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Ducks @ Sharks RECAP: Ryan Miller Steals A Point in San Jose

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Overtime and shootouts are overrated anyway

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Anaheim Ducks were looking to stop a skid that started after they returned from their successful road trip in a road game against the San Jose Sharks, and while they were unable to get a victory, they were able to push a hard-fought game into overtime. Anaheim eventually would fall in the shootout, but Ryan Miller’s 44 saves in regulation and the overtime period were certainly deserving of something to show for the effort in the standings. Here’s a period-by-period breakdown of how this game ended up in a shootout.

1st Period:

The 1st period began with a blistering pace, with the Ducks giving up a 2-on-1 rush in the first two minutes of the game. Luckily, Hampus Lindholm was able to make a great defensive play to prevent the Sharks from getting a shot on goal from the rush.

But then off the bench and onto a clean cut breakaway is none other than #ScoreyPerry! He does not miss his chance and beats Martin Jones five-hole to give the Ducks the lead just 6:23 into the game. Primary assist and fantastic pass to send him in on the breakaway came from noted elite offensive threat, Derek Grant. 1-0 Ducks.

Tim Peel decided that he did not like one bit of the Ducks having an early lead and called Antoine Vermette for holding after he got tangled up with Joe Pavelski. The PK went to work and made the Sharks power play look like it deserves to be 32nd in the league, not 12th, killing it off easily and even generating a dangerous shorthanded chance.

The Sharks failed to score on the power play, and Tim Peel was upset. He called Nick Ritchie for his DERP (Daily Egregious Ritchie Penalty) to give the Sharks another opportunity to level this game at one. Unfortunately for Tim, the Sharks were unable to find an equalizer before the Sharks ran out of time in the 1st period. San Jose would carry over 57 seconds of power play time into the 2nd, and they led in shots on goal by a count of 12-7.

2nd Period:

The Ducks penalty kill started the middle frame still facing 57 seconds left on the Nick Ritchie slashing minor. The Ducks penalty kill continued to look very strong as it easily killed off the remaining 57 seconds of the Sharks man advantage.

“HOW IN THE WORLD DID HE SAVE THAT?” I yelled at least three times during a mad scramble in the Ducks crease. Ryan Miller was not having any of the Sharks potentially scoring and eventually snared a shot with his glove and held on for the whistle. Absolutely magnificent goaltending from Miller during that stretch. At the halfway mark of the game, the Sharks had put 20 shots on Miller. Much like Gandalf, he had allowed none to pass.

The Sharks continued applying pressure and turned the 2nd period into a bit of a shooting gallery, save for a couple breaks in their pressure when Anaheim would break up ice and get a shot or two on Martin Jones, hoping to catch him at a concession stand getting some nachos.

The Ducks should have made it 2-0 on a couple different instances through a fantastic shift. Jakob Silfverberg and Corey Perry both had fantastic looks, but neither were able to deposit to double the Anaheim lead, so the period came to a close how it began, with the Ducks leading 1-0. Shots on goal now favored San Jose 29-20.

3rd Period:

The 3rd period started and, oh, Tim Peel called another penalty against Anaheim. Jaycob Megna was sent to the sin bin for hooking, and the Sharks began their 3rd power play opportunity.

Unfortunately for Tim, he was once again frustrated by the Ducks penalty kill and San Jose was left without anything to show on the scoreboard. Ryan Miller was largely responsible once again for the Sharks being unable to get anything on the board, continuing his dominance.

FINALLY, a penalty is called against the San Jose Sharks, with Dylan Demelo getting the gate for cross-checking. 10:04 remaining in regulation and the Ducks get their first power play opportunity of the night.

Unfortunately, the Ducks power play struggled to even get set up in the San Jose zone for the entirety of the two minutes, and right as the penalty expired, a bad bounce sprung the Sharks on a 2-on-1 with Joel Ward depositing a rebound past Ryan Miller to finally break through and tie the game. 1-1 with 8:03 remaining in regulation.

The remainder of the 8:03 was filled with chances and good looks from both teams, but nobody was able to break the tie before the clock hit triple zeroes and we headed to OT.

Overtime/Shootout:

Ryan. Freakin. Miller.

There’s really nothing else to say about this OT period. The Ducks did what they do best in OT and struggle to make the simplest of passes or keep possession for more than a few seconds at a time, but Ryan Miller made a few more glorious saves, including one on a breakaway, to push the game to a shootout.

Joe Pavelski scored in Round 1 of the shootout and Rickard Rakell was able to even it up in Round 2. Unfortunately for Anaheim, Joonas Donskoi was able to pot a game-winner in Round 6 to give the San Jose Sharks the 2-1 victory. The Ducks fall tonight but escape the Shark Tank with a point to show for their efforts (Ryan Miller’s efforts)

The Ducks are back in action on Tuesday when they take on the Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Kings at Honda Center.