The lone goal went to an off-season acquisition, 25-year-old right wing Andrew "Flash" Gordon, who seemed to always be on the ice during the critical moments for Anaheim. After a dull 18 minutes, Gordon caught San Jose's goalie, Thomas Greiss, out of position. Though he stood out among his teammates as a fast skater and smart player for tonight's game, the lineup might not have the space to keep him in the Big Show.
For those who are guaranteed a spot, tonight was the first night for the Duck's A-line to stretch their legs, but their performance was underwhelming. Perry, Getzlaf, Ryan and Beauchemin each notched a -2 for tonight's game.
The obvious issues this team needs to work on are taking too few shots and too many penalties. Half of San Jose's goals were scored on power plays, which became more frequent as the game wore on. In the second stanza, the Ducks gave up two penalties and allowed 13 shots, ultimately giving the Sharks the chance to score three goals.
A little forecheck would prevent teams like San Jose from passing the puck so easily in the Anaheim defensive zone. Senseless penalties are always the Achilles Heel for the Ducks, it seems this year is no different.
There are plenty more issues to consider. The Ducks are still a big question mark in the net and whether Hiller will be ready to play as he says he is. Perhaps more concerning was the performance of the Duck's best line. The first line of Perry, Getzlaf and Ryan went a combined -6 against the B-Team for the Sharks tonight. San Jose played none of their stars and delivered quite the beating to the Ducks.
The real test will be on Friday, when the Ducks travel to San Jose to face Boyle, Clowe, Marleau, Pavelski, Thornton and new acquisition Havlat, for the first time.