After beating the Anaheim Ducks on the road for a second straight time, the San Jose Sharks are heading home with a 2-0 lead and plenty of confidence.
The Anaheim Ducks looked to even up their best-of-7 series with the San Jose Sharks after losing Game 1 Thursday. Despite winning five of their last six games to heading into the playoffs, the Ducks came out flat in Game 1 and were shutout by San Jose. They hoped to turn things around at home with a win in Game 2.
Anaheim got off to a quick start when Jakub Silfverberg scored 40 seconds into the game. It was exactly what the home team was looking for after losing home ice advantage with their loss in Game 1. Unfortunately for the Ducks, the lead didn’t last.
Marcus Sorenson scored to tie the game nine minutes later when a wide shot by Sharks defenseman Brendan Dillon bounced off the boards behind John Gibson and he pounced on it.
Game 2 looked a lot more like what you’d expect from a Ducks/Sharks game. It had a much more physical look to it, and that tone was set early. Francois Beauchemin laid a huge hit on Kevin Lebanc, knocking his helmet off. Evander Kane and Jakub Silfverberg were taken off the ice for matching roughing penalties.
The Sharks took the lead with a Logan Couture power play goal nicely set up by Kevin Labanc.
Tomas Hertl gave San Jose a 3-1 lead with a highlight reel goal where he toyed with Anaheim’s Brandon Montour on his way to the net.
Ryan Getzlaf avoided serious injury after a Justin Braun shot deflected into his face. Getzlaf missed time earlier this season after being hit in the face with a puck. Maybe he should consider wearing a visor.
The Ducks’ Hampus Lindholm scored a power play goal at 7:51 of the second period to cut the Sharks’ lead to 3-2. Corey Perry nearly tied the game with a shot in tight that hit the post shortly after.
Brent Burns was at his best in Game 1 with a goal and a game-high nine shots on goal, but that wasn’t the case in Game 2. The Ducks clearly made a concerted effort to limit him Saturday as he finished the first two periods without a shot on net and ended the game with just one.
Ducks goalie John Gibson played well, despite the score. He made a number strong saves late in the second period and early in the third to keep the game close and give his team a chance to win. Timo Meier’s 2-on-1 chance and Chris Tierney’s backhander could’ve extended the Sharks’ lead, but Gibson shut the door.
Not to be outdone, on the other end Martin Jones turned in another great outing for the Sharks. He made 28 saves in Saturday’s win, including a flurry of stops in the dying seconds as the Ducks tried to tie the game.
Jones has stopped 53 of 55 shots by Anaheim (.963 sv%) in the series. He has a .928 save percentage in the playoffs for his career.
Game 2’s most pivotal play might have been a penalty taken by Corey Perry with 3:43 left. With the Ducks down 3-2 late in the third, he hit sharks forward Melker Karlsson high and was called for interference. The Sharks didn’t score on the power play, but it effectively killed two minutes off the clock when Perry’s team needed it the most.
The Ducks will look to get back into the series Monday in San Jose, but history is not on their side.
Kevin Bieska returned to the lineup for the Ducks after being scratched for game 1. He had been out a month after having surgery on his left hand March 16th. Rookie defenseman Andy Welinski was scratched in his place. Cam Fowler missed Saturday’s game with a shoulder injury he suffered on April 3. He was expected to be out 2-6 weeks.