Ducks
Sharks
3 - 2 Final
  for this game

Ducks stun top-seeded Sharks again

Apr 20, 2009 - 6:14 AM
SAN JOSE, California (AP) -- The Anaheim Ducks collectively kept their celebrations to a murmur, refusing to show any postgame excitement Sunday night except for the first career playoff goals by three of their youngest forwards.

It was a showcase of the level, veteran cool you'd expect from a team two years removed from a Stanley Cup -- even after that club just tore through the NHL's toughest road arena and took two games from the league's best regular-season team.

Andrew Ebbett broke a tie with a goal from an awkward angle with 10:16 left, and the Ducks stunned the San Jose Sharks with another defensive gem in a 3-2 victory in Game 2, jumping to a 2-0 lead in the first-round playoff series.

Jonas Hiller made 42 saves in his second outstanding effort, while Bobby Ryan and Drew Miller also scored their first playoff goals. Just as their 2-0 Game 1 victory, the eighth-seeded

Ducks were defensively tough and offensively fortunate against San Jose, which lost just five home games in regulation during the entire regular season.

"We knew we could play well," Hiller said. "But to come into the rink of the best team in the league and win the first two games, we don't expect that, although we have to think it's possible. ... I'm sure this is not what people expected from us. We have the two wins, but the Sharks are still the best team this year."

Ryane Clowe's goal early in the second period ended more than 174 minutes of scoreless playoff hockey for the Sharks dating to last season, but San Jose couldn't rally despite another monstrous edge in shots.

An eighth seed has beaten a top seed seven times in the NHL playoffs since 1994, and playoff-tested Anaheim is ripe to add its name to the list. San Jose must win four of the next five games, including two in Anaheim, to avoid what would be a disastrous end to a 117-point season capped by the franchise's first Presidents' Trophy.

"I'm not too sure that the guys in there, after the two games, I think if you went through and asked each of the guys, they'd think they're the better team," said Todd McLellan, the Sharks' rookie coach. "They're not getting the puck luck, and you have to give Anaheim credit. They found a way to win."

Game 3 is Tuesday night in Anaheim.

Jonathan Cheechoo also scored, and Evgeni Nabokov made 23 saves for the Sharks, who outshot Anaheim 44-26 after a 35-17 edge in the Ducks' 2-0 Game 1 victory -- but San Jose dropped to 0-for-12 on the power play in the series after going scoreless in six chances in Game 2.

Although an NHL playoff neophyte, Hiller again showed off the resilience he learned as a star in the top Swiss league and the world championships. Yet the rest of the Ducks know about playoff toughness from experiences the Sharks just can't duplicate in the regular season.

"I don't think that we recognize the pressure, as much as you guys seem to want to put that exclamation mark on it," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "(Hiller) played in some real intense games for us down the stretch. He's a veteran guy from the Swiss league and world championships. He knows what pressure is about. What he's got to do is just do his job. He doesn't have to win the hockey game for us. He's just got to give us a chance."

The Sharks' frustration only was heightened in the third period when the Ducks scored on Ebbett's fortunate deflection and Miller's rebound shot through traffic in a 3-minute span, while San Jose managed only Cheechoo's goal with 6:06 left.

McLellan broke up his top-line pairing of Joe Thornton and captain Patrick Marleau for Game 2, moving around his top two scorers but rarely icing them together. It didn't generate much new offense, but Clowe came through after a turnover by Ebbett, slipping the puck past three defenders to snap the Sharks' playoff scoreless streak at 174 minutes, 2 seconds, dating to their four-overtime elimination loss to Dallas last spring.

"I don't feel a lot of panic around here, that's for sure," Clowe said. "We're going to go on the road, and maybe we'll be a little more relaxed. We'll probably get some of those bounces. That's the way it goes sometimes in a long series. I thought we worked hard enough to get some bounces, but obviously we were hitting posts like there's no tomorrow. That's the playoffs."

In the third period, Ebbett deflected the puck off the back of Nabokov's pad from near the goal line on a play set up by the speed of Teemu Selanne, who slipped behind the San Jose defense and fired the puck on net to set the sequence in motion.

