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Sharks Beat Ducks 5-3 in Couture’s Return



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

The San Jose Sharks host the Anaheim Ducks at SAP Center in Logan Couture’s season debut.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Kyle Burroughs and Fabian Zetterlund and Jan Rutta and Tomas Hertl scored, and the Sharks won it 5-3.

Period 1

Couture starts on Hertl’s wing, not sure why. Lines went back to normal after the opening faceoff.

10 left: Duclair has a step tonight, protects puck high, drops it to Vlasic. Vlasic can’t do anything with it, but good play from Duclair.

7 left: Like that Zetterlund carry out to center, Ducks draped on him. Strong, confident. Sharks still outshot 9-2 to start.

4 left: Not a good read by Rutta to chase his turnover. Basically, his shot-pass to Hoffman got blocked. That’s OK. Chasing it, getting predictably beat, Ducks rush chance, not so much.

Zadina goal? Nope, offside. Okhotiuk had a beaut carry-in, good for him. Looks like it was Carpenter off.

Couture has been just okay, but I think that’s to be expected after five months off. He played 5:39 in the first.

San Jose Sharks down 13-2 shots, that’s not okay though. Down 5-0 Slot Shots, 3-0 High-Danger. Waved-off goals don’t count! Let’s see if the San Jose Sharks can get going in the next period.

Period 2

Opening PK shift: Nifty Hertl stickhandling to kill time.

3 in: Eklund does a nice job protecting the puck below goal line from Fowler, finds Couture for a bad angle chance. Then Couture draws a penalty.

7 in: But there’s an example there of Eklund doing too much with the puck.

8 in: Ferraro does a good job holding off Silfverberg from forechecking Vlasic. Legal and effective.

Vlasic goal: San Jose Sharks benefit from a bounce, a long Blackwood rebound to basically the point. Barabanov does a good job interfering with I think McTavish, that helps Couture and Vlasic get out for the 2-on-1. Great read by Vlasic to jump there, he shows his legs, and Couture drops a beaut backhand pass, that’s the skill you miss. Also Blackwood’s first assist as a Shark.

Last time Couture had a primary assist on a Vlasic goal was Nov. 2019.

LaCombe goal: Rutta does a less than spectacular job of skating in front of Henrique, I think, who has a free shot at Blackwood with the puck. The goalie has to be faster too, but did he get word that pressure was incoming? That’s the least because I also understand you can’t take a penalty if you’re Rutta.

4 left: Ferraro looked like he killed back-to-back Lundestrom plays in the corner.

Burroughs goal: Hertl steps in front of a poor Ducks exit pass, then hits Burroughs coming down the slot. Not a good-looking play by McGinn on wall, Duclair was bearing down, he misses the pass up the middle and out.

Zetterlund goal: That’s impressive, he just outmuscles 6-foot-2 LaCombe along wall to keep possession. Then great shot.

Henrique goal: That’s just awful. No one picks up Terry coming down slot. No one kills a play. Hertl needs to get down, block that pass. Eklund’s gotta pick up Henrique. Ugly.


Period 3

2 in: Eklund does a good job bouncing off LaCombe to keep puck.

3 in: I think Hoffman’s got to shoot that instead of looking for the perfect play to Zetterlund. Good pinch by Rutta to force a turnover. All leads to San Jose Sharks stringing shifts together, getting fresh legs on with OZ possession, a rarity tonight.

4 in: Couture enters, takes a hit, moves it where Barabanov can get it, 2-on-1, Grade-A one-timer for Duclair. Huge Gibson save. But like a lot there from all the Sharks.

5  in: Good back to back blocks by Rutta. Thought he’s had a rough game, but veteran positioning of body there to get in front of it.

Couture penalty: Eklund appears to have ascended to first-choice PK’er? Regular, at least. Wonder where he’s improved, they tried him earlier in the season, but didn’t seem to love it, pulled him off. Then Eklund starts jawing with McTavish at the end there.

8 left: Hoffman tattoos it, Gibson glove. Want more of that, fire away.

Rutta goal: His first as a Shark!

6 left: Lest we forget Blackwood in this scoring outburst for the Sharks, he just got Carlsson looking up at the scoreboard, wondering how he missed.

McTavish goal: Looks like Sharks missed the seam pass there to McTavish.

Ferraro stick check may have saved a goal there with a minute left.

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