The San Jose Sharks fell to the Anaheim Ducks 1-0 on Saturday night at the SAP Center, ending their three-game home winning streak to start the season. San Jose had a laid-back start, and Ducks goalie Anton Khudobin settled in quickly to stop all 31 Sharks shots.
A season after reaching the Western Conference Finals, the Ducks have started slow – their shots have not going in the net. But they arrived in San Jose hungry.
“They came to play, and we knew it would be a physical, hard, checking game out there,” said Sharks defenseman Marc-Édouard Vlasic.
The Ducks had a fast pace in the first period, which set the tone for the rivalry game.
Ducks right wing Corey Perry snuck past Vlasic and Tomas Hertl and converted on a long pass from Ryan Getzlaf at 4:56 of the first period. After what seemed like a never-ending five minutes for the Sharks, they finally got their first shot. San Jose ended the period trailing 1–0, the eventual final score.
“In the first 10 minutes, they had a jump on us, but from that point on I thought that we played a [heck] of a game,” said Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer.
An eventful second period included an overturned goal from Sharks center Tommy Wingels. Video review showed that the puck did not cross the line. San Jose fans responded by taunting and making duck noises.
With 3:30 left in the second, the teams got into their biggest fight of the season so far. Four players, two from each team, got into two separate fights. Branden Dillon scrapped with the Ducks’ Chris Wagner, while San Jose’s Michael Haley fought Clayton Stoner.
“The rivalries between the players make this game very intense. I drove up with my Dad to cheer for the Ducks,” says April A., 15, from Orange, CA.
The Sharks came at the Ducks with a lot of intensity in the third period. Some of their shots were very close to going in, but Khudobin prevailed. In the last five minutes, the Sharks could not score on two power plays, including one with a 6-on-4 advantage.
"I hadn't played in a while, but at the same time I tried to get in the game as fast as I could," says Khudobin.
At the start of the season, the Sharks won their first four games while the Ducks lost their first four. But the win on Saturday gave the Ducks have a four-game win streak, and they are starting to prove why they are the reigning Western Division champions.
The rivals have split the two games they’ve played this season. They meet next December 4 in Anaheim.
Photo: Don Smith/NHLI via Getty Images