The first game back from the All Star break is supposed to be a time to show off how rested the players are (especially with no Ducks being represented at during the weekend) and to hit the ground running. Unfortunately for Anaheim, that thought was forgotten quickly against the San Jose Sharks last night.
Less than two minutes into the first period, former Duck and recent Sharks waiver pickup Stefan Noesen decided he felt like burning his former team by scoring less than two minutes into the game. Josh Manson got the puck along the boards after a faceoff and sent it up the middle of the ice to no Duck in particular. Noesen was there to take the gift and fired it up and over John Gibson’s shoulder before he was able to get set.
The Sharks doubled their lead later in the period when Jacob Larsson cleared a rebound right onto the tape of Patrick Marleau skating towards the left post who put it right into the net.
Anaheim was only able to generate four shots on goal the entire period along with just six total scoring chances.
The second period was slightly better, but don’t get too excited. One of the few bright spots for Anaheim came halfway through the second period when Ondrej Kase pounced on a blocked shot for a breakaway. He proceeded to end Aaron Dell’s life with his patented forehand-backhand roof move to cut the lead in the half.
you can pinpoint the exact second when Aaron Dell loses his soul and all bodily functionspic.twitter.com/MNXCb03ApH— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) January 28, 2020
The Sharks got that goal back, however, when noted 40-year-old Marleau was able to out-skate 22-year-old Larsson for the breakaway goal and a 3-1 lead for San Jose. Twice last night was the NHL vet able to completely personally victimize the Ducks’ young defenseman.
Noesen tallied his second of the game in the third period to make it 4-1 San Jose when the forward was completely lost by both Devin Shore and Ryan Getzlaf near the slot. Erik Karlsson spotted him uncovered and delivered a perfect pass that he one-timed into the net for a back-breaker.
Nick Ritchie, playing in his first game back from an MCL sprain made things interesting near the end, firing off a perfect snipe past Dell to bring the Sharks lead to 4-2 and giving Dallas Eakins the opportunity to pull Gibson for one last desperate push. Despite some extended zone time for Anaheim, their lack of scoring ability was on full display as they failed to get any closer to tying the game.
Up next: It’s Angels Night at Honda Center Wednesday at 7PM as the Ducks host Taylor Hall and the Arizona Coyotes.
By The Numbers
3. Erik Karlsson
2. Stefan Noesen
1. Patrick Marleau