Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks
By Mary Walsh
The San Jose Sharks took a 2-0 series lead over the Anaheim Ducks in the NHL Playoff quarterfinals with a 3-2 win Saturday. Tomas Hertl, Logan Couture and Marcus Sorensen scored for the Sharks, while Martin Jones made 28 saves. For Anaheim, goals came from Jakob Silfverberg and Hampus Lindholm, with 32 saves from goalie John Gibson. It was the first time that Anaheim lost two home games in a row since November 24.
The Ducks started the scoring just 40 seconds in. Jakob Silfverberg had just carried the puck over the line when he took a long shot that must have surprised Jones, as it went right by him. Hampus Lindholm got an assist.
The first penalties went to Evander Kane and Jakob Silfverberg, matching roughing penalties at 6:12. Each team added a shot to their total but neither team scored four on four.
The Sharks tied the game up at 9:41 when Brenden Dillon’s blue line shot came off the boards behind the net and went right to Marcus Sorensen next to the goal mouth. He tapped it in for his first playoff goal.
Near the 15 minute mark, the Sharks were trapped in their own zone for long time, including two icing calls. Mikkel Boedker finally got the puck out and seconds after the much needed change, Melker Karlsson drew a hooking penalty from Brandon Montour at 13:37.
The Sharks took the lead at 14:41 with a goal from Logan Couture on the ensuing power play. Kevin Labanc caught Couture with a pass across the slot as Couture was skating hard for the net. Couture pulled the puck across the crease and away from Gibson’s poke-check before putting it away with a backhand. Assists went to Labanc and Joe Pavelski.
At the end of the period, the Ducks mustered sustained pressure against the Sharks, almost catching up on the shot clock. That count was 9-8 Sharks after the first.
That late-period pressure from the Ducks did not phase the Sharks as they jumped into the second period. Tomas Hertl scored with a back hand after skating by a couple of Ducks from the blue line to the net. Mikkel Boedker gave him the puck as he came fast through the neutral zone, earning the first assist on the 1:11 goal. Logan Couture got the secondary assist.
Shortly after the goal, Ryan Getzlaf caught a deflected puck to the face. He left the ice only briefly and returned with an ice pack for use between shifts.
Paul Martin was called for slashing at 6:30, giving the Ducks their first 5 on 4 power play of the game. Hampus Lindholm took advantage of Martin Jones being pulled off balance by Brenden Dillon’s skate as Dillon tried to get in front of the net to defend. Jones was helpless to stop the shot. Assists went to Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler.
The Ducks were back on the power play at 6:12 of the third period after Evander Kane’s clearing attempt went over the glass. The Sharks killed that off and got their own power play at 9:17 after Nick Ritchie tripped Marcus Sorensen in the neutral zone. Despite a number of good chances, the score remained 3-2 Sharks.
At 16:17, Corey Perry hit Melker Karlsson while he did not seem to have the puck, knocking his helmet off and spinning him around. He went to the box for interference. The Ducks started their penalty kill with a short-handed opportunity, but the Sharks pushed back and held the zone after that.
The Ducks pulled John Gibson with under two minutes left but the Sharks held them off for the win.
The Sharks finished with 35 shots on goal to the Ducks’ 30.
Game three will be Monday in San Jose at 7:30 pm PT.