By Ivan Makarov
SAN JOSE, CA — Ilya Bryzgalov was one goaltender San Jose Sharks never liked playing against, as he caused plenty of headaches for them over the years, especially when playing for then-called Phoenix Coyotes. Bryzgalov is now with Anaheim Ducks and was back at the SAP Center as their starter on Thursday. Unlike in years past, Sharks had no problem scoring on him from all sorts of angles and in all kinds of situations. All of that resulted in six goals before Bryzgalov was pulled out of the game, with Sharks winning the game in the end by the score of 6-3.
The bulk of the action happened in the second period. After the first period ended 1-1, with Anaheim dominating the shot count and perhaps the scoring chances, the Sharks went on a tare and scored five unanswered goals in the next period, and that proved to be too much for the NHL-leading Ducks.
It was a variety of scorers for the Sharks – Joe Pavelski, Barclay Goodrow, Patrick Marleau, James Sheppard were the forwards with goals, while Matt Irwin and Brenden Dillon contributed from the blue line, with Dillon’s goal being shorthanded. Tomas Hertl and Joe Thornton both recorded two assists each on the night.
Andrew Cogliano was the first to score in the game, just five minutes into it. Redirecting a puck in front of the net, he picked up the puck off his rebound and put it inside the net on the second attempt.
The Sharks got right back into the game on the tying goal by Joe Paveksi, with Anaheim’s Kyle Palmieri sitting in the penalty box. Great passing on their first power play attempt had Joe Thornton getting the puck cross ice to Marleau who needed just one touch to find Pavelski in the crease. Sharks forward didn’t waste any time putting the puck into the net. When those three combine for passes on the power play, good things usually happen.
Sharks took the lead at the start of the second period. Barclay Goodrow was down in Worcester during the All-Star Game break, playing AHL hockey, and it showed. He flew past Anaheim defensemen after he picked up the puck around the blue line and shot the puck low into the far corner on Ilya Bryzgalov, finding the net. This was Goodrow’s their goal of the season.
“A really good way to start the second half,” said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan. “We were four lines deep, all six defensemen, solid goaltending, so everyone contributed.”
Another solid passing play later in the period resulted in another goal for the Sharks. Brent Burns shot the puck low from the blue line towards the net, and Patrick Marleau touched it just enough to have it change direction and fly into the far corner.
Matt Irwin made it 4-1 for the Sharks when he scored from short range when joining the attack and skating deep into the zone with the puck. That goal seemed to have taken away any confidence Bryzgalov had left in his ability, and he allowed two more in the short time that followed before finally being pulled for Frederick Andersen, Anaheim’s main net minder who was supposed to get the night off before facing Chicago Blackhawks the following night.
“I think we were moving the puck really good tonight,” said Andrew Desjardins. “It seemed like we were controlling the pace of the game. We were getting through the neutral zone and getting pucks in deep, creating turnovers and when you control the pace like that, it leads to success.”
With the five game lead heading into the third period, the Sharks went into the maintenance mode for the rest of the game. Matt Beleskey was able to put one in past Antti Niemi at 8:58 mark in the third, but the goal had no impact on the way the game was going. Patrick Maroon scored another one with less than two minutes remaining.
Sharks continue their home stand on Saturday when they face another Western Conference powerhouse Chicago Blackhawks.
- After the story broke in the news earlier last week, San Jose Sharks officially announced that they are moving their AHL affiliate club to San Jose from Worcester, Massachusetts where it currently is playing as Worcester Sharks. The new team will be renamed so as not to confuse itself with the main NHL squad, but will also share the arena with the NHL’s Sharks. “This is an exciting day for the San Jose Sharks organization and for hockey fans throughout the state of California,” said Sharks COO John Tortora. “Having our AHL club playing in close proximity to our NHL club has innumerable benefits for the development for our young players and prospects. It also provides an opportunity for the Sharks organization to grow Sharks Territory and enhance our footprint into what is an already hockey-crazy market.”