“Hits and Misses” for Ducks at Sharks 4/2/11
Dany Heatley – Heatley scored his 25th goal of the season at 2:01 of the second period to cut the Ducks deficit to 2-1. With the puck deep in the Ducks zone, Heatley supported line-mate Ryane Clowe, who was battling for the puck against two Ducks’ players in the lower corner, and got the puck on the side board near the goal line. Heatley fired a shot on net that was blocked by Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman but Heatley stayed with the puck and fired a backhanded shot from inside the slot that beat Ducks goalie Ray Emery for the goal. In addition, it was Heatley’s end-to-end rush late in the third period that drew a Ducks penalty, which set-up the game winning goal.
Patrick Marleau – The “Sharks Foundation Player of the Month” recorded his 51st career multi-goal game with his 36th and 37th goals of the season and had an assist for a three point night. Marleau’s first goal of the game came at 12:45 of the second period that tied the game at 2-2. Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle fired a shot on net from a sharp angle that deflected off of Marleau’s stick from in front and caught Ducks forward Bobby Ryan in the face. Ryan went down but play continued and as the Ducks scrambled to get the puck, Sharks forward Devin Setoguchi fired a shot on net from near the end board that hit off of Emery’s pads. The rebound went right to Marleau, who was standing on top of the crease, and with the puck on his stick, Marleau went from his forehand to his backhand and put the puck into the open net. Marleau’s second goal was an empty net goal at 19:19 of the third period that put the Sharks up 4-2 and sealed the victory.
Devin Setoguchi – Setoguchi scored his 21st goal of the season at 14:39 of the third period to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead as the Sharks capitalized on their only Power Play opportunity of the game. With Ducks forward Jason Blake serving a two minute minor penalty for “holding,” the Sharks were able to win the ensuing face-off in the Ducks zone and maintained tremendous pressure and puck possession in the zone after several failed clear attempts by the Ducks. With Sharks captain Joe Thornton screening Emery in front, Setoguchi, who seconds earlier had passed up a one-time shot, took a Boyle blue line pass and ripped a one-timer laser shot from just outside the high face-off circle that beat Emery for the goal.
Antti Niemi – Making his 33rd consecutive start in net for the Sharks, Niemi was once again outstanding, stopping 20-out-of-22 shots, including a huge, late third period save on Ducks forward Teemu Selanne, who fired a shot on net from the slot after the Sharks turned the puck over in their own zone shortly after Setoguchi’s go ahead goal.
Dan Boyle – Boyle had a two point night with two assists.
Todd McLellan – Coach McLellan won his 150th game, putting him just two behind Mike Keenan for the most wins in first three seasons as a head coach.
Power Play – By converting on their only Power Play opportunity of the game, the Sharks have now scored a Power Play goal in 11 of their last 12 games.
Sharks Team – After playing one of their worst periods of hockey all season in the first period, the Sharks re-grouped to score four unanswered goals in the final forty minutes of the game for the come from behind win. With the victory, the Sharks remain in first place of the Pacific Division with 101 points, five ahead of the second place Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes, and can clinch their fourth straight Pacific Division title with a win Monday night over the Kings. In addition, the Sharks regained the second overall seed from the Detroit Red Wings by one point in the Western Conference standings.
1st Period – As previously mentioned, this period was one of the worst played periods of hockey by the Sharks all season. The Sharks had no rhythm, were sloppy, couldn’t clear the puck out of their own zone, were out-shot 7-to-6 and found themselves trailing 2-0 at the first intermission as a result of their lackadaisical play.
Bobby Ryan Goal – This goal was the result of bad communication on the Sharks part, especially Sharks defenseman Jason Demers and Setoguchi. With the puck on his stick in the lower corner of the Sharks zone, Ducks forward Corey Perry centered the puck in front to line-mate Ryan, who re-directed the puck into the net as no one on the Sharks stayed with him. For some unknown reason, both Demers and Setoguchi went out to challenge Perry and as a result, both left Niemi out to dry as he had no chance to stop the puck.