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VIDEO: Ducks Can’t Tie Game Late, Fall 3-2
By Aaron Francis
After having the first game in a two game series with the Sharks rescheduled, the Ducks came into San Jose Monday to close out a short road trip. It was a milestone night for Ducks goalie John Gibson who played in his 300th career NHL game. Martin Jones started opposite Gibson for the Sharks.
Both teams were able to make some chances in the offensive zone this period and as a result ended up tied heading into the second. After being scratched in the previous game Sam Steel would score his first of the year as his pass attempt went in off a Sharks defender early in the game, 1-0 Anaheim. Adam Henrique had a quick one-time shot denied by Martin Jones after Ryan Getzlaf found him with a pass from behind the net.
The Ducks drove the play early but would be called for delay of game after the puck went over the glass. On the ensuing power play John Leonard would score his first NHL goal to get San Jose on the board, 1-1 tie. Shots were 15-10 Anaheim at the end of the period.
The Sharks came out hungry to start the middle frame and were able to take the lead in the game. A rebound shot from Kevin Labanc bounced in off of Gibson from the corner to put the Sharks ahead, 2-1 San Jose. The Ducks were held in their own zone often as the Sharks were driving the play through the first half of the period.
Isac Lundestrom had his chance saved by Jones after the Sharks turned the puck over in their zone. Not long after however the Sharks would get their own turnover chance that Logan Couture buried behind Gibson, 3-1 San Jose. Shots were 13-4 San Jose at the end of the second.
The Ducks tried to mount a comeback but were unable to find the tying goal late. Just two minutes into the third period the Ducks were given life as a pass in front by Maxime Comtois bounced in off a defender, 3-2 San Jose. Timo Meier took a hooking penalty that sent Anaheim to the power play for the first time in the game but they couldn’t capitalize.
Anaheim got a close opportunity as Rickard Rakell almost shoveled the puck across the goal line before Martin Jones swept the puck out. The Sharks got another power play opportunity and Jakob Silfverberg had a shorthanded shot that was saved. The Ducks would pull Gibson with under three minutes to play but multiple icings and blown entries prevented Anaheim from finding the equalizer as time ran out. Shots were 9-6 Anaheim in the third period for a game total of 29-28 San Jose.
Despite getting on the scoreboard early, the Ducks never really ran away with the game and didn’t add to their lead. San Jose was without the services of Erik Karlsson tonight, one of their two star defensemen. If Anaheim had been able to keep up their strong play in the first and score another goal on Jones they may have been better equipped to handle the Sharks offensive response in the second. Regardless of the score the Ducks were sloppy with the puck tonight and ultimately paid for all the turnovers they committed in the game.
The delay of game call that led to the Sharks power play goal was a bit questionable as it appeared to have tipped off the top of the glass. But calls like that are going to happen and while it did hurt Anaheim, it was not the reason they lost. As for the positives, it was good to see the Ducks puck luck improve as both goals were the result of bouncing pucks going in favor of the Ducks. This hasn’t happened often this season and hopefully it continues and the Ducks can use it to help in their next game against the Wild.
Comtois leads the team with seven goals.
Gibson played in his 300th NHL game.
The Ducks host the Minnesota Wild Thursday February 18th at 7 PM PT.
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February 15th, 2021