San Jose Sharks Jeff Viel (left) and the Anaheim Ducks Sam Carrick (right) scrum with an official trying to get control of the melee in the first period at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Thu Sep 30, 2021 (AP News photo)
~ By Pearl Allison Lo
~ September 30, 2021
~ ANAHEIM– San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer stayed in net the whole game as the Sharks closed out September and the road part of their preseason, 3-1 over the Anaheim Ducks Thursday.
It was Reimer´s first full game of the preseason as he saved 24 of 25 shots. Combined with Sunday´s game, San Jose went 1-1 versus Anaheim down at the Honda Center. The Sharks scored three goals in each contest, this one resulting in a win. A la both contests, the regulation winning team also won the bonus shootout after, as Lane Pederson went high over the second goalie of the night for the Ducks, Anthony Stolarz.
San Jose went net neutral with special teams, going 1-of-4 on the power play and giving up a shorthanded goal, as Anaheim went 0-for-3. Sharks´ coach Bob Boughner commented on the power play, ¨…it’s nice to get the third goal on the power play, but I liked our mentality of just simplifying, put some more pucks and bodies at the net. That’s what we’ve been trying to stress here in camp.¨
Ryan Merkley had his first goal and assist of the preseason and seven other San Jose skaters earned points.
10 seconds into the game, there was a fight between the Sharks’ Jeffrey Viel and the Ducks’ Simon Benoit. This would be the first of a combined nine penalties in the first period, three of them occurring concurrently.
At 6:15, Adam Raska shoved Benoit into the away bench which caused the door to open. Benoit ended up leaving the ice and Sam Carrick retaliated, charged with a roughing penalty.
With a 2-on-1, Anaheim´s Benoit-Olivier Groulx had no problem with that, scoring his second goal versus San Jose this preseason as he went top shelf. Buddy Robinson and goalie John Gibson earned the primary and secondary assists on the shorthanded netter 32 seconds later.
It took nine minutes for the Sharks to get their first shot on goal. Gibson was able to corral Radim Simek´s attempt.
San Jose tied the game up at 12:49. Alexander ¨Sasha¨ Chmelevski attacked from the left and Merkley and Dylan Gambrell from the right, with Merkley credited with the goal. It was all three skaters’ second points of the preseason.
At 17:28, both Viel and Carrick were charged with their second penalties of the night, roughing.
With 25 seconds left in the opening period, Gambrell was cited for hooking, giving the Ducks a one-man advantage. The Sharks ended up outshooting Anaheim 10-8.
The second period was limited to one goal and one penalty, which both occurred around halfway, at 9:05 and 11:05. Benoit also returned to the ice.
In the middle of the right faceoff circle, Raska bounced the puck off the board and sent the puck straight across to Viel as Viel quickly went around Gibson stickside. This gave San Jose their first lead in Anaheim this preseason. Artemi Kniazev was also credited with an assist.
The Ducks’ Jacob Perreault was the only one charged with a call, roughing, though afterwards multiple skirmishes broke out.
Both teams finished the closing period with multiple penalties, Anaheim with more and the one that resulted in a goal.
The Sharks’ Kevin Labanc made a clean shot from the left faceoff circle, scoring at 15:40. Merkley and William Eklund got the assists, Eklund´s second of the preseason.
Up Next: San Jose will face the Ducks one more time this preseason, but first time at home, Monday October 4 at 7pm.