Instant Replay: Marleau's late goal gives Sharks win over Isles

Instant Replay: Marleau's late goal gives Sharks win over Isles


SAN JOSE – The Sharks surrendered a late tying goal, but scored the game-winner in the final minute of regulation in a 3-2 win over the Islanders on Friday afternoon.

Trailing 2-1, the Islanders pulled goalie Thomas Greiss for an extra attacker, and tied it when Nick Leddy powered in a one-timer from John Tavares at 19:02.

The Sharks responded, though, when Patrick Marleau redirected in a Brent Burns slap shot from the point with just 22 seconds to go.

Aaron Dell made 26 saves in net as San Jose improved to 3-0 on its five-game homestand, at 7-2 at SAP Center overall.

The Sharks scored a pair of goals in quick succession in the second period to take a 2-1 lead to the dressing room after 40 minutes.

Joe Pavelski’s seventh goal tied it at 1-1. A beautiful pass out of his own zone by Matt Nieto to Chris Tierney resulted in a two-on-one rush, and Tierney dished across to Pavelski in the right circle. The captain went high over Thomas Greiss at 5:09.

Just 34 seconds later, a center ice slap shot by Burns deflected off of Calvin de Haan’s stick and fluttered through Greiss at 5:43.

The Sharks were slow out of the gate, and the Islanders took advantage. On a power play, Anders Lee redirected a point shot by Josh Bailey at 3:59 of the first period to open the scoring.

San Jose came on after that, though, and controlled play for most of the remaining 15 minutes. Joe Thornton was awarded a penalty shot at 13:04, but fired high.

Dell was tested late in the second period and in the third. He was fortunate midway through regulation after Burns turned it over and Tavares missed an empty net, and in the first minute of the third, stopped Tavares cutting to the net alone with the puck.

Sharks forward Tommy Wingels left the game in the first period and did not return.

New York remains in last place in the Metropolitan Division, and is just 1-6-1 on the road.

The Sharks swept the two-game season series with New York, and are 8-2-1 against the Islanders on home ice in the last 11.

Special teams

There were just two minor penalties in the game, not including Johnny Boychuk hooking Thornton, resulting in the penalty shot.

The Islanders capitalized on their only opportunity, while San Jose was officially 0-for-1.

The Sharks are 0-for-2 in penalty shots this season, including a Joonas Donskoi miss on Nov. 12 in Tampa Bay.

In goal

Dell was making just his third start of the season and of his career. Two of those have come against the Islanders, including a 21-save performance on Oct. 18 in Brooklyn in his NHL debut, a 3-2 Sharks win.

Greiss, who spent parts of four seasons in San Jose, took the loss with 25 saves. He’s 1-1 in his career against the Sharks.


David Schlemko got back in the lineup after an illness kept him out on Wednesday. Dylan DeMelo was scratched, while Melker Karlsson missed his sixth in a row with a left foot injury.

Barclay Goodrow was recalled early in the day, took warmups, but was promptly reassigned back to the Barracuda.

Up next

The Sharks will play Anaheim for the second time this season on Saturday. They beat the Ducks at home on Oct. 25, 2-1, winning on Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s overtime goal.

The homestand concludes on Tuesday against Arizona.

Couture scores in OT, helps Sharks make up ground on Golden Knights

Couture scores in OT, helps Sharks make up ground on Golden Knights


SAN JOSE -- Seconds after almost costing the San Jose Sharks a game with a turnover, Logan Couture ended it with his backhand.

Couture scored 39 seconds into overtime after getting bailed out by goalie Martin Jones and the San Jose Sharks won their season-high sixth straight game, 2-1 over the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night.

"I was able to make a move on their guy," Couture said. "(Marc-Edouard Vlasic) did a good job of driving their backchecker back and I was able to go far side."

Couture's goal came at the end of an opening shift of the overtime that started with him losing the puck in his own zone, giving Jonathan Marchessault a chance alone in front. Jones got enough of the shot to stop it, and then Vlasic sent the puck ahead to Couture for the winning goal that moved San Jose within seven points of first-place Vegas with eight games remaining in the regular season.