Miller then put the Ducks up 3-1 on a rebound goal with 6:43 to play, but Cheechoo reduced the deficit 37 seconds later by barging past two defenders for a score. The Sharks kept pushing, and Christian Ehrhoff hit the post with 2:10 to play -- but Anaheim controlled the puck for much of the final minute, preventing the Sharks from threatening.

"It's not like we've been spanked and we've got our tail between our legs," McLellan said. "We play the same way, do the same things, create the same number of chances, eventually it'll go in for us, and we'll continue on."








  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 1 0 2 3
    SAN JOSE 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ANA - (PP) BOBBY RYAN 1 (JAMES WISNIEWSKI, RYAN WHITNEY)
    3:45
    2ND PRD: SAN - RYANE CLOWE 1 (UNASSISTED) 5:38
    3RD PRD: ANA - ANDREW EBBETT 1 (ERIK CHRISTENSEN, TEEMU SELANNE) 9:44
    ANA - DREW MILLER 1 (ROB N

    Apr 20 12:39 AM
  • 114
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    RUWTbot Added 15 roots (Close Finish)

    Ducks 3, Sharks 2  3rd - 4:02Apr 20 12:31 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL ANAHEIM 3
    SAN JOSE 2
    3RD PRD: SAN - JONATHAN CHEECHOO 1 (JOE THORNTON, JEREMY ROENICK)
    13:54

    Ducks 3, Sharks 2  3rd - 6:06Apr 20 12:30 AM
  • 99
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    RUWTbot Added 45 roots (Close Finish)

    Ducks 3, Sharks 2  3rd - 6:06Apr 20 12:30 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL ANAHEIM 3
    SAN JOSE 1
    3RD PRD: ANA - DREW MILLER 1 (ROB NIEDERMAYER, SCOTT NIEDERMAYER)
    13:17

    Ducks 3, Sharks 1  3rd - 6:43Apr 20 12:28 AM
  • 54
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    RUWTbot Took away 22 roots

    Ducks 3, Sharks 1  3rd - 6:43Apr 20 12:28 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL ANAHEIM 2
    SAN JOSE 1
    3RD PRD: ANA - ANDREW EBBETT 1 (ERIK CHRISTENSEN, TEEMU SELANNE) 9:44

    Ducks 2, Sharks 1  3rd - 10:16Apr 20 12:17 AM
  • 76
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    RUWTbot Added 22 roots (Close Finish)

    Ducks 1, Sharks 1  3rd - 11:58Apr 20 12:10 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 1 0 1
    SAN JOSE 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ANA - (PP) BOBBY RYAN 1 (JAMES WISNIEWSKI, RYAN WHITNEY)
    3:45
    2ND PRD: SAN - RYANE CLOWE 1 (UNASSISTED) 5:38
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANA 14 3

    Apr 19 11:43 PM
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    Ducks 1, Sharks 1  2nd - 1:48Apr 19 11:42 PM
  • 49
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    Ducks 1, Sharks 1  2nd - 9:38Apr 19 11:24 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL ANAHEIM 1
    SAN JOSE 1
    2ND PRD: SAN - RYANE CLOWE 1 (UNASSISTED) 5:38

    Ducks 1, Sharks 1  2nd - 14:22Apr 19 11:14 PM
  • 5
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    Ducks 1, Sharks 0  End of 1stApr 19 10:49 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 1 1
    SAN JOSE 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ANA - (PP) BOBBY RYAN 1 (JAMES WISNIEWSKI, RYAN WHITNEY)
    3:45
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANA 14 14
    SAN 15 15
    GOALIES: ANA -

    Apr 19 10:48 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL ANAHEIM 1
    SAN JOSE 0
    1ST PRD: ANA - (PP) BOBBY RYAN 1 (JAMES WISNIEWSKI, RYAN WHITNEY) 3:45

    Ducks 1, Sharks 0  1st - 16:15Apr 19 10:19 PM