SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA (TICKER) —San Jose Sharks coach Ron Wilson will have plenty of time to teach diving class in the offseason.
Defenseman Niclas Havelid scored 93 seconds into overtime as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim set a single-season team record for wins with a 3-2 triumph over the San Jose Sharks, who were eliminated from postseason contention.
Although the game-winner was scored at even strength, it came just as a controversial penalty expired on San Jose defenseman Scott Hannan.
Hannan was called for hooking All-Star Paul Kariya with 27 seconds left in regulation. As he made his way to the penalty box, Hannan shouted at referees Chris Rooney and Shane Heyer, arguing the Ducks’ captain should have been called for diving.
Wilson, who coached Kariya and the Ducks from 1993-97, agreed.
“No practice tommorow. Maybe we’ll call a practice and practice our diving,” Wilson said. “I’m dead serious. Rooney calls a penalty on us on an obvious dive from Paul Kariya, so if anything, it should cost Paul Kariya $1,000 to win the hockey game because they put out a memo on dives and divers, and he’s right at the top of the list for taking dives.
“Yeah he dives and he knows it. He’ll put up a smokescreen that he doesn’t, but he does. It’s disgusting. I should be teaching and I’m not doing a good enough job teaching diving.”
Anaheim took advantage of the NHL’s worst penalty-killing unit and spent most of the extra period in the Sharks’ zone. The Ducks continued their record-setting week by picking up their 37th win and moving one point ahead of idle Minnesota into sixth place in the Western Conference.
The win also put Anaheim on the verge of clinching the third playoff berth in franchise history. A win on Monday over Columbus or a loss by Phoenix in Calgary will clinch secure their first postseason spot since 1999.
“I don’t think about it right now because I truly believe we are going to make the playoffs right now,” Ducks right wing Petr Sykora said. “The most important thing on our minds right now is to be sure that going into the playoffs we don’t get into any kind of bad habits.”
Anaheim also extended its club record with two more points and moved 11 games over .500 for the first time. It never had been more than five games over the break-even mark before this season.
Seconds after missing a chance to win it, Havelid took a cross-ice pass from Adam Oates. Using screens set by Kariya and Steve Rucchin, his blast from the point sailed over goaltender Evgeni Nabokov for his 10th goal.
“It was great,” Havelid said. “We didn’t play our best game today, but we find a way to win. We hang in there and find a way to win, and that’s important for us. We get our confidence and everything gets rolling.”
Havelid’s tally also gave goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere his team-record 32nd win. He made 22 saves and broke Guy Hebert’s 1999 mark.
“It feels pretty good,” Giguere said. “It reflects on how the team has been playing all year. Everybody’s been playing well in front of me and you do good individually when your team is playing good.”
Before Havelid’s second overtime tally of the season, Sykora nearly completed his first hat trick with Anaheim, but his shot from in close sailed wide.
The Ducks trailed, 2-0, midway through the second period before Sykora scored twice in a 3:35 span. He leads the team with 32 goals and has seven in as many games.
Kariya assisted on all three goals. At 13:16 of the second, his pass from behind the net deflected off Nabokov’s left leg and went to Sykora, who buried it.
Kariya picked up his 16th multi-point game of the season when Sykora got his stick on a lead pass in the neutral zone. Sykora had a clear breakaway, deked Nabokov and put the puck around the goalie.
Damphousse, who scored on the Sharks’ only shot of the third period in Friday’s win over Boston, staked his team to an early lead when his backhander spun over Giguere’s shoulder.
Marleau gave San Jose its first two-goal lead in two weeks midway through the second. After former Duck Teemu Selanne gathered a loose puck in the left corner, he dished to defenseman Mike Rathje along the left boards. Rathje fed Marleau at the right hashmarks and his wrist shot deflected off Giguere’s right pad.