Anaheim Ducks Get Chippy, Suffer Dominating 4-1 Loss to Sharks

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October 26, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf (15) fights against San Jose Sharks left wing James Sheppard (15) during the third period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After dropping the opener 6-4 to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Anaheim Ducks were rolling along with seven straight victories and sat atop the Pacific Division with 14 points. Capping off a five game homestand on Sunday was a bout with the San Jose Sharks, a team that had lost four straight games in regulation, including a 2-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres just the day before. Many felt confident that the team could extend its winning streak to eight games before heading out on a four game road trip against Central Division foes and playoff teams from last year.

Unfortunately, that never materialized, as the Ducks were thoroughly dismantled and defeated soundly by the San Jose Sharks 4-1 in a feisty contest. The Ducks and Sharks combined for 165 total penalty minutes, 90 of which were assessed to Anaheim. 37 total penalties were called in the game, and the officials were constantly breaking up bouts and altercations between players.

Brent Burns opened up the scoring at 8:25 in the first period. Patrick Marleau won a faceoff cleanly against Ryan Kesler, and Burns fired a snap shot through a maze of bodies and past Frederik Andersen to give the Sharks a one goal advantage.

With under a minute to go in the first period, Logan Couture fired a shot wide of the net on a power play after Tommy Wingels had drawn a hooking call on Tim Jackman. The puck came to Joe Thornton, who shot the puck. Joe Pavelski, at the front of the net, got a tip in past Andersen to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead with 21 seconds left in the period.

Frustration began to boil for the Ducks. Sami Vatanen was hit with a high-stick from Scott Hannan, but the officials gave Vatanen two minutes for embellishment. On the 4-on-4 play, Ryan Getzlaf and Mirco Mueller got into an altercation that was immediately halted by the officials. Both players were handed coincidental minors for unsportsmanlike conduct. It seemed that the Ducks had found a reason to raise the intensity level of their play.

That was not the case. 11 seconds after the matching unsportsmanlike conduct penalties to Getzlaf and Mueller, Marc-Edouard Vlasic joined the rush and sent a backhander through Andersen’s five-hole to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead. Marleau won the faceoff clean in the defensive zone and eventually dropped the feed to Vlasic that led to the goal.

San Jose eventually made it 4-0 after Jackman was assessed a double minor for roughing Vlasic. Wingels, who was everywhere on the ice for the Sharks, got to his own rebound on the power-play and sent a backhander past Andersen with his fourth goal of the season. Wingels finished with ten shots on goal for the game.

Anaheim ruined the shutout bid for Antti Niemi with 5:07 left in the game, as Matt Beleskey sent a backhander past the Sharks’ netminder to cut the lead to 4-1. Cam Fowler launched a blast from the point, and Kesler fed Beleskey, who was crashing to the net.

This game, however, was less about the scoring and more about the extra-curriculars. As stated above, both teams combined to get called for 37 penalties in the game, which resulted in 11 power-play opportunities (four for the Sharks, who converted two, and seven for the Ducks, who converted one). Jackman had 21 penalty minutes tonight, while big enforcer John Scott had 22 for the Sharks. Those two kicked off the festivities just 2:18 into the game, with Scott taking down Jackman quickly in their fight.

Other altercations included one between Corey Perry and Justin Braun. Perry went for a loose puck behind the San Jose net and chopped Braun on the shoulder. The two got into it and received matching ten minute misconducts and roughing minors. Perry also received a fighting major with Wingels at the end of the second period. During the Jackman and Vlasic incident, Ben Lovejoy and Pavelski got into a fight while the linesmen were separating the other two players. Both Lovejoy and Pavelski received fighting majors. A second altercation between Jackman and Scott led to a full-blown line brawl in the third period. Jackman, Nate Thompson, and Adam Burish all received ten minute misconduct penalties, while John Scott was given a game misconduct. Scott was also called for leaving the bench. Finally, Getzlaf and James Sheppard got into a fight after Beleskey was called for a slash against Vlasic. Beleskey and Kesler both received ten minute misconducts, while Getzlaf and Sheppard received five minute fighting majors. William Karlsson instead served the slashing penalty for Beleskey.

Even though the game was not pretty in the least bit, here are my three stars from the Ducks for tonight’s game. Try to take the positives from tonight, compartmentalize, and move on.