After a disappointing performance in Game 1, the Anaheim Ducks looked to even out the series against the San Jose Sharks in Game 2 on Saturday night.
This was a crucial game for Anaheim, as they didn't want to go down 0-2 heading to San Jose. Despite a valiant effort, the Sharks were able to hold on and now take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series.
Is it too early to say this series is over?
Ducks early, Sharks push back
The Ducks got off to a hot start early, as Jakob Silfverberg opened up the scoring just 40 seconds into the game. Silfverberg squeaked a harmless looking shot past Martin Jones from the top of the circle - a shot he would have loved to get back.
Things got feisty as the period went on, as scrums ensued after several whistles around the 10-minute mark. The rough stuff seemed to have settled down the Sharks, and they were able to use change the momentum of the game by drawing even.
Marcus Sorenson equaled the score at 9:41; finding a loose puck near the side of the net.
Minutes later Brandon Montour put his team down a man with a hooking penalty giving the Sharks an opportunity to grab the lead on the powerplay.
San Jose did just that as Logan Couture finished off a beautiful passing play and tucked in a backhander past John Gibson while diving across the crease (very similar to Evander Kane's first goal in Game 1).
Overall, the Ducks had a decent period, but the Sharks bounced back nicely in the latter half taking the lead into the intermission.
Period of back-and-forth
The Sharks continued where they left off in the second. Tomas Hertl opened the scoring with a beautiful goal, deking out Brandon Montour before zipping a back-hand shot through Gibson to the give the Sharks a 3-1 lead at the 1:11 mark.
Ducks' fan were in for a scare as Ryan Getzlaf got hit in the face with a puck around the 16-minute mark. However, the scare was short-lived as he returned shortly after. It will be interesting to see if this potential injury will play a factor as the series wears on.
It looked like San Jose was going to pull away, but thanks to Hampus Lindholm's goal at the 7:51 mark, the Ducks were right back in the game.
Both teams traded chances the rest of the period and John Gibson was as good as ever, making several key saves to keep his team in the game.
As expected Anaheim came out hard in the third, throwing everything they had at their opponent. The Sharks didn't sit back like they did in Game 1 and were also looking for opportunities to throw in the dagger.
Anaheim seemed to have the slight edge this period and had many quality scoring chances.
The Sharks bent but they didn't break!
Martin Jones was spectacular turning away every shot the Ducks threw at him. The Sharks also did a wonderful job collapsing in front of their net, denying several second-chance opportunities.
On the other end, John Gibson was equally as spectacular making save after save to keep his team in the game. But his teammates just weren't able to find the equalizer.
Overall, the Ducks fought hard and deserved to win the game just as much as the Sharks. Unfortunately for the Ducks, they let their foot off the gas pedal for around 12 minutes between the first and the second period. This gave the Sharks a chance to take the lead which proved to be the difference in the game.
The Ducks are literally in deep water heading to San Jose down 0-2. With the way Martin Jones has been playing, things don't look too encouraging for everyone out in Disneyland.
If Anaheim wants to make this a series, names like Rickard Rakell, Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler will have to find their way onto the scoresheet soon.
Otherwise, an early playoff exit or a sweep may very well be possible in the coming days.
Stayed tuned for Game 3 as it will be "Do-or-die" for Getzlaf and friends!
Do you think the Anaheim Ducks are done? Let us know in the comment section below.