SAN JOSE -- The Sharks swept the Anaheim Ducks out of the first round, and advanced to the second thanks to a 2-1 win Wednesday night.
Martin Jones made 30 saves, and Tomas Hertl scored the series-clincher with 10:51 left in the third period to seal the second sweep in franchise history, and San Jose's first-ever series victory against Anaheim.
San Jose scored the game's first goal for the third time in the series. Sorensen opened the scoring 5:43 in to the game, lifting his own rebound over a sprawling John Gibson for his third goal of the playoffs. Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf waved helplessly at the puck on its path to the back of the net, but could only redirect it across the goal line.
Gibson only faced eight shots over the next 35 minutes, after the Sharks peppered him with six prior to Sorensen's goal. The game shifted decidedly in the Ducks' favor following that goal, but Martin Jones stood in their way for the fourth straight game.
Rickard Rakell appeared to tie the game for Anaheim early in the third period on a power play, but the goal was overturned after Peter DeBoer correctly challenged the play as offside. The officials overturned it, and San Jose killed the penalty without incident.
The Sharks killed another penalty in the third period, but Andrew Cogliano tied the game for the Ducks at even strength. with 12:07 remaining in regulation. The tie lasted 76 seconds.
Tomas Hertl tipped Marc-Edouard Vlasic's point shot past Gibson, and sent SAP Center into a frenzy. San Jose took a lead it would not relinquish.
Anaheim challenged Jones with just three shots in the final 10 minutes and change. The Ducks pulled Gibson with less than two minutes remaining, but couldn't enter the Sharks' zone.
San Jose tried for an empty-netter, but effectively ran out the clock and, ultimately, the series.
Martin Jones slammed the door on the Ducks once again. He picked up his sixth career playoff shutout, and was particularly impressive in a half-hour stretch from the midway point of the first period through the second.
In a 31:40 span, Jones stopped 20 Anaheim shots, including three on the penalty kill, while his teammates managed just six shots in that time. The 28-year-old added another stolen playoff game to his resume, and was the key reason the Sharks clinched the series on Wednesday.
Ducks: 0-for-4 on the power play; 2-for-2 on the penalty kill
Sharks: 0-for-2 on the power play; 4-for-4 on the penalty kill
For the first time all series, the Ducks had more power play opportunities than the Sharks. With Jones leading the way from the crease, though, San Jose's penalty killers were up to the task.
Ducks: John Gibson returned to the cage after getting pulled in Game 3, and wasn't tested all that much. He denied Evander Kane 8:41 into the game with his team reeling following Sorensen's goal, though, and kept Anaheim within striking distance.
Sharks: As good as Gibson was, Jones was once again better. Cogliano's goal was just the second five-on-five goal he allowed all series, while Hertl's was the second Gibson gave up on Wednesday.
With 26 seconds remaining in the second period, Jones stretched his right pad on the penalty kill to smother a Corey Perry back-hand shot from in close. The biggest play of the kill came less than a minute into the third, though, when DeBoer challenged Rakell's apparent goal.
Given how well the Ducks played entering the third, an earlier tying goal very well could have changed the final outcome of Game 4. Instead, the Sharks ran out the clock, and ended the Ducks' season.
Ducks: Cam Fowler (shoulder) missed his seventh straight game. Anaheim made no lineup changes from Game 3, meaning Jason Chimera and Andy Welinski played in their second straight games while Antoine Vermette, Troy Terry, Chris Kelly, and Kevin Bieksa were once again scratched.
Sharks: Joe Thornton (sprained MCL) suited up for warm-ups, but did not dress for the game. San Jose made no other lineup changes.
Ducks: Anaheim's offseason officially began once the clock hit zero at the end of the third period, and the Randy Carlyle-coached club will face a lot of questions this summer. The Ducks will have about $12 million in salary cap space this summer
Sharks: San Jose moves on to the second round, and will stand in the way of the league's most surprising storyline, and face off against the Pacific Division-champion Vegas Golden Knights. Vegas, an expansion team, swept the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.
The series start date is to be determined.