Tonight’s game pitted the San Jose Sharks against the Anaheim Ducks in the Pacific Division’s most heated rivalry. Going into the game tonight, the Ducks were7-1-1 in the last nine games against the Sharks and that domination continued. The Ducks kept their winning streak at home alive by defeating the Sharks 5-3
During the game it was announced that Corey Perry has officially signed an extension with the Ducks for 8 years at a reported $69 million dollars. Ryan Getzlaf said about the signing of Perry, “It’s a great step in the right direction for the organization. We are in a pretty good situation here with a great ownership group and we both showed that.”
When the first period was underway, the Ducks continued their slow starts by playing sloppy defense and were having trouble clearing the puck. Not even three minutes into the game both teams were assessed a fighting major penalty. The penalty happened in front of the Ducks net between the Ducks Sheldon Souray and the Sharks Andrew Desjardins.
After the penalty, both teams started to get extremely physical with one another. During a line change for the Sharks, defenseman Jason Demers checked David Steckel into the boards but he already made the pass to Francois Beauchemin across the ice.
With a two on one situation, Beauchemin faked a shot twice and finally took a slap shot that was placed over Niemi’s right shoulder. Beauchemin on his goal, “I had a lot of time. I was looking for a pass and I decided to take a shot right after four or five seconds.”
Later in the period, Demers got his revenge with a goal of his own in the final minute of the first period. With the help from a screen that blocked the sight of Viktor Fasth, Demers shot the one timer just inside the blue line to tie the game.
At the end of the period the Ducks already had 12 blocked shots and had 12 hits. The Ducks were also controlling the face-offs, winning 10 out of 18.
The second period began and with a continued onslaught of aggressive play. The Ducks and the Sharks were relentless when any player was on the boards. The defense finally began to step up and then the offense picked up the pace.
Just inside of nine minutes left in the period, Peter Holland scored on a wrist shot right in front of the net. With Bobby Ryan and Andrew Cogliano around the net, Cogliano from behind the net found Holland right in front with a clear shot.
Less than a minute later, Emerson Etem scored his first goal of his NHL career. Daniel Winnik was streaking down the left side of the ice when Etem went to the front of the net. Winnik found him and Etem put the puck top shelf. “It’s about time. I think my two-way game has been getting better and better as far as consistency,” Etem said about his first goal.
The Ducks continued to put pressure on the Sharks defense, which continued to struggle. The Sharks finally had a power play, because of Matt Beleskey being called for hooking, and it was spoiled by Etem and Getzlaf. Off a rebound from Fasth, Etem skated down the ice and found Getzlaf trailing for the easy short hand goal. This made the score 4 to 1.
Again the Sharks comeback and score in the last minute of the period. Patrick Marleau pushed the puck down the ice and played give and go with Martin Havlat to score. This gave the Sharks some momentum going into the third period.
Playing with the lead, the Ducks tried to focus on not making the critical mistake that could cost them the game. With 13:12 left in the game, the Sharks pulled within one when Matt Irwin scored on a slap shot that ricocheted off of Getzlaf’s skate. Souray couldn’t clear the puck and a rebound from Fasth went to Irwin for the goal.
From then on, the defense tightened up and had the mentality bend but don’t break. In the period the Sharks outshot the Ducks 16 to 6 but only got one goal out of it. With a minute thirty left in the game, the Sharks pulled Niemi to have the extra player on the ice. But the Ducks again capitalized with a goal by Beauchemin, his second of the game, to make the score 5-3.
The Ducks extend their winning streak at home to 12 games. Getzlaf on the winning streak, “We always want this building to be a tough place to come into.” With a challenging test Wednesday night against the Blackhawks, the Ducks look to lengthen their record home winning streak to 13 games.