On the heels of Thursday’s 2-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes, the Anaheim Ducks faced the San Jose Sharks in an uncommon Saturday night home game. The Sharks had dropped their first two contests against the Vegas Golden Knights, not to mention two preseason games they lost at the hands of the Knights. Could Dallas Eakins guide Anaheim to another victory? Would San Jose look better against different competition?
The Ducks dressed Isac Lundestrom, Nicolas Deslauriers, and Michael Del Zotto. Sam Steel, Nick Ritchie, and Korbinian Holzer were held out of action.
Troy Terry had an early backhand attempt foiled by San Jose goalie Aaron Dell, but the Ducks’ next big scoring chance would count. Ryan Getzlaf grabbed the puck from Kevin Labanc and skated down the ice, finally dumping it in after crossing the blue line. Dell got caught behind the net, where Ondrej Kase intercepted the puck and found Del Zotto in front of the crease. Del Zotto’s easy first goal of the season made it 1-0 Ducks. Both Fox Sports commentator Guy Hebert and our very own Jake Rudolph commented on Eakins allowing the defense to jump into the play, leading directly to the opening salvo for the Ducks. Del Zotto was complimentary of Kase’s effort and said simply: “You’ll take those any day.” All in all, not a bad way to prove yourself after being scratched in the home opener.
John Gibson would stop a couple of decent chances by Danil Yurtaykin and Lukas Radil. After that, Deslauriers would engage Brenden Dillon in fisticuffs and it turned out to be a pretty intense fight.
San Jose’s Lean Bergmann was whistled for slashing Max Jones, but Anaheim was ultimately unable to convert on the ensuing power play. Kevin Labanc was then caught hooking Kase, but Dell was able to thwart Rickard Rakell’s hard one-timer. Labanc tried to even the score late in the period but could not get the puck past Gibson’s right pad.
Team USA women’s hockey player and former Lady Duck Annie Pankowski was interviewed between periods. Aside from hosting Girls Try Hockey, she was promoting the Team USA vs. Team Canada game that will take place on February 8 at the Honda Center. Sounds like fun to me!
Such an awesome time hosting the Girls Try Hockey for Free clinic today at Great Park Ice & FivePoint Arena in Irvine, with 3x world champion, 2019 NCAA champion and former Lady Ducks star @anniepank!— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) October 6, 2019
Photo Gallery: https://t.co/zBLHxb4SE0 pic.twitter.com/JDZomvTfHh
Tomas Hertl provided an early test, but Gibson was able to corral a rebound to make the save. After Terry entered the sin bin for hooking Bergmann, Couture rifled a shot that hit Gibson’s mask but stayed out of the net. The Sharks had allowed three shorthanded goals in only two games and nearly gave up another. However, Dell was able to recover from turning the puck over to Adam Henrique this time.
San Jose would tie the game at one on a well-placed effort by Logan Couture. Dillon passed to Erik Karlsson, who faked a shot and found his teammate in the right circle for a quick wrister that eluded Gibson.
The dismount may not have been graceful, but Anaheim would retake the lead just over a minute later. Hampus Lindholm exited the defensive zone to Kase, who chipped the puck to Ryan Getzlaf. Getzlaf beat Brent Burns to the net and scooted around Dell for the tap-in, making the score 2-1 in favor of the Ducks. If I ever have children, they will one day tire of my stories about the longtime Anaheim captain.
One more look at the Getzlaf goal in all its glory. pic.twitter.com/ycv2B4M4QW— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) October 6, 2019
Dell did an excellent job ending Carter Rowney’s breakaway bid, then Lindholm rang one off the post from long range. After Terry barely failed to convert a glorious opportunity, the game began to feel like a track meet. However, the momentum briefly swung toward the Sharks as Josh Manson received a penalty for cross checking Yurtaykin. Manson was livid, but the Ducks killed it off thanks to surviving a wild scramble that resulted in the Anaheim net being knocked off its moorings.
The Ducks kept up the pressure which was reflected in a Corsi For Percentage of 63.16% during the second period, and eventually the dam broke. Adam Henrique lifted a backhand shot beyond the reach of a beleaguered Dell, giving the Ducks a 3-1 advantage with just over a minute remaining in the stanza. Getzlaf would explain the offensive outburst by saying that “we talked a lot about our second period shift changes.” He would play just under 16 minutes in the contest, which is a good recipe for staying healthy.
San Jose didn’t exactly go quietly. Mario Ferraro was unable to elude the glove of Gibson early in the frame. Later, he would deny Melker Karlsson and Jonny Brodzinski as well during a frenetic defensive sequence for the home team. Meanwhile, Terry racked up another pair of shots on goal and Deslauriers registered a big hit on Ferraro. The Ducks helped themselves by winning 61% of faceoffs overall.
Kase continued to leave his imprint on the game, although Dell came way out to end that particular scoring chance after a nice setup by Getzlaf. After Jakob Silfverberg took a seat for tripping Ferraro, Timo Meier came very close to getting one goal closer but couldn’t tuck the puck inside the post. The Ducks largely kept making their own breaks: for example, Devin Shore got off a shorthanded chance but couldn’t get it to go. Nevertheless, Anaheim mostly frustrated subsequent San Jose attempts at easy zone entries.
Back to even strength. The Ducks appear to not even be willing to bend defensively, a very fresh breath of air from the old Carlyle turtle strategy— Anaheim Calling (@AnaheimCalling) October 6, 2019
The last speed bump was a too many men infraction against the Ducks with about two minutes remaining in regulation. Carter Rowney narrowly missed the empty net with San Jose in a 6-on-4 situation, but it wouldn’t cost his team. Meanwhile, the Ducks continued to send the puck down the ice without fear of icing calls. Erik Karlsson angrily shot into his own net after time expired, and the Ducks poured onto the ice to celebrate their 3-1 victory. In a postgame interview, Henrique remarked about the team’s culture so far: “Guys are in there trying to get better, so it’s just something we’ll have to carry on all year.”
By The Numbers
Shots on Goal – ANA: 33 SJ: 36
5v5 CF% – ANA: 50% SJ: 50%
High Danger Chances For – ANA: 7 SJ: 5
Heat Map and Skate Score Card below
**All stats courtesy of naturalstattrick.com
**Score card courtesy of hockeystatcards.com
1. Ondrej Kase - Kase was everywhere, man. The two assists don’t adequately reflect his impact.
2. Hampus Lindholm - The Swede moved the puck deftly to grab the secondary assist on Getzlaf’s game-winning marker.
3. Ryan Getzlaf - The aftermath of his goal was pretty humorous.
The Ducks will travel to the Motor City to take on the Detroit Red Wings. Game time is 4:30 PM Pacific Time on Tuesday, October 8 at Little Caesars Arena.