What we learned from the Ducks’ 3-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks

Sharks center Tommy Wingels takes a shot under pressure from Ducks right wing Devante Smith-Pelly on Dec. 31.
(Chris Carlson / Associated Press)

Ten penalties, a waved off goal and everything else that went awry for the Ducks in just their second shutout loss of the season caused them to lose their cool.

Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat to the San Jose Sharks -- Anaheim’s third loss this season to its Pacific Division rival -- disturbed Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau for precedent-setting reasons.

He doesn’t want this to be a precedent.

“They were getting frustrated, thought we were on the wrong end of the stick as far as the calls were going,” Boudreau said.


Can’t have that, the coach told his players, citing the final score as proof.

“I’ve already addressed it,” Boudreau said.

Don’t blame the referees

Instead of joining the sellout crowd in shouting abusive language at the men in stripes, Boudreau didn’t describe the whistles against his team as bad calls -- and some were. He said his players “took penalties.”

“Three or four of those penalties were just … not smart,” Boudreau said, calling out forward Matt Beleskey for a third-period interference penalty (and what appeared to be some follow-up referee bashing) that came on a Ducks power play, and defenseman Sami Vatanen for slamming his stick and getting the team’s second unsportsmanlike conduct call of the evening.

“Not in the play, not smart … whether the refs called the right penalties to start off with is a different story. We’ve got to stay disciplined and shut up and stay focused.”

The captain agrees

Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf called his stick-throwing response to referee Steve Kozari’s two-player penalty against the Ducks for a fight at the end of the second period “unacceptable,” labeling his reaction “stupidity” after it spawned an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty against Getzlaf and a 5-on-3 opportunity for the Sharks.

“We shouldn’t be sitting here talking about the referees … it shouldn’t be at the forefront,” Getzlaf said. “Their goalie made some great saves, we missed some chances. We had the chance to be in the hockey game still.”

That chance seemed to extinguish early in the third period when San Jose center Joe Pavelski scored his second goal of the game, giving the Sharks a 2-0 lead with one second left in the two-man advantage.

The message seems to have been received

“We lost the game being stupid,” Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen said after his strong 24-save effort was scrapped by the emotional response to the avalanche of penalties.

Andersen nearly got the Ducks out of the two-man situation after stopping the NHL’s fourth-best power-play team on three first-period penalties that left the Ducks outshot 14-3 in the opening 20 minutes.

“The refs -- they did their jobs,” Andersen said. “A lot of us took terrible penalties.

“We have to be more composed and keep our mouths shut.”

Corey Perry is back

The right wing who was on a torrid run of goals early before getting hit by the mumps and then a sprained knee on Dec. 5, returned after a 10-game absence and played 16 minutes 21 seconds. He was minus-two but had three shots.

“Felt all right, first game back always a test, but leg felt OK, knee felt fine,” Perry said. “Just a matter of getting back into the swing of things.”