Carolina Hurricanes

Sharks complete crazy comeback against 'Canes

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AP

Sharks complete crazy comeback against 'Canes

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE -- Brett Burns scored 22 seconds into overtime to lift the San Jose Sharks over the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 on Thursday night.

Barclay Goodrow scored a short-handed goal with just over eight minutes to play in regulation to tie it at 4, capping the Sharks' rally from a three-goal deficit.

Logan Couture scored on a power play three minutes earlier. Melker Karlsson also scored a short-handed goal and Joe Thornton had a power-play goal to move into 19th place on the career points list at 1,409.

Sebastian Aho scored twice within a five-minute span of the first period, Victor Rask also scored during that stretch and the Hurricanes took a 3-0 edge. Jeff Skinner also scored for the Hurricanes, who have lost three of four.

Martin Jones stopped 21 shots for the Sharks. Cam Ward had 28 saves for Carolina.

The Hurricanes scored three times within 5:13 in the first period, eliciting scattered boos from the crowd. Aho scored twice, sandwiched around Rask's score.

The Sharks got one back on Karlsson's goal before Skinner made it 4-1. Thornton's power-play goal brought the Sharks within 4-2 entering the final period.

NOTES: Sharks D Brendan Dillon served his one-game suspension for a slash against Washington. ... Sharks D Paul Martin was on the ice for the first time since Oct. 7 due to injury. ... D Tim Heed missed his fifth game with an upper-body injury. ... The Hurricanes have been outscored 11-3 in the second period in their past eight games. ... Thornton's power-play goal ended Carolina's streak of 24 straight penalty kills against the Sharks dating to 2012. ... Hurricanes C Derek Ryan appeared in his 100th NHL contest.

UP NEXT

Hurricanes: Play at the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, the third of six straight on the road.

Sharks: Host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

Sharks, Hurricanes separated by smallest of margins

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USATSI

Sharks, Hurricanes separated by smallest of margins

Few teams possess the puck more than the Sharks and Hurricanes, but plenty of teams score more.

According to Puck on Net, when adjusting for score and venue, San Jose and Carolina are in the top four of both major possession metrics (corsi and fenwick). They’re 11th and first in the league, respectively, in shots per game, and 29th and 30th in shots allowed.

The Hurricanes and Sharks are also first (54.43 percent) and 13th (50.96 percent) in five-on-five scoring chance percentage, per Natural Stat Trick. Despite this, neither team can finish: Carolina (7.53 percent) is 30th and San Jose is 29th (7.74 percent) in all situations, according to Corsica Hockey.

Unsurprisingly, both teams are in the bottom five of goals for per game this season. Yet, San Jose’s holding on to the last wild card spot in the Western Conference, with at least a game in hand on the three teams chasing them (Calgary, Anaheim, Minnesota), and on the two teams they’re chasing in the Pacific (Vegas, Vancouver).

Carolina, on the other hand, is six points out of the last wild card spot in the East, albeit with three games in hand. Goaltending, particularly on the penalty kill, has been the difference.

Across all situations, the Hurricanes have the league’s 23rd-best save percentage (.900), while the Sharks are second-best (.922). That gap is driven by a shorthanded save percentage disparity, as only half a percentage point separates San Jose (.925) and Carolina (.920) at even strength, per Corsica.

The Sharks have the league’s second-best penalty kill save percentage (.917), while the Hurricanes have the third-worst (.826). If Carolina had gotten San Jose’s shorthanded goaltending this season, they’d have allowed about seven fewer goals.

Excluding shootouts, the Hurricanes’ goal-differential is minus-seven.

The five-on-five difference, assuming they got the same goaltending as the Sharks, is approximately three goals. That’s on a much larger sample size (518 more shots) than the penalty kill.

That shorthanded difference can’t entirely be explained by each team’s respective defense. San Jose allows nearly five fewer scoring chances per 60 minutes on the penalty kill than Carolina, but the Hurricanes allow far fewer shots (50.4 shots against/60) than the Sharks do (59.7).

Taken as a whole, this demonstrates that the margins truly matter for teams struggling to score. The Sharks have gotten better goaltending on the penalty kill, if not necessarily a better defensive performance than the Hurricanes, and find themselves on the right side of the playoff bubble.

If they start to falter shorthanded, however, it’s easy to envision them in the same position as Carolina: on the outside looking in.

