Sharks take down Anaheim 3-1

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Sharks take down Anaheim 3-1

Box Score

ANAHEIM For the first half of the game, it looked like a carbon copy of recent Sharks-Ducks games in which Anaheim came out on top.

A bad turnover leading to a goal-against Antti Niemi. Plenty of Sharks shots on net, but nothing to show for it. A power play that couldnt sustain any pressure.

But when Brad Winchesters goal at 16:23 of the second period tied the game at 1-1, the Sharks used the momentum from that marker in helping them to a 3-1 win at Honda Center in what was their first in four tries against their in-state rivals.

The Sharks have gotten points in nine of their last 10 games (6-1-3), and are back in the Pacific Division lead after sweeping a mini two-game road trip that began on Monday in Vancouver. And, it feels good to finally get a win against the team that sits 29th out of 30 in the NHL standings.

You guys (the media) have been beating us the last couple days, Joe Thornton said.

Winchester was an unlikely candidate to get things started against Jonas Hiller, as the winger had just three goals this season. His perfectly placed wrist shot came after Jamie McGinn found him with a long outlet pass from the San Jose zone.

Once I kind of saw it was turned over, I was able to generate some speed up the wing and McGinn made a really nice pass, he said. I felt the D closing, and was just able to get it off.

It sailed over Hillers left shoulder to the far side, ringing off the inside of the post.

Just 27 seconds later, Benn Ferriero gave the Sharks their first lead. The play began with a point shot by Dan Boyle that didnt get through, and another attempt by Logan Couture from the slot that was knocked down in front of the net. Ferriero managed to find the loose puck before Hiller did.

I got underneath the d-mans stick and buried it, Ferriero said.

It was Ferrieros second goal in as many games, third since being recalled from Worcester on Dec. 20, and held up as the game-winner.

McLellan praised the young Ferriero after the game.

Bennys been a tool thats moved from line to line, for whatever reason, whether were matching or just how the game is going, and hes been able to adapt really well with different linemates, said the head coach. Hes taking advantage of his opportunity, and making good on it.

The Ducks pushed hard to start the third period looking for the equalizer. On a delayed penalty to Douglas Murray, Corey Perry hit the outside of the post, and on the ensuing power play a blast by Lubomir Visnovsky hit Niemi and bounced over the goaltender towards the open net before it was cleared by an attentive Boyle.

Thornton made a pair of key plays, too. First, towards the end of the penalty on Murray, Thornton got the end of his stick on a cross-ice pass from Cam Fowler, who was trying to set up an open point shot.

Moments later, Thornton skated up the wing with the puck after picking it up at the red line. The captain had time to wind up on Hiller for a blast from the top of the circle, and although the Ducks goalie made the stop, he was slow to react to the rebound and a changing Joe Pavelski flipped it in at 12:43 for insurance.

Thornton explained both.

I just saw Fowlers eyes going that way and just poked it out," he said of his play on the PK. "The shot, I just tried to pound it. They always say shoot the puck, so I did, and Pav just made a good play beating their defenseman and tapping it in.

Its been an inconsistent season for Thornton, but McLellan liked what he saw against Anaheim.

I thought Jumbo skated tonight. He had his legs going. We didnt see the turnovers that weve seen over the last little bit, and thats because he had his legs moving, McLellan said. Shot the puck, created a goal, smart defensively on the penalty kill, good stick, pretty good in the faceoff circle. Thats the type of game he needs to play, and when he plays that way, the offensive points come.

Late in the game, Sharks defenseman Jason Demers was the recipient of a blindside hit by Bobby Ryan, resulting in a boarding penalty to the Ducks forward at 17:30. Demers appeared to have his back to Ryan the whole time, and had his head driven into the boards from behind.

Demers said he felt fine after the game, and didnt have any ill will towards Ryan, who is not known as a dirty player.

I thought I had him beat and I guess he just read where I was going. I kind of turned into it. He finished his check. You could say my back was turned to him, but listen, plays happen quick. Im sure that wasnt his intention. Its all fine now, Demers said.

The game didnt start well for the Sharks. The Ducks took a 1-0 lead early in the first on Perrys 15th goal. Patrick Marleau tried to clear the puck out of the zone off of the glass, and Andrew Cogliano intercepted it and found Perry alone in front of the net. A quick deke beat Niemi at 2:37.

