SAN JOSE — The Sharks showed poise and more than a little bit of resiliency in bringing back to SAP Center a 2-0 lead in their opening round NHL playoff series against the Anaheim Ducks.
Game 3 showed one thing above everything else, though. That the Sharks are simply too much right now for their Southern California rivals.
The Sharks blew open a tie game with four goals in the second period and pushed the Ducks to the brink of elimination with an 8-1 win in front of a boisterous sold-out crowd.
Logan Couture had a goal and two assists and goalie Martin Jones set a new career playoff-high with 45 saves as the Sharks gave themselves a chance to earn a first round sweep of the Ducks with a win in Game 4 on Wednesday night.
Marcus Sorensen, Joonas Donskoi, Joe Pavelski all had a goal and an assist in the first two-and-a-half periods as the Sharks earned their most lopsided win over the Ducks in recent memory.
Donskoi and Sorensen scored goals 2:26 apart in the second period to give the Sharks a 3-1 lead. Eric Fehr added his first goal of the postseason with 6:17 to go in the second on a nifty individual effort, and Tomas Hertl capped the dizzying 20 minutes with a power play goal with 3:11 to go.
The Sharks might have needed to grind out a 3-2 win over the Ducks in Game 2 of their opening round playoff series. Not in Game 3, when it became perfectly obvious that the Sharks were way too fast for Anaheim.
Asked after Game 1 if it had already been demonstrated that the Sharks were the faster team, coach Pete DeBoer said, “Are we faster than them? I don’t think one game tells you that. I liked our team speed, I liked how we played. And we have to continue to do that.”
They have. For a number of reasons.
The Sharks had received better goaltending in this series, but another reason why they came home with a 2-0 series lead was the play of their top six forwards.
Pavelski had three assists in the first two games in Anaheim, two coming on goals from Evander Kane. Couture and Hertl each had a goal an assist.
The Ducks, meanwhile.were still waiting for their leading scorers to make an impact.
Rickard Rakell, who had 34 goals and 69 points in the regular season, had been held to just …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News