NHL Gameday: Offense-starved Sharks look for boost from rookie vs 'Canes

NHL Gameday: Offense-starved Sharks look for boost from rookie vs 'Canes

Programming note – Sharks-Hurricanes coverage starts today at 7:00 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California

WHERE THEY STAND

Sharks: 15-10-1, 31 points, 4th Pacific Division
Hurricanes: 11-10-6, 28 points, 7th Metropolitan Division

PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES

***Aaron Dell will start in net tonight in the second of a back-to-back. On Nov. 15 in Carolina, Dell made 32 saves but got no goal support in a 1-0 Hurricanes win over San Jose.

Coach Pete DeBoer believes that Dell's previous game against the Hurricanes should give him confidence. The backup is 2-1-0 with a 1.93 goals-against average and .931 save percentage in four games this season.

“I think for all young players coming into the league, you always want that reinforcement that, hey, I can do this. He’s done it. He’s played well when he’s gone in, and the guys are confident in him.”

***The Sharks are concluding a stretch tonight of eight games out of 10 in their own building, where they are 9-4-0 on the season. A four-game road trip begins on Tuesday in Toronto. Carolina is wrapping up a three-game trip through California, losing to the Ducks in a shootout on Wednesday, 6-5, and beating the Kings on Thursday, 3-1.

For San Jose, they'll have to avoid that proverbial trap game after a disappointing loss to a rival on Friday night, and with their next roadie around the corner.

"I think our group understands," DeBoer said. "But, at the same time these are tough games to play. Last night is an emotional loss, and when you lose a game like that you’re emotionally drained. To play a team 24 hours later that’s sitting waiting for you in your building that plays as hard as Carolina does isn’t easy."

"We’ve lost two in a row. I would expect that we’ll be a desperate team here tonight.”

***Carolina brings the NHL’s best penalty kill into the game, allowing just six goals on 75 chances (92.0 percent). San Jose has one power play goal in six of its last nine games (6-for-26, 23.0 percent), not including Brent Burns’ score on Friday, which came just one second after a power play had expired.

***San Jose has two or fewer goals in nine of its last 12 games, going 6-5-1 over that span. Of their 27 goals during that time, nearly half of them have come from Logan Couture (7g) and Burns (6g).

Burns brings a three-game goal streak into tonight’s game.

KEEP AN EYE ON...

Sharks: Kevin Labanc. The rookie forward, who turns 21 on Monday, scored against the Ducks on Friday for his third in 14 games. All three of Labanc’s goals have either tied the game or put San Jose ahead. The Sharks are desperately looking for players other than their stars to put the puck in the net, and Labanc seems to be gaining confidence after a brief stint in the AHL last weekend. 

Hurricanes: Teuvo Teravainen. Acquired from Chicago in the offseason, the 22-year-old center recorded his first career multi-goal game with Carolina on Wednesday in Anaheim. The18th overall pick in the 2012 draft, and a Finland native, has seven goals and 12 points in 27 games.

PROBABLE LINES

Sharks
Patrick Marleau – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Kevin Labanc – Logan Couture – Joel Ward
Mikkel Boedker – Chris Tierney – Joonas Donskoi
Matt Nieto – Tommy Wingels – Melker Karlsson

Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – Dylan DeMelo

Aaron Dell (starter)
Martin Jones

Hurricanes
Jeff Skinner – Victor Rask – Phil DiGiuseppe
Sebastian Aho – Teuvo Teravainen – Lee Stempniak
Brock McGinn – Derek Ryan – Andrej Nestrasil
Joakim Nordstrom – Jay McClement – Viktor Stalberg

Ron Hainsey – Justin Faulk
Jaccob Slavin – Brett Pesce
Noah Hanifin – Matt Tennyson

Cam Ward
Eddie Lack

INJURIES/SCRATCHES

Sharks: David Schlemko (right ankle) is questionable. Tomas Hertl (right knee sprain) is out.

Hurricanes: Elias Lindholm (lower body) is day-to-day. Bryan Bickell (MS), Jordan Staal (concussion) are out.

QUOTEABLE

“If we keep playing our game, we feel confident. We’re not giving up a whole lot. Moments in the season like this you’ve got to push through.” – Joe Pavelski, after the Sharks’ 3-2 loss in Anaheim on Friday