Photo credit: San Jose Sharks
by M. Walsh
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Sharks defeated the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 in a shootout on Saturday. Corey Perry scored for the Ducks early in the first period, while Joel Ward scored late in the third for the Sharks. Joonas Donskoi scored the difference-maker in the shootout. Martin Jones made 25 saves for the win, while Ryan Miller made 44 saves for Anaheim.
After the game, Jones said:
I thought we played really well tonight. If you look at the really high quality scoring chances, I mean I could probably count them on one hand, for the ones we gave up. So, it was a really solid game for us, I mean we could have run away with that one if Miller doesn’t play the way he does. So it was a good game.
The win represents the Sharks fourth in a row, their first real win streak of the season.
Despite the lukewarm start to the season, Joe Pavelski said that the team is feeling no panic:
I don’t know if you guys are panicking, I mean your questions are kind of sounding like that. There was no panic on the bench, there hasn’t been. We believe we’ll score, we’re getting a little bit of depth scoring right now, we’re winning games. We’re playing with the lead, we’re doign a lot of stuff that we’re trying to accomplish out there.
Both teams were missing key players on Saturday. The Sharks went into the game without Marc-Edouard Vlasic or Paul Martin, putting added pressure on the younger blueliners Joakim Ryan and Tim Heed. Dylan DeMelo entered the lineup after sitting out the last 10 games. On the Ducks’ side, Ryan Getzlaf, Cam Fowler and Ryan Kesler were absent. The lone Sharks goal from Joel Ward and Barclay Goodrow would be some of that depth scoring that Pavelski spoke of. Goodrow has only played two games this season, and Ward has only played eight of the team’s 13.
Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer chose to put Goodrow at center on Saturday, though he has mostly played on the wing for the Sharks.
DeBoer explained that decision after the game:
I talked to him a little bit about it. He admitted he hadn’t played there in a long time but he had taken some draws recently for us in some games and did a good job and he’s a smart player. The way we play, we’re interchangeable down low. I thought that he could do it and help us and he did.
The Ducks got on the board first with a goal from Corey Perry. Perry caught a long pass through and across the neutral zone from Grant. This gave him a clean breakaway. Jones almost stopped the shot but it trickled through his pads and sputtered into the goal. The first period ended with the Ducks leading 1-0 and the shots 12-7 Sharks. The Sharks had two power plays in the first period, but did not score.
The Ducks were very organized in their own zone. It was rare to see any space for the Sharks to work with. Through most of the game, the Sharks seemed to be struggling to execute.
Pavelski did not see it as struggling:
I don’t know if we struggled. I think there was a couple times we maybe got caught trying to do too much or trying to be a little aggressive and gave up some odd mans, which we haven’t done, you know on the road trip and in the previous couple of games. It’s just something you have to stay on top of, but overall I liked the effort, liked a lot of the plays we had. Just gotta find a way.
By the middle of the second period, the Sharks had taken eight more shots to the Ducks’ four but the score was unchanged. No penalties came, no goals. The period dragged on.
The Ducks had their only power play in the middle of the third period. At the very end of that power play, Joel Ward and Barclay Goodrow caught a break and escaped through the neutral zone with just one Duck back to defend. Ward’s pass got by the defender, and Goodrow took the shot. Miller stopped it but Ward right on top of him to pick up the rebound and put it home. Goodrow received the only assist.
The game remained tied through the third and overtime. During the overtime period, the Sharks got credit for four shots and the Ducks none. In a six round shootout, Joe Pavelski scored on the Sharks’ first shot, while Joonas Donskoi scored on their sixth. For the Ducks, Rickard Rakell scored with a reaching backhand.
The Sharks next play on Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Puck drop at 7:30 p.m. PT.