Brent Burns also scored and Jones made 24 saves to help the Sharks open a four-point lead over third-place Los Angeles in the Pacific Division with a game in hand as the Sharks close in on home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

"For us to get a win tonight was important," captain Joe Pavelski said. "Plus, just plant that seed. If we stay hot, you never know, we might be able to catch them and get home ice. We took care of business tonight and we'll try to keep playing well."

Tomas Tatar scored the lone goal for the Golden Knights, who were kept in the game by a sterling performance by goalie Malcolm Subban. He stopped 42 shots but it wasn't enough for Vegas to come up with the win, although he helped earn a point that gave the expansion team 100 this season.

"It's impressive," forward James Neal said. "It's a great season for our guys. Guys came together real quick. A great job so far but we're not done yet."

The Golden Knights struck first on a pretty passing play early in the first period that ended when Marchessault found Tatar cutting through the slot ahead of Justin Braun. Tatar skated past Jones and backhanded the puck into the open net.

Vegas has been dominant when getting off to a lead, posting an NHL-best 31-5-1 record when scoring first heading into this game. But the Sharks carried the play in the second period, outshooting the Golden Knights 18-4 and getting the equalizer on a blast by Burns from the point after another strong shift by San Jose's fourth line.

"We want to be playing really good hockey this time of year and heading into the playoffs. I think that's the goal," coach Peter DeBoer said. "Whether we would have won tonight or lost, I like how we played for most of the game, so that's what I'm concentrating on."

Vegas managed to keep it tied despite the lopsided shot totals, killing off a four-minute penalty to Colin Miller and another late power play that started late in the second.

That penalty carried over until the third period and the Sharks got 25 seconds of a two-man advantage after Brayden McNabb was called for throwing his stick but still couldn't get anything past Subban.

The Golden Knights squandered a power-play chance later in the period when Miller was called for cross checking with the man advantage. That nearly led to a power-play goal for San Jose but Subban appeared to get a piece of a shot from in close to Joe Pavelski to keep the game tied at 1.

"He's the main reason we got the point," coach Gerard Gallant said. "He looked comfortable."

NOTES: Vegas G Marc-Andre Fleury didn't make the trip to San Jose with an undisclosed injury but is expected to join the team for Saturday's game in Colorado. ... Burns became the 15th player to play 500 career games with the Sharks.

Golden Knights: Visit Colorado on Saturday.

Sharks: Host Calgary on Saturday.


How the Sharks can catch the Golden Knights and win the Pacific


How the Sharks can catch the Golden Knights and win the Pacific

About a month ago, the Sharks appeared locked into the Pacific Division's second, third, fourth, or fifth spot. At the end of trade deadline day, they were 12 points back of the division-leading Vegas Golden Knights, and only two points up on the fifth place Calgary Flames.

24 days later, thanks to an 8-2-0 record over the last 10 games (second-best in the NHL), San Jose's still in second place. Now though, those margins are eight points and 11 points, respectively. 

The latter's pretty much locked the Sharks into a playoff spot, while the former's created a path for a late run at the Pacific Division crown. Beginning Thursday night, they will play the Golden Knights twice over both team's final nine games. 

What does the path look like to the Sharks' first division title since 2011? To start, they'll have to beat the Golden Knights twice in regulation to even have a shot. 

That is the foundation of any run at the Pacific's top spot. If the Sharks win both remaining games in regulation, they'll trail the Golden Knights by four points, leaving aside results against other teams for now.

They have to win in regulation, however. A win in overtime or the shootout on Thursday would only cut the gap to seven, and a subsequent win in regulation would leave it at five. Two losses, in any situation, would create a gap of 10-12 points, which would be nearly impossible to overcome this late in the season. 

One point doesn't seem like a lot, but this late in the season, it makes a world of difference. A five-point gap means they'll need to earn six more than the Golden Knights in those other seven games, while a four-point gap means they'll need to earn five in order to pass them. 

The simplest way to five extra points, is for the Sharks to have a record that's two wins and an overtime loss better (2-0-1) than the Golden Knights in the seven games where they don't play each other. That's impossible if Vegas earns at least 10 points in those seven games, so a 5-2-0 or 4-1-2 record would ensure a division banner raising in Sin City.

Taken all together, then, the Golden Knights' 'magic number' is 10 points. Even if the Sharks win on Thursday, their path to a Pacific title remains difficult, if not improbable. 

If a season with an expansion team leading their division has taught us anything, though -- it's that improbable is not impossible.