The Anaheim Ducks were the second consecutive team to bounce back from a San Jose Sharks comeback Friday, Dec. 9…
Both teams jumped out to 2-0 leads in the first period. The Sharks came back to tie both scores by the third period.
Unfortunately, both teams then scored in the final six minutes and held on. Thus, San Jose has no points from two contests that were tied with over 90 percent of the game played. It has not scored more than two goals since beating the Pacific Division-rival Los Angeles Kings Nov. 30.
The Sharks are still the only team that has not scored five goals this 2016-17 NHL season. A lack of scoring is why they have earned just two head-to-head points in three games. The Ducks have seven regulation goals and five points.
An extra goal or two makes all the difference. San Jose’s 23rd-ranked scoring over the 2016-17 NHL season is an especially big obstacle to digging out of early holes.
The Sharks started digging Friday’s hole in the first five minutes. Corey Perry pushed a Marc-Edouard Vlasic giveaway to young blue-liner Shea Theodore for a blast. Rickard Rakell swept the rebound past Martin Jones.
Theodore was key to the next score, too. He fed Antoine Vermette on the rush for a wrist shot that trickled under the arm of Jones.
San Jose cut the lead about a second after a power play ended and six before the first intermission. Patrick Marleau sent a beautiful cross-ice feed that Brent Burns slapped home.
The Sharks evened the score 8:40 into the second period. Joel Ward expertly chipped the puck off the boards to enter the zone. Logan Couture corralled it and sent a cross-ice feed that rookie Kevin Labanc lifted past John Gibson.
That score held up until the third period. Eventually, Anaheim blue-liner Hampus Lindholm sent a shot to the net that Jones could not see through Marleau.
Unlike Wednesday’s game, San Jose was outplayed Friday. The event summary shows that tilt: 23-30 faceoffs, 19-20 giveaways, 6-7 takeaways, 24-24 hits, 24-32 shots, 63-61 attempts and 19-21 blocks.
Individually, Joe Thornton and Chris Tierney were the only Sharks to win as many faceoffs as they lost. Burns was their best player again with the goal on four shots and 13 attempts with one hit, giveaway and takeaway while blocking four shots over 24:10 ice time.
The win moved the Ducks into first place in the Pacific Division, with 33 points in 28 games. They host the Senators Sunday.
San Jose is back home to host the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday at 7:30 p.m. PST—look for live tweets from the press box @BladesofTeal during the game. After that, the team heads east for a four-game road trip.