By Adam Brady (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ANAHEIM – In a fierce battle with the San Jose Sharks, owners of the best record in the game for the second straight season, the Ducks did everything but find a way to win.
|The Ducks gave the Sharks all they could handle, but couldn't find an answer for a San Jose goal in the third.
Anaheim skated with its rivals for all 60 minutes, but couldn’t answer a Joe Thornton goal midway through the third period and fell 3-2. Just seconds after the Ducks killed a Teemu Selanne
hooking penalty, Thornton took a pass from Dany Heatley on the left wing and fired it high and inside the far post.
"I saw it, but it was a bang-bang play," said goalie Jonas Hiller
, who believed the shot ticked off his stick before going in. "I just missed it by half an inch. I have to watch it on TV again. It was a quick play. I thought I played it quite well and was in pretty good position. That kind of goal hurts right now. It’s those small mistakes that are costing us games."
The Ducks were unable to tie it over the final half of the period and were downed by the Sharks for the second time this season. San Jose also prevailed 4-1 at Honda Center on opening night, slight payback for a San Jose team that was ousted by Anaheim in the first round of last year’s playoffs in six games.
"They locked it down and played pretty well at the end of the game," Ryan Getzlaf
said. "We had our chances. We played really well tonight. For the most part, we were right in there in that hockey game. We were playing a pretty good team, so it’s those little mistakes that end up costing you in the end."
Before the Sharks went ahead, the Ducks had a golden opportunity to take the lead go awry with 12:45 left in the third. San Jose defenseman Kent Huskins fell down with the puck near the red line, and Todd Marchant
leaped over him to pick it up on a breakaway. Marchant deked to his backhand to catch goalie Evgeni Nabokov out of position, but couldn't get a good angle on a shot that rang the near post.
A minute-and-a-half later, Thornton potted the game-winner.
"Any time you give up one late like that, especially against a team like that where they know how to finish games off, it’s very tough," Getzlaf said.
The Ducks had sent the game to the third period tied 2-2 thanks to two second-period goals by defensemen on the power play. James Wisniewski
got the first one 1:20 into the period, when he ripped a low slap shot under the leg pad of Nabokov. Wisniewski was a gametime decision to suit up for this one after leaving last game in the first period with a right foot bruise.
San Jose managed to erase the lead and take one of their own on goals by Ryan Clowe and Dany Heatley (on the power play) in a span of less than three minutes.
But Whitney knotted the game up with the Ducks skating 5-on-3 following penalties by Huskins (holding) and Douglas Murray (interference). Whitney got things started by feeding down low to Corey Perry
, who was stopped point blank by a lunging Nabokov. But the goalie was still on his side when the puck kicked out to Whitney, who ripped it into the open top half of the net.
It was the fifth power play goal in the last two games for Anaheim, which started the third period on the man advantage but couldn’t convert. That would be the last power play opportunity for the Ducks the rest of the game.
Both Wisniewski and Saku Koivu
were welcome returners for the Ducks, as Koivu missed five games with a strained groin. Steve Eminger also returned after missing the last game with back spasms. Joffrey Lupul
didn’t suit up tonight with back spasms.
Anaheim dropped to 7-11-3 and remains at the bottom of a Western Conference that San Jose leads at 16-5-4.
"Our battle and compete level were high," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "It was a high-paced game with lots of action in it. We can’t be faulted for our effort. It’s our lack of execution in that situation [on the game-winning goal]."
20:00 - END OF GAME - The Ducks run out of time and are edged 3-2.
19:45 - Hiller off.
19:20 - Hiller was ready to head to the bench, but Sharks got control.
18:45 - Getzlaf makes a nice leading feed to Artyukhin, who slaps it wide. First scoring chance for a little while for Anaheim.
Skyler and her makeup artist Matthew win the KISS contest in a landslide.
16:00 - Four minutes left, Ducks need to make a charge.
14:50 - Koivu has some space down low to fire, but Nabokov out-quicks him in closing up the pads.
10:15 - Great Hiller stop on Clowe again, who was point blank off a Pavelski pass after Selanne has fallen down defending on the rush.
