The San Jose Sharks (15-11-6) defeated the Anaheim Ducks (22-7-4) by the final of 4-0 completing the season series win for San Jose. Goaltender Antti Niemi also picked up his second shutout of the season in the winning effort for the Sharks.
It was another great start for the Sharks who came out of the gates strong when Joe Pavelski scored exactly one minute into the game on a wrap-around shot to Jonas Hiller. He started in place of goaltender Viktor Fasth who has been struggling as of late. Early on the goaltending changed proved to be ineffective however.
San Jose proceeded to score two more goals in the first 10 minutes of the game on goals from Patrick Marleau and Brent Burns who scored his on the power play making it a quick 3-0 Sharks lead. After the third goal of the period (the one scored by Burns) Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau immediately called a timeout to calm down the troops. It seemed to work as it quelled the hot start for the Sharks ending the period at 3-0.
Also mixed into the game early on in the period was a good fight between Ryane Clowe and Bryan Allen where Clowe definitely seemed to get the better shots in. It was a great start of the game for him coming back from his shoulder injury that kept him out the last few games.
Fast forwarding to the third period when Anaheim earned an opportunity to get back in the game with their second power play chance of the game. While they had some chances to score it was the Sharks who put the puck in the net short-handed. They were able to catch the Ducks defensemen jumping up into the play and Tommy Wingels scored on a well-executed two-on-one break with Logan Couture that gave the Sharks the 4-0 lead.
That lead proved to be plenty for Antti Niemi who stood strong all game and was able to pick up his second shutout of the season.
Credit the Marleau-Couture-Wingels line which was great all night and showed what happens when you can utilize your speed. They generated all kinds of shots and scoring chances by getting to pucks first and using that speed in the open ice to get around defenders with ease. In all it seemed like any line combination that was out on the ice this evening clicked well which is a great sign considering the constant juggling that has been going on all season. Perhaps McLellan has finally found a set he likes.
You also have to love how Dan Boyle played tonight, even admist the trade rumors he has no doubt heard, showing why he is one of the three captains on this team. The best part of the night was when he dropped the gloves and went toe-to-toe with Corry Perry after Boyle took a cheap shot from him behind the play on Wingels’ short-handed goal. Overall another great game and it’s good to see the Sharks starting to hit their stride.
San Jose will be back at it again tomorrow night in game two of their homestand against the Detroit Red Wings who also beat these same Anaheim Ducks twice in a row right before the Sharks played them.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Tommy Wingels (1 goal, 2 assists)
2. Dan Boyle (1 assist, 5 blocked shots, a fight, +2 rating)
3. Antti Niemi (22 saves, shutout)