Final Score: Ducks 5, Sharks 2
Luca Sbisa, Mark Fistric, Tim Jackman, Sami Vatanen, Rickard Rakell, Devante Smith-Pelly, and Frederik Andersen
First Period Recap
This one was hyped up to be a playoff-like game and it didn't disappoint. Cam Fowler made his return to the lineup after being out for what seemed like an eternity (actually 12 games). Bruce Beaudreau decided to go with John Gibson in net as Andersen was out with some type of head injury (Shea Weber bullet to the mask) and Jonas Hiller hasn't impressed lately. The Ducks looked like they were ready to play from the drop of the puck.
The first play was a steal by Bryan Allen in first minute (HAHAHAHA). After a few Anaheim flurries in the San Jose end, the Sharks came back with lots of pressure early. Matt Beleskey was taken down in front of Niemi, no call. Beleskey got up and went crashing in on the forecheck. The Ducks defense was pinching in on the attack early in the game. Logan Couture took a big hit from Stephane Robidas. Nick Bonino, Kyle Palmieri and Daniel Winnik worked their entire first shift in offensive end.
San Jose was scrambling a bit with Anaheim buzzing. Gibson made his first good save on a Pavelski shot and rebound chance. The first penalty of the game went against Brent Burns for interference. He hit Koivu in the slot without the puck. A clear after a faceoff win for Sharks slowed the power play. By the way, the Sharks are the No. 1 faceoff team in the league.
Fowler was on the No. 1 power play unit with Ryan Getzlaf on the point. Corey Perry, Mathieu Perreault and Patrick Maroon rounded out the rest of the power play team. Perreault's shot down low was saved by Antti Niemi and the rebound escaped the zone. Lots of blocked shots by the Sharks, but they were definitely taking some damage.
The Sharks killed the power play, but the power play wasn't its usual disappointment – getting a few good looks on Niemi. A too many men on the ice penally slowed the Ducks' momentum immediately after failing on the power play. Gibson made the first save on the power play after a minute had already been burned off the clock. A few clears later, the penalty was killed and Palmieri was on a two-on-one that he took the shot wide on. Getzlaf managed a quick pass to Beleskey but Niemi shut the five-hole just in time.
Fowler's skating looked perfect in his return. Jakob Silfverberg just missed on a backhand rebound try. At the same time there was no call as Cogliano was slew-footed sliding down the wing. The very next shift, Couture stumbled and Lovejoy went to the box for tripping. The Sharks' second power play was much better. Gibson was making a ton of saves early on in the power play. He got lucky when the Sharks hit the post. The Ducks survived and went back on the attack. On some type of horrible bounce Gibson held his hand up for an icing call but he didn't get it. The Sharks scored on an awkward rebound off the end boards to open the scoring.
With just seconds left on the clock, Perry blew by the Sharks defense and scored five-hole on Niemi.
Just 2.1 seconds remained after Perry's goal. Fighting ensued after the faceoff. Shots were 12-11 San Jose and Getzlaf and Beauchemin would be sent to the box along with James Sheppard. Sharks were to start the second period with a power play.
Second Period Recap
San Jose started the period with a five-on-four power play. A huge save by Gibson laying on his stomach kept the game tied. Gibson made great use of his stick to stop a cross-crease pass that could have been dangerous for the Sharks. The Ducks killed the penalty and Getzlaf flew out of the box. Perry nearly scored on a swift passing play with Getzlaf. He almost capitalized on the rebound with a wraparound chance. After coming close to untying the game twice, Perry was taken down away from the play with no call drawing an angry chant from the fans.
Drew Remenda on the NBCSN broadcast said Teemu Selanne was playing against his former team and this seemed to spark him. Selanne took a quick shot toward Niemi that went wide for Maroon to score on a quick wraparound attempt.
Final Score: Ducks 5, Sharks 2