8:49 - SAN JOSE GOAL - JOE THORNTON - Seconds after the power play is extinguished, Heatley sends the puck from the slot to Thornton on the left wing, and he fires a shot from the circle that dives into the top far corner of the net. It's 3-2 Sharks.
8:45 - Nice stop by Hiller on a Clowe one-timer.
7:15 - Unbelievable play as Huskins falls down with the puck near the red line and Marchant leaps over him to pick it up and head down on a breakaway. He dekes to his backhand and has Nabokov beat, but can't get an angle on the shot and it rings the post. I just yelled very loudly.
6:43 - ANA Penalty - Teemu Selanne
, 2 min. hooking. Selanne gets in tight on Clowe in the Anaheim end and it's too much.
I'm proud to say that only at an Anaheim Ducks game will you see two people wearing thick mustaches kissing in public. Wait, maybe that's not true.
5:45 - The Ducks nearly get a lucky one as the puck hits off a foot in front and goes over Nabokov's shoulder, but he somehow reaches back and gloves it. Nice play. Unfortunately.
4:43 - ANA Penalty - Saku Koivu
and SJS Penalty - Scott Nichol, 2 min. each roughing. Koivu and Nichol throw a couple of gloved punches after the whistle.
3:50 - Whitney fires a slap shot on the move that Nabokov stops. Whitney very active tonight.
3:21 - Artyukhin is a little shaken up as he collides with Ortmeyer at center ice away from the puck. Normally you'd feel sorry for the other guy in a collision with Artyukhin.
1:43 - Just as we face the disappointment of a missed opportunity on the power play, Ryan slings a shot that hits Nabokov high and drops down. But he smothers it quickly.
0:00 - Here we go in the third, Ducks on the power play.
If you haven't seen it on the broadcast, we're giving people the opportunity to vote for the makeup artists for Skyler (co-host of The Element) and Power Player Lindsey in the contest for best "5th member" of KISS. Vote here and give Lindsey and her artist some love. They're trailing right now.
Kind of an embarrassing moment during the intermission, as "Goaldie" the Bassett Furniture inflatable sheep has a little trouble staying inflated and has to be guided by fans into the Zamboni tunnel for repairs.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Heck of a period, as both the Ducks and Sharks tally two, Anaheim tying it 2-2 on the power play with 13. 5 seconds left. And just like in this period, they'll start the third on the power play.
19:46 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - RYAN WHITNEY - Whitney gets the play started by sending the puck down low to Perry, who's stopped by a lunging Nabokov. The goalie is still down on his side when the puck kicks back out to Whitney, who rips a one-timer top shelf over the prone Nabokov. Fifth power play goal in the last two games for Anaheim and it's 2-2. To boot, it comes before the Huskins penalty runs out, so the Ducks remain on the power play.
19:37 - SJC Penalty - Douglas Murray, 2 min. interference. Murray oversteps his bounds in front of the net. It's a 5 on 3 for Anaheim.
18:55 - SJS Penalty - Kent Huskins, 2 min. holding. Koivu is taken down by the back arm of former Duck Huskins.
16:45 - Scary moment as Pavelski sends the puck toward the net and Hiller almost gets fooled on the bounce before grabbing it.
It's Kiss Cam time, but tonight it's KISS Cam (as in the band). Didn't see that coming. Once again, dad and girlfriend are sitting together tonight. Fingers are firmly crossed. Alas, we escape.
12:58 - Great job by Niedermayer to take the puck away from Heatley and thwart a mini-rush for San Jose.
10:54 - SAN JOSE GOAL (POWER PLAY) - DANY HEATLEY - On the man advantage, Joe Thornton nails a slap shot from the top of the left wing circle that kicks off Hiller, and Heatley is right there to punch the rebound under Hiller's skate. It's 2-1 San Jose. Fourth goal in the last two for Heatley, who had a hat trick last night in San Jose against Philly.
10:12 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Whitney, 2 min. cross checking. Looked more like it was Scott Nichol falling than a Whitney cross-check. But penalty nonetheless.
During the timeout, we have the Best Dressed KISS Member contest, as fans were encouraged to come in KISS clothing and makeup. The winner is based on fan cheering, and contestant 2 is actually booed because he didn't make much of an effort. The winners in a landslide are an entire family of KISS lookalikes -- dad, mom and kids. Nicely done.
