– Lubomir Visnovsky scored with 32.6 seconds left in overtime to
lift the Anaheim Ducks past the San Jose Sharks 3-2 at sold-out HP
SAN JOSE – Lubomir Visnovsky scored with 32.6 seconds left in overtime to lift the Anaheim Ducks past the San Jose Sharks 3-2 at sold-out HP Pavilion.
San Jose earned three of four possible points during the two-game suspension served by captain Joe Thornton. When the New York Islanders come to HP Pavilion Thursday, Thornton will be eligible to play.
The overtime loss left San Jose with a 6-5-2 record, good for 14 points and a share of 11th place in the Western Conference.
The Sharks and Ducks appeared ready to fill out line-ups for a shoot-out when the visitors won an offensive-zone face-off with 36.6 seconds left in the 4-on-4 extra stanza. San Jose had been called for icing at the 36.6 mark, leading coach Todd McLellan to call the team’s one available time-out.
Patrick Marleau, taking the face-off, powered the puck toward the neutral zone before defenseman Visnovsky gained control of the puck inside the blueline. Visnovsky skated to the top of the slot before drilling a shot that went under Duck Toni Lydman, between two Shark defensemen and by goalie Antero Niittymaki.
“There was a lot of traffic,” said Niittymaki. “I didn’t see the shot.”
San Jose opened the scoring with an even-strength goal 1:42 into the game.
After Devin Setoguchi slid the puck to the Anaheim endboards, both Setoguchi and linemate Joe Pavelski went to the bench for a change. Ryane Clowe, rather than heading to the bench, continued to the endboards and pulled the puck away from the defenseman. Clowe dished the puck to an unmarked Torrey Mitchell in the low slot for a one-timer that sailed past goalie Jonas Hiller for the winger’s second goal of the season.
Dany Heatley came close to scoring his seventh goal of the year at 8:50. Heatley drilled a 10-footer past Hiller, but the winger was whistled for using a high stick to control the puck to the ice prior to taking the shot.
Anaheim, 7-7-1 entering play but only 2-6-0 on the road, bounced back with a tying goal at 9:42 of the first period.
Defenseman Lydman shook off pressure from Setoguchi at the left point and lifted a hard shot toward the net. As Niittymaki moved to get his stick on the puck, forward Jason Blake, at the edge of the crease, reached with his stick and sent the puck by Niittymaki for the equalizer.
Anaheim gained the lead 8:27 into the second period on Corey Perry’s sixth goal of the season. Duck Bobby Ryan’s shot from the right flank through traffic dribbled toward the bottom of the left circle. Perry was able to control the puck, then turn toward the net and pull the puck just inside the left post. Niittymaki, prone on the ice after defending the threat from the right side, was unable to recover in time to make the save.
Marleau nearly tied the score with one minute to play in the second period during a San Jose power play. Marleau sent a long pass to an unmarked Pavelski at the top of the right circle, then positioned along the opposite goal line. Pavelski’s return pass led to Marleau’s shot toward the net that skimmed off the left post and was covered by Hiller.
San Jose tied it at 2-2 on a Setoguchi goal at 9:05 of the third period. The Sharks had just finished their fourth power play of the night when a Boyle slapshot from the high slot was sticked aside by Hiller. Setoguchi turned the rebound into a shot from the left flank that Hiller sent to the same place. As defenseman Paul Mara circled futilely to reach the puck, Setoguchi whipped a shot over Hiller’s right shoulder and into the net for his second goal of the year.