|ANA||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
|SJS||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
SAN JOSE – After waiting five long offseason months to launch the 2008-09 campaign, the Ducks were plagued in their season opener by the same problems they endured much of last year – too many penalties and too little scoring.
Both were evident Thursday night as the Ducks went to the box five times in a pivotal second period, giving way to two San Jose goals on the way to a 4-1 defeat to the Sharks in front of a raucous sellout crowd at HP Pavilion. Meanwhile, the Ducks got little going offensively all night, only managing a too-little-too-late Rob Niedermayer goal with 5 1/2 minutes left in the third.
“It takes three periods to play the hockey game and we weren’t very good after the first period," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. For whatever reason we started turning the puck over… something like ten times in the first five minutes of the second period.”
One-time Ducks killer Cheechoo had both goals in the critical second period to put San Jose on top for good in the first game of the year for both teams.
“I felt the way we started the game was great,” said Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere. “We had a good first period. When they stepped it up a notch, it almost surprised us. We should have known better, being a veteran team. That’s not something that should have surprised us.”
Following a scoreless first, the Ducks came apart in the second, committing five minors to give San Jose numerous chances on the man advantage. And Anaheim was bitten twice by Cheechoo, who dented the net twice in a span of 4:12.
Cheechoo struck first 2:32 into the middle session, benefitting from a rare Scott Niedermayer turnover in the San Jose zone. Giguere came out high to save a shot from the slot by Dan Boyle, and Cheechoo scooped up the rebound before moving behind Giguere to fire it through.
Cheechoo made the Ducks pay again when Anaheim was on its heels defending a two-man advantage resulting from penalties on Niedermayer (high sticking) and Teemu Selanne (holding). On the ensuing power play, Joe Thornton passed from the goal line extended back to Cheechoo in the right circle, and the winger whipped it high past Giguere on the far side of the net. He pumped his fist hard through the air, as the capacity crowd of 17,496 roared with elation.
After getting off 10 mostly harmless shots in the first period, the Ducks only managed three in the second, while San Jose peppered Giguere with 21.
“It seems like they got another gear going and we stood around and watched and started to play the game from our own back end," Carlyle said. "Then they started coming at us in waves and we started taking penalties.”
San Jose kept pouring it on in the third, taking advantage of another Ducks power play when Steve Montador headed for the box on a holding minor. Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff drilled a slap shot from the point that sailed through traffic and hit just inside the right post to give San Jose a 3-0 lead.
Anaheim fought back with a Rob Niedermayer goal with 5:25 left in the game, as Steve Montador fired a slap shot from the point and Niedermayer tipped it through on its way to the net.
To quell any Anaheim momentum off that goal, San Jose added insurance when Patrick Marleau fed Devon Setoguchi on a rush, and Setoguchi gathered the puck and flipped it backhand past Giguere for a 4-1 cushion.
The Sharks shut down the Ducks attack most of the night, and netminder Evgeni Nabokov saved 28 of 29 shots. Meanwhile, the Ducks defense allowed 41 attempts on net, 17 of them on the penalty kill.The Ducks play again Sunday in their home opener against another Pacific Division rival, the Phoenix Coyotes.
|Jonathan Cheechoo (1) ASST: Dan Boyle (1), Milan Michalek (1)|
1 - 0 SJS
|PPG - Jonathan Cheechoo (2) ASST: Joe Thornton (1), Rob Blake (1)|
2 - 0 SJS
|PPG - Christian Ehrhoff (1) ASST: Milan Michalek (2), Devin Setoguchi (1)|
3 - 0 SJS
|Rob Niedermayer (1) ASST: Steve Montador (1), Chris Pronger (1)|
3 - 1 SJS
|Devin Setoguchi (1) ASST: Patrick Marleau (1), Rob Blake (2)|
4 - 1 SJS
|Lukas Kaspar Hi-sticking against Brian Sutherby|
|Teemu Selanne Hooking against Ryane Clowe|
|Scott Niedermayer Hi-sticking against Joe Pavelski|
|George Parros Tripping against Ryane Clowe|
|Christian Ehrhoff Hooking against Teemu Selanne|
|Steve Montador Hooking against Devin Setoguchi|
|Kent Huskins Tripping against Milan Michalek|
|Steve Montador Holding against Devin Setoguchi|
|Ryan Getzlaf Slashing against Ryane Clowe|
|SA: 41||TOI: 59:57|
|Saves: 37||EV: 22 - 24|
|PIM: 0||PP: 15 - 17|
|SV%: .902||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 29||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 28||EV: 22 - 23|
|PIM: 0||PP: 5 - 5|
|SV%: .966||SH: 1 - 1|
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