Ducks fail to hold early lead, fall to Sharks in shootout
To hear Logan Couture tell it, the Sharks were too naive to be afraid against the five-time defending Pacific Division winners.
“Maybe guys are just young and they don’t know better,” Couture said.
Couture also had a goal and an assist in regulation to help San Jose move into second place in the Pacific, two points ahead of Calgary. Anaheim is tied with Los Angeles in fourth, one point behind the Flames.
“It took 59 minutes to battle back and get it to overtime, but I liked our game tonight,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. “I thought we played an excellent road game considering the circumstances. It was a gutsy win.”
Meier positioned himself on the edge of the crease to tip in Couture’s shot and secure at least a point for the Sharks. Ducks coach Randy Carlyle was not pleased with how passive his team was during the sequence, giving Couture a chance to let the play develop and Meier to get free in front of the net.
“In the situation we’re in, in my mind, we should have had more of a push on the guy that passed the puck and we should have had better coverage for the guy that tapped it in backdoor. He was wide-open and you can’t allow that to happen,” Carlyle said.
“Actually, I was kind of surprised how much time I had,” said Couture, who trimmed the deficit to 2-1 at 10:56 of the third on a wrist shot into the top corner for his team-leading 23rd goal. “I just saw (Meier’s) stick in the lane, and he’s a big, strong guy, so he was able to put it in the net.”
Fowler’s seventh goal of the season put the Ducks ahead 2-0 at 6:28 of the third.
Anaheim jumped in front on Kase’s third goal in the last four games. Kase sped in down the right boards and fired a long shot that snuck in between Jones’ legs 2:39 into the opening period.
Jones seemed rattled by the play and nearly gave up another goal a minute later after losing track of Derek Grant‘s shot at his own feet. But Jones settled in by making a glove save on a shot by Chris Wagner after the Sharks turned the puck over in their own zone.
The Ducks had plenty of chances to extend their lead in the first. Andrew Cogliano had a look at an open net only for the bouncing puck to skip over his stick, and Rakell put a one-timer wide of goal during Anaheim’s first of two power plays in the period.
“We had our chances. We had our opportunity and we lost a point, so we’re not going to get all doom and gloom,” Carlyle said.
The Ducks are 9-3-1 at home since the start of December, but the Sharks have handed them two of those regulation losses. They won 6-2 at Honda Center on Jan. 21 and went 3-0-1 in the season series.
NOTES: Bieksa played in his 800th career game. . Sharks RW Joel Ward (shoulder) missed his second straight game. . Ducks C Antoine Vermette was a healthy scratch for the second time in three games. Derek Grant replaced Vermette on the fourth line.
Sharks: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday to open a three-game homestand.
Ducks: Visit the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday to begin a four-game trip.