Ducks deal Sharks’ playoff hopes a blow


ANAHEIM, Calif. – Any microscopic chance that the Ducks had left to retain hope for a postseason appearance finally evaporated Wednesday night, so they were left to settle on the next best thing.
Teemu Selanne snapped a third-period tie, and Jonas Hiller delivered a razor-sharp performance in goal to lead the Ducks to a 3-1 victory over San Jose in dealing the Sharks a setback to their own playoff hopes at Honda Center.
The Ducks (33-33-11) will have time for the golf course in a couple of weeks, but they reveled in winning five of the six games against their northern rival. In 2 hours, San Jose went from leading the Pacific Division to hanging onto the final playoff spot.
“At this point, you have to,” Ryan said. “We’ve played for a lot of things over the last couple of months here. This is just another one to add to the list so it’s a pretty good feeling right now.”
Selanne’s deflection of a slap shot by Luca Sbisa got past Sharks goalie Antti Niemi at the 5:22 mark of the third period. It was the winger’s 25th goal of the season and the 662nd of the Hall of Famer.
Hiller made the lead stand up by making 28 saves in his club-record 70th start of the season as he foiled San Jose forward Joe Pavelski several times, including a glove save midway through the third.
“He’s important every night,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “The save he made when it was 2-1 is what he’s been doing since the beginning of January. Whether we’re behind or not, he lets us have the opportunity to win, which is all you ask a goalie to do.”
The Sharks (39-28-10) failed in their opportunity to create some space with the five other teams that they’re battling with over three playoff spots. Corey Perry wrapped it up with a strange empty-net goal.
Perry was awarded his 36th of the season after a review made stand original ruling by referees Francois St. Laurent and Dan O’Halloran that Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle deliberately knocked the net off when Perry was shooting.

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