pound Ducks in physical battle
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[October 27, 2014]
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The San Jose
Sharks ended two streaks Sunday, their own three-game skid and the
Anaheim Ducks' seven-game surge, while rolling to a 4-1 win at the Honda
Defensemen Brett Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic and centers Joe
Pavelski and Tommy Wingels scored as San Jose (5-4-1) built a 4-0
lead. Left winger Patrick Marleau and center Logan Couture each
contributed two assists.
"It was an exciting game; we played with passion for the first time
this year really," Vlasic said.
Goaltender Antti Niemi stopped 33 of 34 Anaheim shots en route to
his fourth win of the season.
While the Sharks trail the Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings -- who
won their sixth straight game Sunday against Columbus -- in the
standings, they beat the two Southern California teams by a combined
8-1 score, with a victory in each team's building. They beat the
Kings 4-0 in the two teams' season opener at Staples Center.
"They were hungry," Ducks left winger Matt Beleskey said. "They had
a great start; we weren't really moving our feet and it showed."
Beleskey broke up Niemi's shutout bid on a power-play goal with just
over five minutes remaining. Goalie Frederik Anderson made 33 saves
for Anaheim (7-2-0).
The Sharks opened the scoring when Burns sent a seeing-eye wrist
shot through traffic off a clean faceoff win by Marleau. Burns'
third tally of the season came 8:25 into the first period.
The Sharks went to the power play with 1:22 left in the opening
period and earned a 2-0 edge a minute later. Center Joe Thornton
centered the puck deftly for Pavelski, who redirected it sharply
past Andersen for his fifth goal of the campaign.
"We've come out fast pretty much every game so far this year and
we've let teams back in," Pavelski said. "What's important is that
we stayed with it."
A contentious sequence in the second period included matching minor
penalties for high sticking to San Jose defenseman Scott Hannan and
embellishment to Anaheim defenseman Sami Vatanen, as well as
roughing minors to Anaheim center Ryan Getzlaf and San Jose
defenseman Mirco Mueller.
"It's a Sharks-Ducks game. We knew it was going to be like that and
I'm sure the next one will be the same," Beleskey said.
The uproar was capped off by the Sharks taking a commanding lead
when Vlasic slipped a backhand shot a shot past Andersen.
In the third period, Wingels added an insurance goal on the power
play with 8:20 remaining. Wingels followed his own shot and
backhanded a rebound past Andersen.
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Anaheim was 0-3 on the power play until Beleskey's academic goal.
San Jose capitalized on two of its power plays as well as the
four-on-four situation during which Vlasic scored.
"Usually if you win the special teams battle in this league, you'll
probably be coming away with the win," said Sharks coach Todd
McLellan, who called his power play "dangerous" and praised the play
of its second and third units.
In addition to the two fights earlier in the game, several
skirmishes broke out in the third period. A total of 165 penalty
minutes were handed out in the game. The Ducks' bench was
practically evacuated, as Anaheim was down to just 10 skaters in the
closing moments of the game.
"They were cruising along and playing real well and we were
frustrated because we had been losing," said McLellan, who called
this his team's best game of the year. "Our paths kind of crossed
and things flipped over."
NOTES: Anaheim LW Dany Heatley (groin), D Bryan Allen (lower body)
and RW Kyle Palmieri (ankle) each missed their ninth straight game,
while LW Patrick Maroon (knee) missed his sixth consecutive contest.
... San Jose LW Raffi Torres (knee) and C Tyler Kennedy (upper body)
have yet to make their season debut. ... Sharks RW Mike Brown (hand)
was unavailable for the eighth straight game. ... C/RW Chris Wagner
was assigned to the Ducks' AHL affiliate in Norfolk, Va. ... The
game drew a crowd of 16,954.
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