8:08 - SAN JOSE GOAL - RYAN CLOWE - Clowe is given way too much room at the left point, and he fires a low shot that travels through traffic and under a surprised Hiller. We're tied 1-1.
6:25 - Nice pass by Calder to Niedermayer in the slot, and his shot rebounds off Nabokov, but Koivu whiffs on the rebound try.
6:10 - Nice save with the leg pad by Hiller.
5:04 - Selanne gets deep in the circle, looking to pass, but fires wide.
4:21 - SJS Penalty - Benn Ferriero, 2 min. tripping. Another opportunity for black and gold.
3:00 - Niedermayer looks for more with room in the slot, but the shot is deflected high.
1:20 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - JAMES WISNIEWSKI - Wisniewski holds the puck at the point, straightaway from the goal, and waits for his teammates to get in front. But he doesn't need them, as his ripped slap shot sneaks under Nabokov's leg pad for Wiz's first of the season. Loud reaction from the home crowd and it's 1-0 Ducks. Assist to Koivu, who like Wisniewski, was a game time decision to be healthy enough for this game.
0:00 - Here we go in period 2.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Nothing on the scoreboard in a tight first period. The Ducks will start the second up a man after the Heatley penalty.
20:00 - SJS Penalty - Dany Heatley, 2 min. tripping. Heatley takes down Bobby Ryan
behind the Anaheim net.
19:41 - Nice kill for the Ducks as we near the end of the first.
18:50 - Nice job by Perry, new to the PK, to chip the puck out of the zone.
17:41 - ANA Penalty - James Wisniewski
, 2 min. hooking. First power play of the game for either side.
15:15 - A Niedermayer shot is tipped in front by (who else?) Perry, but saved.
It's trivia time and contestant Dave (who happens to be the dad of tonight's anthem singer, Jenny) is asked which Duck was part of the winning group at the Ducks Golf Classic. Given the choice of four, he guesses Teemu Selanne and he's ... right. Heck of a prize too, as he gets a VIP package for Tiger Woods' Chevron World Challenge tournament. Nice night for the Swoish family.
13:45 - Ducks get close as Whitney tries to slide a pass from the point to Selanne on the doorstep, but just knocked away.
13:00 - Not the barburning first period you might expect between these two. Yet.
The Power Players hit the ice during the first timeout, adorned in KISS makeup in honor of KISS Night at Honda Center. We'll have photos later.
9:20 - Close call for the Ducks as an Eminger slap shot bounces hard of Nabokov toward Calder, but he can't corral it well enough for a shot.
Former Duck and current Shark Kent Huskins is recognized on the video board during a break in the action, with a picture of him holding the Cup and a live shot of him on the San Jose bench, from where he waves to the crowd.
4:15 - Hiller gives up a juicy rebound in front, and Heatley jumps on the bouncing puck, but way over the cage.
3:31 - Away from the play, George Parros
and big Frazer McLaren get down and dirty after McLaren drives rookie MacGregor Sharp
hard into the wall in front of the benches. Parros falls to the ice early in the bout, but pops back up and lands a couple of glancing blows before taking McLaren down to the ice. Good fight early in this one.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
7:07 p.m. - Another very nice rendition of the anthem by Jenny Swoish, whose cheeks aren't quite as rosy as they were when she was younger. Visiting Sharks fans chime in by yelling an anti-Anaheim chant right before the anthem, and some assorted things during it. Classy as ever, those guys.
Starting Goaltenders - ANA Jonas Hiller
; SJS Evgeni Nabokov
Starting Skaters - ANA Ryan Whitney, James Wisniewski
, Teemu Selanne
Evgeny Artukhin, Saku Koivu
; SJS Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Derek Joslin, Scott Nichol, Jed Ortmeyer, Jamie McGinn
Scratches - ANA Joffrey Lupul
, Sheldon Brookbank
, Erik Christensen; SJS Devin Setoguchi, Logan Couture, Jody Shelley, Brad Staubitz
|SAN JOSE SHARKS
||PATRICK MARLEAU (A)
||JOE THORNTON (A)
||DAN BOYLE (A)