After losing their first pre-season game against Phoenix by a score of 4-1 on Tuesday night, the Ducks were right back at it again the next evening. This time the Ducks took on San Jose, who were a thorn in the Ducks side all last season, and came away with a 5-2 victory.
With a totally different line-up, except for four players getting the back-to-back nod, the results were vastly different from the previous evening. Then again, with a line-up loaded with veterans and players who are likely to be on the Ducks roster on opening night, anything less than a win would have been a bad omen for the regular season.
Corey Perry chipped in Ryan Getzlaf’s shot at 7:20 in the first period to get the scoring going for the Ducks. Anaheim will be relying on that tandem all year to help produce offense. They will need all the offense they can get, considering the question mark that surrounds the Ducks defensive corps.
Considering that Getzlaf had not played a game since March 24, having finished off the season nursing a sprained left ankle, he looked like he was back to his old self. Hindered by recovery from a sports hernia and then adding the sprained ankle, Getzlaf never was quite up to speed last season. A healthy Getzlaf will do wonders for the Ducks success.
“He has a lot of talent and a lot of ability,” assessed coach Randy Carlyle after the game. “When he’s moving his feet, drawing people to him and shooting the puck, he can be a very, very effective player and tonight was one of those nights.”
While the Ducks started off strong, the Sharks made up for lost time by outshooting the Ducks. Luckily Jonas Hiller was up the task for his half of the game, stopping 19 of 19 shots before former Sharks prospect, Timo Pielmeier took over in the middle of the second period. Pielmeier stopped 19 of 21 shots.
The Ducks cemented their lead with goals from Aaron Voros at 1:38 of the second and then two swift goals from Danny Syvret at 15:01 and Getzlaf just :18 seconds later.
The Sharks threw everything at the Ducks net, outshooting their opponents 40 – 18. It took 31 shots before they could even get on the board. Torrey Mitchell picked up his own rebound coming around the back of the net and put the puck past Pielmeier at 7:31 of the third period.
Jason Blake added another power play goal to the Ducks tally at 10:23, taking advantage of a sprawled Alex Stalock, who split time in net with Antero Niittymaki.
The Sharks quickly responded with a goal from rookie Taylor Doherty at 10:51, but that was all they could put past the Anaheim netminders.
The Ducks now get back to training camp on Thursday and then have two more pre-season games, this time on the road in San Jose and Vancouver. If they can build on what they started this season, they should do well in their pre-season trials.