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Top-Seeded Sharks Toppled in Anaheim

Apr 28, 2009 – 1:18 AM
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Susan Slusser

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Hostilities began when the puck dropped, and in a penalty-happy Game 6, the Ducks took better advantage of the man advantage and knocked the top-seeded Sharks out of the playoffs.

San Jose, which finished with a league-best 117 points, fell 4-1 at the Honda Center and became the fourth President's Trophy winning team to fall in the first round. Perennial disappointments who have yet to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Sharks do not have a good relationship with sixth games in playoff series, and are now 2-13 overall and 1-7 on the road in those games.
Ducks 4, Sharks 1: Recap | Box Score | Monday's Scores
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Anaheim advances to face defending champion Detroit in the second round.

The eighth-seeded Ducks got two quick scores near the end of the second period, Teemu Selanne banking a puck in from the right side as he slid past the net on a power play with 6:57 left and defenseman Francois Beauchemin blasting one in less than a minute later. Beauchemin's shot deflected off defenseman Dan Boyle's stick, snapping it in two. With just under three minutes to play, Ryan Getzlaf flipped in the Ducks' final goal from the slot.

Sharks center Joe Thornton had yapped at Getzlaf from the get-go in Game 5; it appeared when the puck dropped in San Jose that Thornton's first words to Getzlaf were, "It's going to be a long night, I'm just telling you that right now." Thornton then played his best game of the series.

Monday, Thornton came out talking some more and two seconds into the game, Getzlaf was going after him. The two tangled, with Thornton getting in one clean shot to the jaw, and then both were assessed fighting majors.

More rough stuff followed, as the Ducks were assessed three more penalties in the first 10 minutes. The Sharks capitalized at last after James Wisniewski was called for slashing Marcel Goc. With 9:41 left, Jonas Hiller stopped a shot from Joe Pavelski in front, but Milan Michalek put in the loose puck for his first goal of the series.

Shortly thereafter, the Sharks wound up with three men in the box and the Ducks with two after a scuffle near the Sharks net. Less than two minutes later (and with one more penalty assigned to each team during that time), the Ducks also scored on the power play, with a 4-3 advantage. Getzlaf threw the puck toward the net, and Corey Perry tapped it once, tapped it twice and in it went past Evgeni Nabokov.

There was a scrum at the end of the second period and another less than four minutes into the third period. Hiller came up with several big saves near the end and stopped 36 of 37 shots overall. Nabokov saved 28 of 32.

It was the first all-California playoff series since 1969.
Filed under: Sports