Mar 19, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi (31) is unable to control a shot from Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf (15) resulting in a goal by right wing Corey Perry (not pictured) during the second period at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE
The San Jose Sharks have been able to snag up points the last few games, finding themselves in and out of the eighth seed in the West. Unfortunately for them, they were shut down at home by the Anaheim Ducks, 5-3.
Despite Jonas Hiller having the night off, the Anaheim Ducks were still ready to play spoiler, defeating the Sharks. San Jose kept the game close at first in an early back-and-forth affair, but Anaheim shut them down in the third, thanks to a spoiler mentality, along with production from top players and some secondary scoring.
A three-minute span starting at the 6:24 mark of the first provided three goals, sparked by a Sharks power play goal from Martin Havlat. Seconds later, Bobby Ryan struck back for the Ducks, but San Jose regained the lead on a goal from Ryane Clowe, who snapped a six-game pointless drought. Anaheim got the last laugh of the period, though, as Francois Beauchemin scored on the man-advantage to even the score.
Before the second period was a minute old, Ryan Getzlaf found himself on a breakaway that Antti Niemi stonewalled, but as he was still on the ice and with the Sharks defensemen lagging behind, Corey Perry banked in the rebound. After Perry's goal, the Ducks took over offensively, outshooting San Jose, 9-3, by the five-minute mark of the period. Their pressure paid off again with Nate Guenin's second goal of the season. With an assist on three of the Ducks' four goals, Nick Bonino had his first career three-point game. Following Guenin's goal, Niemi was replaced by Thomas Greiss with his team down, 4-2.
The Sharks were finding themselves back in the game in the latter portion of the middle frame, catching up in shots and getting a marker from Joe Pavelski, but the Ducks were reluctant to give up their hold. Thirty seconds after San Jose made it a one-goal game again, Kyle Palmieri put another one away as a result of San Jose's forwards falling far behind the play for the insurance goal. Anaheim's third-string goalie, Jeff Deslauriers, was in goal for the Ducks, stopping 27 shots.
San Jose, still with 82 points now, had a chance to find themselves not only in a playoff spot, but as leaders of the unsettled Pacific Division. They remain one point behind the leading Dallas Stars and second-place Phoenix Coyotes, who sit in seventh in the West. The Colorado Avalanche are in eighth, also with 83 points. All four teams play Tuesday night.