Ducks fail to provide offense support for Lukas Dostal in loss to Sharks – Daily News

SAN JOSE — Lukas Dostal had almost nothing to do for the first 15 minutes of his fourth career appearance in the NHL. He could have chowed down on a bucket of popcorn while his Ducks teammates swarmed the San Jose Sharks’ net, searching for the game’s first goal Saturday at SAP Center.

Matters changed quickly, though.

All it took was a routine-looking shot from the Sharks’ Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who puts the defense in defenseman, to change the course of the game and send the reeling Ducks to an eventual 4-1 defeat and extend their winless streak to nine consecutive games (0-7-2).

The Ducks had controlled play to that point, with leading scorers Troy Terry and Trevor Zegras working a little magic with the puck and creating scoring chances with an aggressive forecheck. They did everything but put the puck behind San Jose goaltender James Reimer, though.

“We needed to score in the first 10,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said of the game’s opening minutes. “Reimer was really, really good in that first period. We still had chances after that. If you look at the chances, they were probably even on the night. Their goalie was excellent in the first period.

“All we had to do was bang one into the net. It could have easily been 2-0 or 3-0, but it wasn’t. That’s where frustration can build. I thought we managed that pretty well. It just came down to, when we needed to score, they got a save. When they got their opportunity, they buried it.”

Dostal faced light pressure from the Sharks until Vlasic scored 14:48 into the game, only his third of the season. San Jose extended its lead to 2-0 on the first of Timo Meier’s three goals, only 1:41 into the second period. Alexander Barabanov intercepted Zegras’ clearing attempt and fed the puck to Meier.

“We put him in some tough positions,” Ducks defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said of Dostal. “He made some big saves and kept us in the game. We know how good he is as a goaltender. I don’t think anyone flinches when they see him in net. He’s such a passionate young kid and really has such a love of the game and really appreciates his opportunities. For that reason, we want to play well for him.”

Dostal had a 16-10-0 overall record with a 2.46 goals-against average, a .921 save percentage and two shutouts before he was recalled Wednesday from San Diego of the AHL to serve as John Gibson’s backup against the Chicago Blackhawks and then to start Saturday, with Anthony Stolarz out with an illness. He also was 1-1-0 in three earlier games for the Ducks.

As an added bonus, the 21-year-old stopped a career-high 51 shots and scored an empty-net goal for San Diego in a March 2 game against the Colorado Eagles, the 16th goal by a goalie in AHL history and the first by a Gulls or Ducks goalie in either franchise’s history, dating to 1993-94.

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