the side of the net, took a pass from Brent Burns and skated around Jeff Deslauriers to deposit his fifth of the season at 6:24 on the power play.
Anaheim responded when Bobby Ryan scored on a rebound at 7:15, but San Jose took a 2-1 lead when Havlat set up Ryane Clowe for a one-timer in the slot at 9:20.
Deslauriers made his first appearance in net since Jan. 10, as Jonas Hiller had started the previous 32 games for Anaheim. Thats the longest streak of its kind since Antti Niemi started 34 straight for San Jose in the second half of last season.
The Sharks visit the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.
Odds and ends: Tommy Wingels (upper body), TJ Galiardi (upper body), Michal Handzus (undisclosed) were all out for the Sharks. Jim Vandermeer and Colin White were healthy scratches. Greiss made his first appearance since Feb. 26 in Minnesota, as Niemi played all of the last 10 games.

NHL Gameday: Sharks make first visit to Duck Pond

NHL Gameday: Sharks make first visit to Duck Pond

Programming note – Sharks-Ducks coverage starts today at 6:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California

WHERE THEY STAND

Sharks: 15-10-1, 31 points, 3rd Pacific Division
Ducks: 13-9-5, 31 points, 4th Pacific Division

PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES

***The Sharks and Ducks have split the first two meetings of the season, both in San Jose. On Oct. 25, Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s overtime goal was the difference in a 2-1 win. The Ducks responded on Nov. 26, beating San Jose, 3-2, and are 4-0-1 in the last five head-to-head matchups. 

“They’re close, they’re hard fought battles,” Joel Ward said. “It’s obviously a lot of similarities of big bodies, teams that get on the forecheck, and got good special teams, as well.”

***Martin Jones will face Jonathan Bernier in goal. For Bernier, it will be his first game since giving up eight goals at Calgary on Dec. 4 in an 8-3 Flames win.

Does Pete DeBoer think that game might linger with Bernier?

“I’m more worried about the reverse,” said the Sharks coach. “I think usually good pros bounce back with great efforts after games like that. That’s what I’m expecting.”

Logic says that Aaron Dell will start the Sharks’ home game against Carolina on Saturday in the second of a back-to-back, but DeBoer would not confirm that was the plan.

***DeBoer wouldn’t offer much in regards to his lineup against Anaheim, either, although defensemen David Schlemko and Mirco Mueller, and forward Matt Nieto stayed on the ice late, indicating they probably won’t play.

Schlemko is battling a right ankle injury that kept him out of Wednesday’s game against Ottawa. Mueller was recalled on Friday morning.

KEEP AN EYE ON...

Sharks: Dylan DeMelo. The defenseman will play his fourth game of the season with Schlemko likely still out, after he was a healthy scratch for the first 19 games of the season. The 23-year-old has one goal, coming against the Ducks on Nov. 26, and an even rating while averaging 13:35 of ice time per game.

Ducks: Ryan Getzlaf. The Ducks captain scored the game-winning goal on the power play in the most recent meeting with the Sharks, and has nine points (1g, 8a) in his last 11 games. Getzlaf is tied for second in the NHL with 20 assists.

PROBABLE LINES

Sharks
Patrick Marleau – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Kevin Labanc – Logan Couture – Joel Ward
Mikkel Boedker – Chris Tierney – Joonas Donskoi
Micheal Haley – Tommy Wingels – Melker Karlsson

Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – Dylan DeMelo

Martin Jones (starter)
Aaron Dell

Ducks
Rickard Rakell – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano – Ryan Kesler – Jakob Silfverberg
Nick Ritchie – Antoine Vermette – Ondrej Kase
Joe Cramarossa – Stefan Noesen – Logan Shaw

Cam Fowler – Sami Vatanen
Hampus Lundholm – Josh Manson
Shea Theodore – Kevin Bieksa

Jonathan Bernier (starter)
John Gibson

INJURIES/SCRATCHES

Sharks: David Schlemko (right ankle) is doubtful. Tomas Hertl (right knee sprain) is out.

Ducks: Rickard Rakell (upper body) is questionable. Nic Kerdiles (concussion), Nate Thompson (Achilles surgery), Simon Despres (concussion) and Clayton Stoner (lower body) are out.

QUOTEABLE

“We know this is going to be a dogfight right to the end. We’re setting in and prepared for that.” – Pete DeBoer, on the Pacific Division race

Top pick Meier 'real close' to making Sharks debut

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USATSI

Top pick Meier 'real close' to making Sharks debut

SAN JOSE – Struggling to score goals lately with two or fewer in eight of their last 11 games, the Sharks may soon turn to their biggest prospect to try and give the offense a boost.

Timo Meier, the ninth overall pick from the 2015 draft, is tearing up the American Hockey League lately with the Barracuda. He scored four goals (and registered 15 shots) in two games in San Antonio over the weekend, has eight points (5g, 3a) in his last four games, and leads the Barracuda with eight goals.

On Thursday, Pete DeBoer was asked what he’s heard about Meier lately and how close he may be.

“Good things, and real close,” DeBoer said. “I think he would have been even a consideration [Wednesday], but he came down I think with the flu. 

“You feel for him because we’re looking to bring some guys in, and he obviously had a great weekend. He’s one of quite a few guys down there that we feel real comfortable can come in here and are going to help us before the year ends, for sure.”

It’s the second time an illness has affected Meier’s status, as he came down with mononucleosis early in training camp and missed a month of action. He did, however, return to Barracuda practice this week.

One month ago, Barracuda coach Roy Sommer told CSN that Meier had to make some adjustments coming out of juniors. 

“He’s just has to simplify his game,” Sommer said on Nov. 9. “I think he’s just trying to do too much. He’s got to be north-south, and [forget] this circling and trying to put pucks through people. … It’s not going to work.”

Apparently, Meier has figured it out. On Tuesday, Sommer told The Gackle Report: “He’s getting better every game. At the start, I was going, oh man, he’s all over the map, circling and not using his teammates. But shoot, now he just keeps producing.”

“We’ve spent a lot of time with him on video and he picks stuff up.”

The 2015 draft has already produced several players that are regular contributors for their respective clubs, led by Connor McDavid (Edmonton), Jack Eichel (Buffalo), Mitch Marner (Toronto) and Zach Werenski (Columbus). 

Meier is the only player among the top 11 picks that year that has yet to play an NHL game, while 17 of 30 of the players overall chosen in the first round have played at least one NHL game.