|ANA||0||0||1||(0 - 0)||1|
|SJS||0||2||1||(0 - 0)||3|
After eliminating San Jose from the playoffs last season, the Ducks haven't quite been able to figure out the Sharks yet in 2009-10.
In the beginning a six-game road trip, Anaheim was upended by the Sharks 3-1 at HP Pavilion. It was the Ducks fifth loss in fives games this season to league-leading San Jose. The teams will meet one more time in the regular season at Honda Center on March 14.
Down by two, Anaheim pulled within one in the third period on rookie Matt Beleskey's fifth goal of the season (all in the last nine games). The Ducks had a good chance to tie it when they went on a power play late in regulation, but they could not cash in. Overall on the night, they went 0-for-5 with a man advantage.
"The big difference in the game was that our power play has to be a little bit better than that," center Ryan Getzlaf said. "We have to be able to make it when we have that man advantage. That was pretty much the difference in the game tonight. We had our chances and it's not for a lack of effort or execution. It's a matter of getting them into the net and past them."
Even with high-scoring defenseman Dan Boyle injured, the Sharks managed to find generate some offense from the blue line.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Rob Blake scored rare goals in the second period to give the Sharks a lead they would never relinquish.
"Without him in the lineup we have to step up offensively," Vlasic said. "I thought the d-men did a great job stepping up. The new pairings did very well, all six of us. We did a great job of moving the puck, joining the rush and creating some offense."
Patrick Marleau assisted on the first two goals and added an empty-netter for his NHL-leading 35th of the season. The Sharks have won four straight and 15 of 18 games to remain two points ahead of Chicago for the most in the NHL.
Anaheim, which had won seven of eight, had a chance to tie the game late after Joe Thornton was called for tripping in the offensive zone with 3:10 remaining. But the Sharks were able to kill off the power play, including the final 35 seconds after Hiller had been pulled for an extra skater.
Vlasic scored his first goal since Nov. 1 on the power play early in the second period to open the scoring. Blake then capped off a scintillating end-to-end play with his fourth goal of the season late in the second. Blake got the Sharks started out of their own zone with a pass to Marleau.
Thornton did a good job of staying onside while corralling Marleau's cross-ice pass, then threaded a perfect centering pass to a hard-charging Blake, who tipped the puck past Hiller for his second goal of the week.
"Pretty amazing," Blake said of the pass. "Honestly I didn't see it until it hit my stick. They always talk about go to the net with your stick down. When you have players as good as that or as crisp as finding things, that will happen."
The teams were scoreless after a physical first period in which there were two fights and four other penalties. Thornton got called for interference just 10 seconds into the game and the penalties kept coming. San Jose's Ryane Clowe squared off with George Parros in the first fight and Brad Staubitz went after Anaheim's Nick Boynton in the second.
The period ended with San Jose on the power play after Troy Bodie got called for a four-minute high-sticking penalty with 1:08 left in the first. The Sharks converted when Vlasic took the puck off a faceoff win by Marleau and flipped it over Hiller's left shoulder for his third goal of the season.
"We were much closer in the game and the difference was that we made a mistake and they score a power play goal off a faceoff," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "We have all but eight seconds of it killed and we reacted poorly on the one draw by them."
NOTES: Blake tied Sharks GM Doug Wilson for 10th place in career goals by a defenseman with 237. ... Hiller is 1-8 in the regular season against the Sharks, but had two shutouts in winning the playoff series against San Jose last season. ... Sharks trainer Ray Tufts missed the game because of the birth of his first child, Henry.
|PPG - Marc-Edouard Vlasic (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Patrick Marleau (21)|
1 - 0 SJS
|Rob Blake (4) Deflected shot - ASST: Joe Thornton (52), Patrick Marleau (22)|
2 - 0 SJS
|Matt Beleskey (5) Wrist shot - ASST: Kyle Chipchura (2), Scott Niedermayer (25)|
2 - 1 SJS
|EN - Patrick Marleau (35) Wrist shot - ASST: Joe Thornton (53)|
3 - 1 SJS
|Joe Thornton Interference against Corey Perry|
|Matt Beleskey Slashing against Jed Ortmeyer|
|George Parros Fighting (maj) against Ryane Clowe|
|Ryane Clowe Fighting (maj) against George Parros|
|Brad Staubitz Interference on goalkeeper against Jonas Hiller|
|Brad Staubitz Fighting (maj) against Nick Boynton|
|Nick Boynton Fighting (maj) against Brad Staubitz|
|Troy Bodie Hi stick - double minor against Manny Malhotra|
|Dany Heatley Hi-sticking against Matt Beleskey|
|James Wisniewski Hooking against Dany Heatley|
|Corey Perry Hooking against Patrick Marleau|
|Scott Niedermayer Holding against Joe Thornton|
|Jed Ortmeyer Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Joe Thornton Tripping against Ryan Getzlaf|
|SA: 24||TOI: 58:17|
|Saves: 22||EV: 14 - 15|
|PIM: 0||PP: 8 - 9|
|SV%: .917||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 27||TOI: 59:44|
|Saves: 26||EV: 14 - 15|
|PIM: 0||PP: 10 - 10|
|SV%: .963||SH: 2 - 2|
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