The goal came seconds after an ineffective Sharks power play expired with Cogliano off on a hold just 22 seconds after the opening face off. The coach was not happy.

When you have a power play plan and youre 22 seconds into the game, and they somehow forgot between the meeting and the 22 seconds that we played, theyre showing you that theyre not ready to go, McLellan said. That was disappointing, and Anaheim scored right away.

"Not a little frustration, a lot of frustration. A little barking on the bench and we settled in after that.

Anaheim had a great chance to increase that lead later on, when Winchester was given a double-minor for high-sticking Visnovsky at 16:34. San Joses improving penalty kill didnt allow the Ducks a single shot during that span, which carried over into the start of the second.

It was the second straight clutch effort on the PK, after San Jose killed a lengthy two-man advantage against Vancouver in Mondays 3-2 shootout win.

McLellan said of the penalty kill: Were starting to figure it out. We like how the players are rolling out and the order that theyre going out in. Our clearing attempts are a lot better, so theres a lot of good things on the penalty kill. Now, weve got to fix the power play.

San Jose outshot the Ducks for the game, 36-27. Niemi, making his 17th start in the last 18 games, made 26 saves to record his 17th win of the year.

The Sharks return home to play the Blue Jackets on Thursday night.

Odds and ends: Torrey Mitchell played just 7:04. Jim Vandermeer, Colin White, Frazer McLaren and Antero Niittymaki were the Sharks scratches. Anaheims Jason Blake returned after a 34 game absence after he was stepped on by San Joses Brent Burns on Oct. 14, causing a sever laceration above his left wrist. The Sharks had 18 blocked shots to the Ducks 11. San Jose won the faceoff battle, 27-24. Patrick Marleau and Corry Perry had a game-high seven shots. Each team was 0-for-4 on the power play.

Despite loss, Sharks 'in a good spot' headed into bye week

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Despite loss, Sharks 'in a good spot' headed into bye week

SAN JOSE – Despite what was technically their sixth loss in the last eight games, the Sharks seemed to put more stock in the point they gained in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Bruins on Sunday night at SAP Center, rather than the one they left on the table.

They have that luxury. 

The Sharks will enter their bye week five points ahead of Edmonton and Anaheim for first place in the Pacific Division, and figure they’re due for some time off after a short summer followed by a World Cup for some, and a brutal condensed NHL schedule for all.

“[We’ve] showed up and played hard,” Joe Pavelski said. “We’ve been in a lot of games. Games we’ve lost, we’ve battled. There hasn’t been any cheat in [our] game. Defensively, we’ve been strong. There’s a lot of good areas in our game that we like right now.”

Playing in the second of a back-to-back against a Bruins team had was coming off of its own bye week, the Sharks fell behind 1-0 on a first period goal by Ryan Spooner, but notched a Patrick Marleau equalizer in a second period in which they outshot the Bruins 16-9. An evenly played third period gave way to overtime, where Brad Marchand scored on a breakaway to give the Bruins their fourth straight win since changing head coaches.

The Sharks spoke before the weekend about finishing the final two games strong before the respite. They ended up gaining three of four points, including Saturday’s 4-1 win in Arizona, and were pleased with their effort against the Bruins as they capped off 10 games in 20 days since the All-Star break.

“It was an important push into this break,” Pete DeBoer said. “To go in up [five points] on the next closest team is a real testament to our group.”

Paul Martin said: “I thought we played pretty well, considering the back-to-back with some travel, and a team that was waiting for us.”

Perhaps the most encouraging performance came from Martin Jones, who was one of a number of Sharks players that was looking particularly fatigued lately. The goaltender entered the game with a 1-0-2 record, 4.46 goals-against average and .837 save percentage in his last four starts, including getting pulled after the first period in Boston just 10 days ago.

Jones was impressive, though, making a vital pad stop on the dangerous David Pastrnak in front of the net midway through the third period to keep it a 1-1 score.

“It was a good game. Two teams playing hard,” Jones said. “We can take a lot of positives from that one. It was a good hard game, just didn’t go our way tonight.”

