They slammed, threw and broke their sticks. Said things that wouldn't make their mothers proud. Even threw a few punches.
The Ducks were whistled for 10 penalties, taking umbrage with many of the calls during the game, then later blaming themselves for losing control.
"These are the kinds of games you're going to get … [in the playoffs]. If you get rattled because the calls are going against you, we're going to be in trouble," Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said of his team, which closed 2014 with the most points in the NHL.
The Ducks (24-9-6) had a tying goal waved off in the second period and saw two third-period power plays shortened by their own penalties, but their most grating sequence came at the end of the second.
Right wing Corey Perry, playing in his first game since suffering a sprained knee Dec. 5, was hit by San Jose's Tommy Wingels after launching a buzzer-beating long shot, nearly falling into the Sharks' bench.
"Took matters into my own hands," Perry said, retaliating with a left-handed blow to Wingels' helmet, with Ducks center Ryan Kesler also getting involved.
All three were handed penalties by referee Steve Kozari.
That irked Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, who heatedly argued against the two Ducks penalties.
"[Kozari] just explained his call, that he could've kicked [Kesler] out of the game and didn't," said Getzlaf, who tossed his stick to an empty bench after objecting, drawing an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty and giving the Sharks a 5-on-3 opportunity to start the third period.
"I was taking out my own frustration," Getzlaf said. "I accept full responsibility for my stupidity. That won't happen again from my teammates and me. … I don't blame [the officials] for my antics."
Yet, with Perry, Kesler and Getzlaf squeezed into the penalty box, pressing on the exit door, the Sharks (20-13-5) made it 2-0 with one second left in the two-man advantage.
San Jose center Joe Pavelski fired a shot that beat Andersen to his right. Pavelski also scored 4 minutes, 33 seconds into the game.
"We talked about it between periods, 'If we can get through this, the crowd will get into it, down one shot, we've done this many times before … ,' " Boudreau said.
It was a New Year's Eve of not-meant-to-be.
The Ducks took three penalties in the first period and were out-shot 14-3. Ducks forward Devante Smith-Pelly was called for incidental contact, negating an Emerson Etem goal with 4:53 remaining in the second.
Then, Anaheim's Hampus Lindholm and Matt Beleskey were called for interference penalties that washed away power plays.
The 10th penalty came when Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen snapped over a no-call when hacked on the wrist by a San Jose stick, breaking his own stick in half by slamming it onto the ice in front of referee Dave Lewis.
"It's like a policeman. You get mad at a cop for pulling you over, you can yell at him all you want. He's got the last laugh," Boudreau said. "It better not happen anymore in the future."