Sharks

Sharks down Ducks in blowout to take 3-0 series lead

Sharks down Ducks in blowout to take 3-0 series lead

BOX SCORE

The Sharks blew out the Anaheim Ducks on 8-1 Monday night to take a 3-0 lead in their first round series. Joonas Donskoi, Logan Couture (three points apiece), Evander Kane, Timo Meier,  Joe Pavelski, and Marcus Sorensen (two) had multi-point nights as San Jose chased Anaheim starter John Gibson after scoring five goals in two periods. 

Couture opened the scoring with his second of the postseason 3:44 into the contest, tapping in a Mikkel Boedker pass off of an odd-man opportunity. Boedker used his speed and shielded the puck from Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm, finding Couture alone in front of the net for the first of five goals off the rush. 

Rickard Rakell tied the game on the power play a couple minutes past the midway point of the period. Rakell's goal, assisted by Brandon Montour and Ryan Getzlaf, was each player's first point of the series. 

Anaheim largely outplayed San Jose for much of the second period, attempting 61.37 percent of the five-on-five shots in the middle frame. But the Sharks burned the Ducks in transition early, scoring two goals within the first four minutes of the second. 

Joonas Donskoi finished a give-and-go with Evander Kane just 75 seconds into the period, while Donskoi set up Marcus Sorensen on another two-on-one 2:26 later. Two goals on the first three shots gave San Jose a two-goal lead, and the rout was on 10 minutes later.

Eric Fehr shook Andrew Cogliano, and snuck a shot past John Gibson to give the Sharks a three-goal lead with 6:17 remaining on the second. Tempers flared soon after, as Nick Ritchie took the extra minor following a scrum with Dylan DeMelo 45 seconds after Fehr's goal.

Francois Beauchemin put Anaheim down two men with a slash, and it appeared San Jose scored on the ensuing power play. Reviews showed the puck did not cross the line, but Tomas Hertl made the four-goal lead official soon after, completing a tic-tac-toe play with a one-timer from the slot. 

Ryan Miller took over for Gibson to start the third, and Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf took two penalties on the same shift seven-and-a-half minutes in, and Sharks captain Joe Pavelski capitalized on the ensuing second power play to put his team up 6-1. Anaheim fully unraveled after Pavelski's goal, as Corey Perry cross-checked Kevin Labanc a little over a minute later, and Getzlaf hit the showers early with a misconduct. 

Ryan Kesler joined the penalty parade with a slashing penalty with three-and-a-half minutes remaining in regulation, and Kane converted to give the Sharks a 7-1 lead. San Jose continued to pour it on with less than a minute to go, when Chris Tierney scored the eighth goal with Brandon Montour in the box for yet another penalty, sealing an 8-1 win. 

13 of 18 Sharks finished the game with at least a point, and all but three had a shot on goal. Monday marked the first time in franchise history San Jose scored eight goals in a playoff game, and the first time since Oct. 8, 2013 overall. 

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Joonas Donskoi was in the right place at the right time -- twice. He gathered the loose puck in the neutral zone after Montour lost an edge to enter the Ducks zone on his first goal, then stole the puck in his own end and carried it the length of the ice to set up Sotensen's.

The Finnish forward was held without a shot on goal in the first two games of the series, and the Sharks were once again out-possessed with him on the ice five-on-five, but he made key plays to give San Jose breathing room in the second period. 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Ducks: 1-for-3 on the power play; 4-for-8 on the penalty kill

Sharks: 4-for-8 on the power play; 2-for-3 on the penalty kill

San Jose has only killed off six of eight Anaheim penalties in this series, but it hasn't mattered. The Ducks have been shorthanded 17 times in three games, and the Sharks have scored six power play goals. 

The game was already mostly out of reach, but six of Anaheim's eight penalties on Monday occurred in the third period, five of which were committed by Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Ryan Kesler. All three players wear letters for the Ducks.

IN GOAL

Ducks: John Gibson was mostly hung out to dry, but backup Ryan Miller didn't fare much better with his teammates in the box throughout the third. The duo stopped only 28 of the 36 shots they faced, and Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle will have a decision to make ahead of a do-or-die Game 4. 

Sharks: Martin Jones was stellar once again. He set a Sharks playoff record with 45 saves in regulation, and has only given up a single five-on-five goal this postseason. 

