By Mary Walsh
SAN JOSE– Saturday, the San Jose Sharks defeated the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 in their fourth preseason outing. The game featured a preposterous number of penalties from the Ducks and yet another good showing from the line of Barclay Goodrow, Chris Tierney an Nikolay Goldobin. They earned all three stars. Two of the goals were Goodrow’s. Goldobin picked up assists on both of those, and Tierney had an assist on one. The third Sharks goal was Logan Couture’s, while the lone Ducks goal was scored by Matt Beleskey.
Saturday, the Sharks again started with a jump ahead on the shot clock, but the gap was not so big. Midway through the first period, the shots were 6-2, the Sharks were working on their second power play and a 0-0 tie. Unlike last night’s squad, these Sharks also grabbed the lead on the scoreboard, during that power play. That goal was scored by Logan Couture and a power play unit of Demers, Irwin, Marleau and Nieto. A few minutes later, Barclay Goodrow scored to give the team a two goal lead. The assist went, of course, to Goldobin.
The Sharks started the second with an early power play that quickly turned into a five on three with a delay of game penalty coming just four seconds in. Into the second minute of that power play, I was still looking to see who the second power play unit was. The first unit would not get off the ice, since the Ducks could not clear the puck. The top unit did not score either, but with 40 or so seconds left, Anaheim goaltender John Gibson stopped the puck and gave his penalty killers a rest. The Sharks’ second unit finally appeared: Barclay Goodrow, Chris Tierney, Nikolay Goldobin, with Matt Tennyson and Mirco Mueller on the blue line. It took them a few seconds but they scored, Goodrow’s second of the game. Assists went to Tierney and Goldobin.
The power play units got some more practice with yet another Ducks penalty. Just a shift or two had gone by when Nicolas Kerdiles was called for tripping. This time the first unit left almost a minute for the second unit to work with. The second unit included DeMelo instead of Mueller this time.
At 8:42, San Jose’s Taylor Doherty and Anaheim’s Matt Belesky went to the box for matching slashing minors. That was kind of an unusual call.
In the last minutes of the first, Stalock made a save on a wraparound attempt that was very impressive. He does not look like someone trying to get up to speed. He looks more like someone competing for a spot, which, of course, he is. It may not be a spot in San Jose, he has that. But he is certainly capable of challenging Niemi for the starter’s role. No time like the preseason.
The first Ducks power play came at the end of the first period. The second Ducks power play came at the end of the second period. Both times, Melker Karlsson was in the box. In the first period it was for holding the stick. In the second it was for tripping. It was not his night.
The Sharks got another 5 on 3 power play, 1:16 long at 18:48 of the second period. That brought the Ducks to ten penalties, if you do not count the two matching minors. McLellan did not change anything on the first unit, and continued sending them out first. They seemed to need the practice.
It was not Jason Demers’ best night either. He could not seem to get a handle on the pucks sent his way during those many power plays. He spent a lot of time on the left side of the net. That looked like an awkward spot for him.
The third period started with the score at 3-0 Sharks and the shot count at 24-10 Sharks.
One of those rule changes made an appearance about seven minutes in to the third period. The officials called Anaheim’s Nicholas Kardiles for hooking, and gave a matching minor to Goldobin for embellishment. As if the call threw them off, the Sharks gave up a goal 1:38 in to the four on four. It was a fair case of the goalie being beaten by a good shot from an open player. Matt Belesky scored his first of the preseason with assists going to Marc Fistric and Kevin Gagne.
Shortly thereafter, Taylor Doherty fought Clayton Stoner. Stoner got an additional two minutes for roughing, but the Sharks’ power play did not score.
Final score: 3-1, shot count 33-17 Sharks. Attendance announced as over 16, 000.
Forwards: Andrew Desjardins, Patrick Marleau, John Scott, Logan Couture, Melker Karlsson, Freddie Hamilton, Eriak Hayes, Nikolay Goldobin, Matt Nieto, Barclay Goodrow, Daniil Tarasov, Chris Tierney
Defensemen: Jason Demers, Mirco Mueller, Matt Irwin, Dylan DeMelo, Taylor Doherty, Matt Tennyson
Alex Stalock was in net with Grosenick listed as backup.
Nieto/ Couture/ Marleau, Tierney/ Goldobin/ Goodrow, Hamilton/ Karlsson/ Tarasov, Hayes/ Desjardins/ Scott
Later in the game, Nieto and Hamilton swapped lines
Tennyson/Irwin, Demers/DeMelo, Mueller/Doherty
Power play units:
Marleau, Couture, Nieto, Demers, Irwin
Godolbin, Goodrow, Tierney, Tennyson, Mueller/DeMelo