Overtimes have been an issue lately, though. The Sharks have lost their last four games decided during the three-on-three, all coming within the last two weeks. As satisfied as they are with their cushion in the division, it could have been cushier.

Against the Bruins, Tuukka Rask denied Brent Burns on a two-on-one in overtime, and Marchand scored off of the ensuing faceoff, blowing the zone past Pavelski and Marc-Edouard Vlasic and corralling a long toss from Torey Krug before sliding it home.

“We get to overtime, shootouts – we expect to get that extra point,” Pavelski said. “We haven’t found it lately. We’ll just keep looking for it.”

DeBoer said: “The points are critical, they’re valuable. I don’t read a lot into [overtime decisions], we’ve won our share over the time I’ve been here. We had a chance to win tonight, too. … I concentrate on the effort, and I thought we got better as the game went on.”

Being focused and energized, as they have been most of the season to this point, shouldn’t be a problem when the season resumes next Saturday in Vancouver. The Sharks are in prime position to win their first division title since 2010-11, and a return trip to the Stanley Cup Final is a distinct possibility.

Losing six of eight won’t be nearly as acceptable coming out of the break as it apparently is going into it, but that’s not something to worry about now, even after another defeat. 

“There are some games you wish you could get back and get those points, but we’re still in a good spot,” Marleau said.

Instant Replay: Bruins score in overtime, send Sharks to the break with a loss

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USATSI

Instant Replay: Bruins score in overtime, send Sharks to the break with a loss

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE – The Boston Bruins skated past the San Jose Sharks on Sunday at SAP Center, 2-1 in overtime.

Brad Marchand’s breakaway goal after the Bruins won a defensive zone faceoff gave Boston the win, as Torey Krug found the forward charging towards the San Jose net. Marchand slipped the puck through Martin Jones’ five hole at 2:36.

San Jose has dropped its last four games decided in the three-on-three.

The Sharks lost for the sixth time in their last eight games (2-1-5), headed into the bye week. They will not play or practice from Monday through Friday, and resume their season on Saturday in Vancouver.

Boston extended its winning streak to four games since firing Claude Julien and naming Bruce Cassidy the interim head coach. The streak began with a 6-3 win over the Sharks at TD Garden on Feb. 9.

The Bruins were just the fourth team of 20 to win the first game after their bye week (4-12-4).

Boston scored the only goal in the first period, while the Sharks answered with a second period tally.

Ryan Spooner’s marker at 11:05 of the opening frame put Boston ahead. An Adam McQuaid point shot found Jimmy Hayes in the slot, and after Hayes fired wide of the net, Spooner tucked in the loose puck.

San Jose turned up the pressure late in the second, finally resulting in a goal by Patrick Marleau. During a four-on-four situation, Brent Burns’ wrist shot deflected right to Marleau’s tape, and he easily flipped in his 502nd career goal at 17:37.

Sharks coach Pete DeBoer shortened his bench for the third period, leaving Mikkel Boedker and Nikolay Goldobin planted on the pine. Melker Karlsson took Boedker’s place on the second line, while Chris Tierney skated on the third line with Tomas Hertl and Joel Ward.

The Sharks are 6-3-1 in the second half of back-to-backs.

Special teams

Each team had just one power play in the game, failing to convert.

The Sharks are 3-for-24 on the power play over their last eight games (12.5 percent), but a perfect 8-for-8 on the PK in their last five.

In goal

Jones was facing the Bruins just 10 days after he was pulled to start the second period in Boston when he allowed three goals on 12 shots. He allowed two goals on 27 shots.

Tuukka Rask made 29 saves for the win.

Lineup

The Sharks’ lineup was unchanged from Saturday’s win in Arizona, other than the goaltender. Goldobin played in his second game of the season.

Joe Thornton remains two assists away from 1000 in his career. His five-game point streak came to an end.

Burns had 20 shot attempts, including seven on net.

Up next

Saturday’s game in Vancouver begins a stretch where the Sharks will play their final 22 games over a 43-day span. On Feb. 2, they won the first of five meetings with the Canucks, 4-1 at Rogers Arena.

Vancouver, which hosted Philadelphia on Sunday, also has its bye week from Feb. 20-24.