After their first loss of the season against the Predators in a shootout, the Sharks (7-1-1) follow it up with their first regulation loss of the season at the Honda Center against the Anaheim Ducks (6-1-1).
The San Jose Sharks were without Dan Boyle once again because he is still suffering from flu-like symptoms which he has been battling for a few games now. Matt Irwin, who was scratched against the Predators, stepped back into the lineup which had many changes.
Todd McClellan, recognizing the Sharks’ inability to score as of late, juggled the lines quite a bit, but it did not seem to help much. The first line was the only one to stay intact while all the others were changed.
The second line, consisting of Clowe, Couture and James Sheppard, tallied the only San Jose goal in the game. The third line was made up of Wingels, Handzus, and Havlat (who played down on the third line last game as well) and Scott Gomez was moved all the way down to the 4th line.
Also playing this evening was Thomas Greiss who played another great game but ended up with the loss. San Jose held the lead for most of the game after Logan Couture scored near the end of the first period giving San Jose the 1-0 lead. Also Ryane Clowe got into another fight in the middle of the first period as he went after Matt Beleskey for a hit he put on Douglas Murray.
In the third period, with the score still 1-0, Anaheim gets a lucky bounce off the boards on a Wingels clearing attempt that went straight to Saku Koivu who buried the puck in the net. Later on in the period the Sharks killed off a huge 5 on 3 to keep the game even at one apiece, but a Sheldon Souray blast from the blue line that got past Greiss ended up being the game-winner with 6:39 left in the game. The Sharks put up a good fight at the end of the game but were unable to get anything past rookie goaltender Viktor Fasth.
After this evening the Sharks are have now killed 27 straight penalties (including 6 kills against the Ducks) over a span of 6 games. Unfortunately, the once hot power play continues to be ice cold as they went 0-6 tonight. Just when they get one side of special teams figured out, the other side suffers.
My 3 Stars
1. Viktor Fasth, Anaheim (25 saves)
2. Sheldon Souray, Anaheim (Game-winning goal)
3. Thomas Greiss, San Jose (30 saves)