Sharks drop Ducks to stay unbeaten in 2013
On Tuesday night, the San Jose Sharks had to deal with a situation they had yet to confront in this young, lockout-shortened season: a game in which Patrick Marleau did not score a goal.
However, the Sharks proved that they were more than up to the challenge.
Even with the NHL’s co-points leaders Marleau and Joe Thornton held to a single point apiece, the Sharks managed to rally to beat Anaheim Ducks (3-1-1) by a 3-2 count in a shootout to run their season-opening winning streak to six games.
As San Jose coach Todd McLellan readily acknowledged to the San Jose Mercury News, this one wasn’t pretty.
“We’ve got to be excited that we put points in the bank and were able to come back,” said McLellan, whose team trailed late in the third before Logan Couture tallied the equalizing goal with just 2:45 to play in regulation. “But we have to tell it like it was — they were the better team.”
Indeed, the Ducks outshot the visitors by a definitive 30-18 count, including 13-4 after 20 minutes. But the Sharks still ended the period ahead by a goal thanks to some solid work from Antti Niemi, who was named the game’s first star, in net. Niemi also stopped all three Ducks who challenged him in the shootout, allowing Michael Handzus’ goal in the first round to stand up as the winner.
Afterward, though, Niemi graciously credited his team’s penalty kill, which held Anaheim scoreless in eight minutes of power play time, with aiding in his success.
“We don’t give them time to set up and we’re better in front of the net,” Niemi told Yahoo! Sports.