After three days off for Christmas and the odd situation of flying to Southern California on the morning of the game, the Sharks managed to get past Anaheim in overtime on Tuesday at Honda Center, 3-2.
On the winning goal, Joe Pavelski fed Brent Burns steaming ahead towards the net with a pass through defenseman Cam Fowler’s legs. Burns deked to his backhand before sliding through his 14th goal of the season at 2:46 of the extra session.
Paul Martin and Melker Karlsson also scored for San Jose, and Martin Jones made 34 saves as the Sharks (22-12–1, 45 points) increased their lead on first place in the Pacific Division to three points despite not putting forth their best effort.
The Sharks have won seven of their last eight, while Anaheim is 2-4-1 in its last seven.
Martin got the only goal of the first period. After Logan Couture was helped into Gibson courtesy of Nick Ritchie, the puck squirted out to Martin, who had the entire net starting back at him. He made no mistake and fired home his third goal of the season – all in the last eight games – to put the Sharks ahead.
Anaheim responded in the second, when Ondrej Kase got to the front of the net and jammed through a loose puck on his backhand at 8:22, with all kinds of havoc happening around Martin Jones.
Melker Karlsson gave the Sharks the lead back later in the middle frame. On an innocent looking rush, Joel Ward chipped the puck towards a charging Karlsson, and the forward got a small piece of the puck with the shaft of his stick. It took an odd bounce and somehow skipped past goalie John Gibson at 14:18 of the second period.
Anaheim forced overtime thanks to Jacob Silfverberg’s redirection at 13:35 of the third period. Just before that goal, the Sharks failed on their fourth power play of the evening.
The Sharks were useless with a man advantage, going 0-for-4 over eight minutes, generating just four shots and giving up several good chances to the shorthanded Ducks.
Anaheim had the territorial advantage for most of the evening, out attempting San Jose 71-48.
San Jose improved to 4-1 in overtime, while the Ducks are 0-6.
The Sharks and Ducks meet for the fifth and final time this season on March 18 in San Jose. They have split the first four.
San Jose is just 1-for-15 on the power play over the last four games.
On the penalty kill, though, the Sharks have killed off all 10 opponent power plays over the same span. The Ducks had just one advantage in the second period on a Kevin Labanc slash, and did not score.
Jones improved to 19-11-1 on the season, making his best saves early as the Sharks were outshot 14-6 in the first period.
Gibson dropped to 11-10-5, losing to the Sharks in regulation for the first time in his career (2-1-1). He allowed three goals on 25 shots.
The Sharks iced their same lineup on Tuesday as they did on Friday against Edmonton, as David Schlemko and Tommy Wingels remained healthy scratches.
Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen missed the game with an illness.
The Sharks will host the Flyers for the first of two meetings between the clubs on Friday. Following that, San Jose has a home-and-home with the Kings, including a New Year’s Eve matchup at Staples Center.