Sharks Frustrated by Missed Opportunities in Loss to Ducks

SAN JOSE -- Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said the turning point in Wednesday night's 5-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks came during the second period.

In the middle 20 minutes, San Jose held a 26-8 edge in five-on-five shot attempts, 29-9 across all situations. The Sharks out-chanced their Pacific Division rivals 11-2 at even strength, per hockey analytics site Natural Stat Trick's tally.

But San Jose had one goal to show for it -- a one-man, short-handed effort from Tomas Hertl -- and couldn't take a lead into the second intermission.

"We had a chance to take control of that game in the second period by finishing a couple chances," DeBoer told reporters after the game, "and giving [goaltender Martin Jones] some cushion on the scoreboard, and we didn't capitalize.

"If you're only going to score two a night, you're going to be in tough."

The Sharks peppered John Gibson with pucks all night, and outshot the Ducks 33-15 overall. San Jose needed two highlight-reel goals, Hertl's in the second and Evander Kane's five-hole finish after dangling the Ducks' defense, in order to beat him at all.

Meanwhile, Anaheim scored the game-winner on just its 12th shot of the game. The Ducks scored the fourth on their very next shot, 2:20 later, with Sharks center Logan Couture in the box for an interference penalty. Anaheim scored on three of its six shots in the third period -- one on an empty net -- and five of 15 overall.

"We dominated those first two periods, and we didn't get the job done in the third," Kane said to close his interview session.

The Sharks won the battle of chances beyond the second period, too, particularly at even strength. In all, San Jose had 31 five-on-five scoring chances, according to Natural Stat Trick. By Corsica Hockey's expected goals metric, the Sharks accounted for just over 78 percent of the quality looks.

The Ducks didn't generate many second or third chances, either, attempting multiple shots before a change of possession less than a handful of times.

"We never really felt like we were under siege," Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said. "We had a couple little breakdowns, but that happens throughout a night. It felt like we should have won that game."

Anaheim was precise, though. In two power-play opportunities, the Ducks scored two goals against Jones on two total shot attempts -- both of which were scoring chances, per Natural Stat Trick.

San Jose was not as clinical. The Sharks attempted only one shot on two first-period power plays, and Gibson shouldered away defenseman Erik Karlsson's wrist shot in the second period -- the only shot San Jose managed on the man advantage.

But there were plenty of chances at even strength, and all told, Wednesday's loss left DeBoer and the Sharks lamenting their missed opportunities

"We gave up 15 shots at the end of the game," DeBoer said. "Defensively, I didn't have a problem with our pairs or anything. We didn't finish, and we didn't extend the lead with the chances we had. That was the story of the game, and we let them hang around." 

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