San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau took the ice Saturday night just 45 minutes after fans and media alike learned that his name was once again stirring in the rumor mill of possible players the team may be looking to move. Marleau appeared to skate during the game free of distraction, but his five shots and nearly 24 minutes of ice time weren’t enough to prevent San Jose’s first shutout loss of the season.
For the visiting Ducks, it was their first road win of the season, and their first shutout — they’d previously been shutout five times, a league high in that category. Goalie Anton Khudobin posted a 31-save performance, including more than one highlight reel save.
A slow start in the first period proved costly for the Sharks. Anaheim wasted no time in capitalizing on the defensive miscues of San Jose — forward Corey Perry was found on a stretch pass out of the defensive zone from Ryan Getzlaf. Streaking through the neutral zone, Perry worked his way past defenseman Brent Burns and scored on a breakaway.
“The first 10 minutes, we were standing around and watching. I don’t know why,” Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said. “But from that point on, I thought we played a hell of a game. Our goalie was great.”
Martin Jones made his first start since being pulled in a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He finished the game with 16 saves, and fell to 2-5-0 in his last seven starts. Jones made two stellar saves of his own in the final minutes of the first period; a tremendous pad save while in the butterfly against Stewart, and another glove save while Ducks forward Ryan Kesler was crashing the net.
“It’s disappointing because they played Friday night,” Sharks forward Tommy Wingels said of the Ducks. “There’s no reason why we shouldn’t have been the more ready team.”
Tommy Wingels, and the rest of the arena, thought he had tied the game during the second period. Initially ruled a goal, after review it was determined — and fairly obvious from the start — that the puck had deflected off the crossbar.
Recently, the most physical and rivalry-esque games for the Sharks are against another Southern California team, the Los Angeles Kings. Before LA, the most physical and personal games played in San Jose were against the Ducks. Saturday night paid tribute to the nostalgia — the second period featured 44 penalty minutes being handed out. Brendan Dillon and Ducks forward Chris Wagner each received fighting majors and game misconducts.
San Jose still hasn’t found a way to crack the power play on home ice — the unit went 0-for-4 on the night. Entering the game, the Sharks power play was ranked 23rd in the league, with a 13.2 percent conversion. The penalty kill however was a perfect 2-for-2 in the game, the Sharks had previously relinquished power play goals in their past 10 games.
San Jose will enjoy two days off, until they welcome the New York Islanders to SAP Center on Tuesday. The Islanders won the previous matchup at Barclay’s Center, handing San Jose its first loss of the season.