ANAHEIM — The San Jose Sharks visit Honda Center, desperate to show some life after getting demolished 8-0 by Nashville last night. Logan Couture got the Sharks off to a good start with a first period strike — Marc-Edouard Vlasic added another — but the Sharks lost 3-2 in OT.
1 in: Hatakka stands up a Duck, but then as he’s skating out, gets pickpocketed. Got to play quicker.
2 in: Pinpoint lead pass by Merkley to Bonino, leads to pressure on Stolarz.
5 in: Barabanov has to dump that. Example of doing too much.
6 in: But then, I like what Balcers does. It doesn’t work, it doesn’t get out. But he doesn’t do too much, he loses it on attempted clear up the wall. But key is it’s not middle of ice, and his guys are back there to defend again. Doesn’t force pass up the middle.
Couture goal: Drysdale can’t contain Couture along the wall. Tough ask of a teenager.
Since All-Star break, Couture is only #SJSharks player with more than one 5v5 goal (that was his third since ASG)
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) March 7, 2022
That’s a poor penalty by Hertl. For those who talk about equal treatment to the vets, should the San Jose Sharks bench him? He also hasn’t scored since Jan. 29 — so no goals for all of the month of February.
Merkley-Reedy-Gregor-Bonino-Balcers was PP2 by the way. We see the Gregor breakout here.
3 left: Big pad by Sawchenko on Steel! Ducks are pushing to close period.
2 left: Burns just steamrolls Steel on PK.
Sharks 5-4 Slot Shots — they’ve played an overall solid 1st and a lead is deserved.
Refs miss a clear-as-day Mahura trip on Couture.
Henrique goal: Hatakka misses what looks like a fairly routine breakout, Ducks counterattack — that’s all she wrote. Those are the unforced errors that kill you.
Not the greatest shift of Shattenkirk’s life: He trips Viel, was going to get called, then he re-directs a harmless Vlasic point shot into the net.
4 in: Couture gets too deep on forecheck, Ducks come back 3-on-2.
5 in: That’s all Gregor’s speed there. Beauty clear by Middleton that just dies just across blueline, putting Ducks in no man’s land.
Teams don’t seem afraid to pressure Bonino on wall. He made a couple nice plays under PK duress, but then Silfverberg gets best of him for clear.
9 in: Nice work between Cogliano and Couture on that PK. Cogliano uses his speed to pressure, Couture uses his guts to make a big block.
10 in: I liked a Balcers’s play earlier when he didn’t do too much, but there, loose puck in middle of DZ, pressure coming, looks like he takes too much time, looking up the middle of the ice. Turnover, Ducks’ chance.
5 left: Up-and-down shift by Reedy, mostly good. Gets stopped on a tough lead-in pass through wall of Ducks into zone. Could see that coming. But then, effective NZ pass to earn a dump-in, good work down-low (nice kick by a pinned Viel to an open Reedy) and a nifty backhand pass to a waiting Gadjovich in slot. Big save by Stolarz.
Milano goal: That’s tough, tough to allow late in period. Burns had a chance to clear earlier along the wall, but Ducks pounce. A fan shouts, “Shoot!” at Fowler at the point, but Fowler dishes, waits until he can get the middle to the ice. That’s called holding for a better opportunity. Fowler gets it through, rebound, Middleton was on wrong side of Henrique so Burns clears Henrique out, but Milano pounces. The tough play there was along the wall, but Burns made the right play, he just didn’t get it through the forecheck.
Ducks had 6-0 Scoring Chances Off Rush edge in middle frame — Sharks gotta clean that up. A lot of that is NZ turnovers.
The Ducks have just piled it on in this period — the San Jose Sharks got off to a solid start through two. Tired legs? They gotta gut it out. Anaheim has outshot San Jose 8-2 through 13 minutes.
The Sharks get the galvanizing goal they need from Middleton — and it’s offside. That kind of stretch recently.
Even on the power play, Sharks can’t get anything going. Ducks have outshot them here. Puck eludes Merkley at blueline, it’s only he and Gregor back, Gregor does a good job of directing traffic. But then at end of PP, Merkley made a wonderful pass to Gregor, Gregor wasn’t ready to shoot.
Meier down Broadway — Stolarz save! A surprising goaltending duel.
1 left: Hertl fakes, prepares to fire…and the puck just skips on him. Snake-bitten.
Couture-Meier-Burns to start.
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