TURNING POINT

Donskoi's goal, the eventual game-winner, came mostly against the run of play. The Ducks were starting to establish a solid puck possession game, but had to play catch-up for the remainder of the second period as well as the game, and ultimately lost their composure in the third. 

INJURY UPDATE

Ducks: Defenseman Josh Manson left the game briefly, but returned. Fellow blueliner Andy Welinski drew back into the lineup for Kevin Bieksa, who played in his place in Game 2, but the Ducks made no other lineup changes. 

Sharks:  Brent Burns did not play in the final 10 minutes of regulation, but head coach Peter DeBoer told reporters after the game that Burns' absence was cautionary. Joe Thornton (right MCL) participated in the pregame warm-ups, but was once again scratched. The Sharks made no other lineup changes. 

WHAT'S NEXT 

The Sharks can conclude the series and advance to face the winner of Golden Knights-Kings with a Game 4 victory on Wednesday. Pregame Live starts at 7:00 p.m. on NBC Sports California, while our game coverage begins at 7:30.

Jonas Jerebko, Sharks show mutual admiration in Bay Area Unite moment

Jonas Jerebko, Sharks show mutual admiration in Bay Area Unite moment

Bay Area Unite, indeed …

The Sharks showed their support for the back-to-back NBA champion Warriors by wearing Dubs-themed warm-up jerseys before Saturday night’s game against the Vancouver Canucks.

Pretty sweet threads, if we do say so ourselves.

Warriors forward Jonas Jerebko, who was in attendance at SAP Center, likely agreed.

Jerebko was born and raised in Sweden, and he's a huge hockey fan. So, it wasn’t a surprise that he’d use the NBA All-Star break to catch a game at The Tank -- especially on Warriors Night.

In fact, Jerebko once practiced with the Detroit Red Wings, and he told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Kerith Burke in October that “my slap shot was really, really good.” Makes sense: Jerebko’s 6-foot-10 frame would provide a lot of leverage on the puck.

After San Jose's 3-2 win, Jerebko visited fellow Swedes Erik Karlsson and Marcus Sorensen in the Sharks’ locker room, and they exchanged jerseys.

Seeing the Warriors and the Sharks together has us dreaming of double championship parades in June. Or, perhaps, one big Bay Area Unite celebration?

Sharks weren't perfect but still happy to grind out win vs. Canucks

Sharks weren't perfect but still happy to grind out win vs. Canucks

SAN JOSE – Some fans and spectators likely expected that the Sharks were going to steamroll the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night. And why not?

Just look at their matchups thus far this season.  San Jose shut Vancouver out 4-0 in November, and walloped on the Canucks' rookie goaltender less than a week ago to win 7-2.

However, the Sharks had a much tougher task at hand when the Canucks – who are in the hunt to snag a wild-card spot in the Western Conference – put up quite a fight on Saturday. But not only were the Sharks prepared for the game to be a little tougher, they were happy with how they buckled down to grind out a 3-2 win

“Every night, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing, you expect a pretty close game,” explained captain Joe Pavelski, who scored the Sharks’ game-winning goal. “A pretty hard-fought game. We knew they were going to come out with a little more energy. They’ve got some good skill over there.”

“They’re a scrappy team, they’re fighting for the playoff life and I thought they played that way," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer echoed. "I thought they played with a lot of energy and desperation. And that made it hard on us.”

That level of difficulty, though, is something DeBoer expects on a nightly basis down the stretch.

“We had to work for a win tonight and that’s how it should be,” he said.

Although Saturday might not have been the Sharks’ cleanest game, there was a noticeable fight in the way they played. Timo Meier, who scored San Jose’s first goal 3:45 into the game, added to that bite just two nights after the Sharks' loss to the Washington Capitals. 

“I think everybody battled, especially after the game we had against Washington,” the forward said. “It wasn’t an easy win for us tonight.”

That lack of ease was in part because of San Jose’s frequent trips to the penalty box. Although the penalty kill was a flawless 0-for-4, Vancouver had too many opportunities to swing the momentum back in its favor.

“We got caught in penalty trouble, so they got a little bit of momentum and they felt good playing with the puck,” Pavelski observed. “We were defending a lot in those situations.”

At the end of the night, though, the Sharks will happily take getting back in the win column. As the race for playoff positions in the West tightens up – and the jostle for first place between the Sharks and Calgary Flames becomes even more intense – this type of grind-it-out win will do.