SAN JOSE – Despite blowing a two-goal lead, the Sharks found a way to tie their game with the Rangers late and win it in overtime, 5-4, to end their losing streak at six games on Tuesday night at SAP Center.
After New York had turned a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead, Chris Tierney knotted the score with just 2:15 left in regulation. Mikkel Boedker’s shot from high in the zone rattled around the slot, and Tierney was there to flip it home for his second of the night.
Brent Burns ended a 16-game goal drought with a power play goal at 3:10 in overtime, overpowering Henrik Lundqvist with a slap shot.
After Tierney had given San Jose a 3-1 lead earlier in the second period the Sharks kept up the pressure, recording seven of the next eight shots. But Patrick Marleau’s interference penalty on Jimmy Vesey gave New York a late power play and turned the game in their favor.
Derek Stepan – who was stopped on a partial breakaway midway through the first period – brought the Rangers back to within 3-2. Mats Zuccarello hummed a seam pass through Justin Braun to Stepan, who had an open net to deposit his 16th of the season in the final minutes of the second period.
In the third, Jesper Fast redirected a Brady Skjei floater at 1:24, tying the game at 3-3. A Burns tripping minor during four-on-four play offered a power play to the Rangers, and they capitalized on a J.T. Miller one-timer at 4:44, his second of the night.
The Sharks remain two points back of Anaheim for first place in the Pacific Division, and are tied with Edmonton for second.
For the first time in eight games the Sharks struck first. A newly configured third line of Tomas Hertl, Boedker and Jannik Hansen scored on its first shift together, as Hansen chopped in a loose puck at 1:44. Boedker and Hertl both got assists, ending pointless streaks of 10 games and 12 games, respectively.
Hansen’s first goal as a Shark also gave the team its first lead in more than two weeks, as it never led throughout its six-game regulation losing streak.
The Rangers tied it at 13:30 of the first on a goal by Miller, who took the puck from Paul Martin along the wall and lifted a perfectly placed wrist shot over Martin Jones’ near shoulder.
Melker Karlsson, returning from an eight-game absence, put the Sharks ahead 2-1 late in the first period with a shorthanded score. He whizzed a wrist shot past countryman Lundqvist at 18:01 while on a two-on-one with Tierney.
Tierney increased the lead to 3-1 in the middle frame, taking a shot from the slot and following up his own rebound at 11:38. It was just his second goal in the last 22 games, and eighth of the year.
The Rangers won the only other game of the season series back on Oct. 17 at Madison Square Garden, 7-4. The Sharks finished the season with a 21-7-4 mark against Eastern Conference clubs.
The Sharks were without Logan Couture, who is out indefinitely with a facial injury.
Two of New York’s goals came on the power play, on three opportunities. The Sharks are 11-for-15 on the PK in the last six games.
San Jose had just one power play before overtime, failing to score. Karlsson’s marker was his second shorthanded score of the season, and the Sharks’ seventh as a team.
After allowing a career high seven goals-against on Saturday in Nashville, Jones made 24 saves on 28 shots.
Lundqvist suffered the loss with 30 saves on 35 shots.
Micheal Haley served a one-game suspension for punching Nashville’s Calle Jarnkrok on Saturday.
Tierney (upper body) and Marc-Edouard Vlasic (flu) both returned after missing Saturday’s game with the Predators. Marcus Sorensen came out of the lineup for Kevin Labanc, who was recalled on Tuesday morning and skated on the top line.
New York’s Skjei had three assists.
The Sharks have six games remaining in the regular season – two each against Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.
A three-game road trip against each of those division rivals begins on Thursday with the Oilers, as the clubs battle for home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, and continues on Friday against the Flames and Sunday versus the Canucks.