Slow Start Kills Ducks Again, Lose to Sharks 4-0

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

After paying tons of lip service to a strong start, the Ducks fell behind 3-0 before the first period was half way gone and couldn't manufacture any kind of comeback in San Jose.

Final Score: Ducks 0, Sharks 4

First Period Recap: All of the pregame talk was about a quick start from the Ducks and trying to get on the board first, which they've only done once since their glorious victory over Chicago a week ago. One minute into the game that all went out the window as Joe Pavelski scored on a wrap around. Soft goal by Jonas Hiller, a butterfly goalie in 2013 should never give up a goal like that.

Less than a minute later, the start got even worse when Bobby Ryan was sent off for hooking. The kill went well as debuting Duck, Radek Dvorak fed a nice pass to Luca Sbisa for a scoring chance better than any the Sharks had with the extra man. Right after the penalty expired Bryan Allen fought Ryane Clowe. Decision Clowe.

But it gets worse... the Ducks let Logan Couture wander around the zone uncontested until he found Patrick Marleau wide open who one timed it passed Hiller, with a slight screen, 2-0 Sharks.

Things settled down for a minute or two, then Sheldon Souray got beat cleanly by Tommy Wingels and dragged him down to deny the breakaway. Two minutes well worth it. Except, This PP was much more successful for San Jose and Emerson Etem's failed clear put the puck on a tee for Brent Burns who made it 3-0. This was the first and only power play goal for either team in the season series. At this point Bruce Boudreau called his timeout, but decided to leave Hiller in.

The Ducks got their first power play chance thanks to Joe Thornton tripping Francois Beauchemin behind the Ducks' net. Right from the first faceoff, the Ducks jammed the crease, Antti Niemi covered and Corey Perry put it in the net roughly 96 minutes after the whistle blew. The Ducks did a pretty good job of keeping possession in the zone and getting to the net, but to no avail.

Second Period Recap: The second didn't start great either. On the first shift, Wingels went on a partial breakaway after Cam Fowler picked the wrong time to pinch in, but Hiller was equal to the shot. After that they started actually playing hockey, winning races, winning puck battles and holding the zone. By no means were they dominating, San Jose blocked a ton of shots, and had some chances of their own. But hey! After that first period, at least it's something.

One of the Ducks' best chances came with about four and a half minutes left in the period as Perry pulled his patented move, going around the Sharks net holding, Holding.... HOLDING until he can get a shot off from his forehand. He had space but missed just wide left.

It was a much better period, which isn't saying much, but uneventful overall. The Ducks controlled the puck for the majority of the frame, but the Sharks were content to sit on their three goal lead, hang back in their zone and counter attack when the opportunities presented themselves, which they did since the Ducks were pressing to score.

Third Period Recap: The Ducks' last chance to get back in this game was a penalty to Jason Demers for covering the puck. The power play was going fine until the Ducks pinched a little to deep, and Wingles went on a 2-on-1 with Couture and zipped a wrister over Hiller's blocker. 4-0 Sharks, time to pack it in play the fourth liners and look towards Chicago on Friday.

The Ducks actually kept their balls to the proverbial wall for a few minutes trying to get one back, but just ended up giving San Jose a 3-on-1 break, that they mercifully wasted away.

With the game clearly out of hand about half way through the period, Dan Boyle took a run at Perry and surprise, surprise the frustrated Duck took exception. They dropped the gloves, and each served five for fighting and two for cross checking. UPDATE: This might have been (read: absolutely was) precipitate by Perry punching Boyle in the face as Wingels scored his shorthanded goal. Shocking that the Ducks broadcast team didn't mention it. Equally shocking that I missed it because I was trying to get this f***ing recap over with as soon as humanly possible.

The rest of the game was a matter of letting the time tick off the clock. Four losses in a row.

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The Good: Ummmmmm..... Pass.

The Bad: The consistent barrage of odd man rushes in the second and third periods, were tough to watch, but that's the nature of pushing forward to come back from a three goal deficit halfway through the first.

The Ugly: There is only one term in the hockey lexicon that accurately describe the Ducks play in the first period: Shit Show. Every aspect of the Ducks' play was just disgusting.

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3rd Icehole: Jonas Hiller - He made some good saves to give the illusion that the Ducks could get back into the game at some point, but he was fully to blame for Pavelski's goal to start the scoring a minute into the game that started the snowball rolling downhill.

2nd Icehole: Tommy Wingels - He was really great for the Sharks, skating like the wind and ended up with a goal and two assists.

1st Icehole: Any Duck who was on the ice at any point in the first period.

Next Game: Friday, March 29, 5:30pm at Chicago. Prediction: Pain.

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