(Sports Network) - It took the San Jose Sharks two weeks to lose their first
game of the season, but they are still just a regulation loss away from owning
only a two-point lead atop the Pacific Division.
The Sharks will try to prevent the Anaheim Ducks from cutting into that
advantage on Monday night when the two clubs clash for the second time this
San Jose opened the shortened campaign red-hot, winning seven straight prior
to Saturday's 2-1 shootout setback to the Nashville Predators. It marked the
Sharks' third straight shootout game as they had bested Anaheim and Edmonton
in the breakaway session last week.
They weren't as lucky on Saturday as the Preds' Craig Smith beat Antti Niemi
in the second round. Joe Pavelski then failed to extend the game as his
attempt was halted by Pekka Rinne.
Martin Havlat scored in regulation for San Jose, converting on a power play in
the third period with 6:21 on the clock, while Niemi ended with 23 saves in
the finale of a six-game homestand.
"They play good defense with great goaltending," Sharks captain Joe Thornton
said. "We had our chances. We just didn't bear down. It was just a good, hard-
The same could be said about when the Sharks hosted the Ducks last Tuesday, a
game that San Jose's Logan Couture tied with 2:45 left in the third period to
force extra time. Michal Handzus then scored the only shootout goal and Niemi
ended with 28 saves in the 3-2 win.
It marked only the Sharks' second victory in their last eight against the
Ducks and they have dropped five of their last seven trips to Anaheim.
That loss last week by the Ducks is part of their current 3-0-1 stretch, and
at 5-1-1 on the season, they sit just four points behind the Sharks in the
Anaheim won its second straight on Saturday, knocking off the Los Angeles
Kings 7-4. Nick Bonino, who came into the game with just six goals in 91
career games, logged his first career hat trick and added an assist.
Bonino beat Los Angeles netminder Jonathan Quick twice in the first 5:49 of
the game and potted one of the Ducks' three power-play markers at the 8:39
mark of the third period.
"It feels good. I can't really describe it," Bonino said. "I haven't scored a
ton of goals in my career so far, so it feels real good to get three here."
Anaheim also got man-advantage tallies from Sheldon Souray and Kyle Palmieri.
Bobby Ryan, Luca Sbisa and rookie Emerson Etem each collected two assists for
the Ducks, while goaltender Jonas Hiller had 30 saves.
Anaheim defenseman Cam Fowler left the game with an upper-body injury in the
second period and did not return to the game.
The Sports Network