Anaheim 5, San Jose 0
Recap – Click here to see highlights of the game
November 22, 2006
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The two best teams in the Pacific Division began their eight-game season series, and the first one was no contest. The Anaheim Ducks were all over the San Jose Sharks from start to finish.
Teemu Selanne scored his 498th and 499th career goals, Jean-Sebastien Giguere recorded his 24th career shutout, and the Ducks routed San Jose 5-0 Tuesday night to take a five-point lead over their California rivals.
“We knew that this was going to be a big test for our hockey club, and I think we played our best 60 minutes tonight,” Selanne said. “We know how good we can be, and we just want to keep pushing forward. It’s all about confidence. Everybody put in a good effort out there.”
Giguere made 23 saves for the Ducks, who have never finished higher than second in the division since joining the NHL in 1993-94.
Defensemen Chris Pronger and Francois Beauchemin each had a goal and an assist, Ryan Getzlaf cashed in on a power play and defenseman Shane O’Brien had two assists. Anaheim’s defensemen have combined for 67 points, the most in the league.
“I’m very satisfied,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “It was our most complete game of the year. A lot of things went our way, and we worked extremely hard for everything we got.”
The Sharks played without last year’s NHL goal-scoring leader Jonathan Cheechoo, who missed his second game because of an injured left leg. They were shut out for the first time, something that didn’t happen to them last season until their 47th game — a 2-0 home loss to the Ducks.
“We have seven more games against them, so it’s important — especially at home — to show we can play well against them,” Giguere said.
Evgeni Nabokov stopped the first 22 shots he faced before Pronger intercepted an attempted clearing pass by Ville Nieminen at the right point and beat Nabokov high to the glove side at 7:13 of the second period. The goal was the fourth this season for Pronger, whose 22 total points lead all defensemen.
“Everybody says they’re the best team in the league, and tonight they really gave it to us,” San Jose center Joe Thornton said.
The Sharks, who came in with an NHL-best 24.3 power-play percentage, received a two-man advantage in the second period after Scott Niedermayer was sent off for tripping and Todd Marchant for holding 22 seconds apart. But Giguere stopped point-blank shots by Thornton and Patrick Marleau, then Bernier fanned on a perfect pass through the crease from Milan Michalek.
“That was our big chance to get back in the game,” Marleau said. “That’s the way the night kind of went. But there’s a lot more things we could have done better. Hopefully in those seven other games, we’ll at least show up and play better hockey. We’ve got to be more tenacious, jumping on loose pucks and getting in on the forecheck. We didn’t do those things tonight, and that’s why we lost.”
The Ducks went on a power play of their own just 33 seconds after the teams were back at even strength. Beauchemin took a one-timer from just inside the blue line that ricocheted off the skate of Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic and right to Getzlaf, who swept his eighth goal past Nabokov with 6 seconds left on Scott Hannan‘s holding penalty.
“They have a good penalty-killing unit, so we had to be patient,” Selanne said. “We got the goal there, and another one in the third. Those are the things that give you even more confidence.”
Anaheim made it 3-0 when Selanne converted Andy McDonald‘s pass from behind the net with 13:32 remaining. Beauchemin added his third goal of the season on a power play and Selanne completed the scoring with his seventh goal of the season.
“We have a team that’s really dominating down low and behind the net,” Selanne said. “And if we get a lot of action from there, we’re going to get lots of goals.”
Selanne has 42 goals and 83 points in 54 career games against San Jose. No one has more in either category.