At some point this season the Ducks will get a bounce or a break in overtime. And at some point the adjectives used to describe their shutdown line might be depleted.
Unfortunately for Anaheim, those two dynamics converged incongruously in a frustrating first game out of the Christmas break Tuesday, a 3-2 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks at Honda Center.
The Ducks are 0-6 in games that end in overtime this season, a repeating theme that is quickly getting old. San Jose defenseman Brent Burns delivered the latest blow when he took a pass from Joe Pavelski and backhanded the puck past goalie John Gibson with 2 minutes 14 seconds left.
“[It’s] frustrating because we’re giving up points with individual mistakes,” Andrew Cogliano said. “I think it’s more just execution in overtime, and it’s costing us right now. I thought we played a good game tonight. I thought we deserved better.
“We have to sort it out and really look into it and see what’s going on.”
The line of Cogliano, Ryan Kesler and Jakob Silfverberg turned in yet another stellar game at both ends and forced overtime with a goal by Silfverberg with 6:25 remaining in regulation. Silfverberg redirected a pass by Kesler that slipped through the five-hole on Sharks goalie Martin Jones.
The Ducks initially got stuck on the ice with the same personnel to start overtime and the trio of Cam Fowler, Antoine Vermette and Ondrej Kase ended up victims on the game-winning play by the defending Western Conference champions.
“Tonight they make a great play and they end up making us pay for it,” Silfverberg said. “It’s not a good [overtime] record and we’d like to change that.”
Gibson, who did the splits for a terrific toe save on Pavelski in the opening minutes of the game, held ground until he misplayed a bad bounce that gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead going into the third period.
Melker Karlsson barely deflected Joel Ward’s soft pass and the puck hopped past Gibson’s glove side with fewer than six minutes to go in the second period.
“That’s the kind of bounces that went against us tonight,” Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle said.
Carlyle didn’t like the lack of sharpness out of the layoff but also said, “The sun’s going to come up tomorrow. It’s not something that we’re going to take and carry with us. We know we can get better with the puck.”
The Ducks were riding energy from two penalty kills and Kase’s second career goal. The rookie executed a spinning backhand from his knee after Nick Ritchie poked the puck through the crease.
The Ducks opened the game with a big advantage in possession but were down 1-0 on a controversial goal by Sharks defenseman Paul Martin.
Ritchie inadvertently ran into Vermette in the goal mouth as he tried to corral Sharks center Logan Couture, and the trio fell around a prone Gibson. Couture appeared to be partially on Gibson when Martin shot the puck into the open net, and the Ducks did not challenge it for goalie interference.
Carlyle said he was told Couture was hooked going to the net and the challenge probably wouldn’t have reversed the goal.
Defenseman Sami Vatanen was scratched because of flu, Carlyle said.