Sharks' Labanc copied Donato on game-winning goal vs. Ducks

Kevin Labanc scores in shootout

Kevin Labanc put an end to the Sharks' first game in eight days with a shootout goal to beat John Gibson and the Anaheim Ducks 5-4 on Friday night.

Labanc's goal in the third round of the shootout capped off a rollercoaster game in which the Sharks (4-5-0) gave up three goals to the Ducks (4-5-3) in the second period and then answered back with three goals of their own in the third.

After the win, Labanc credited first-year Shark Ryan Donato for helping him score the game-winning marker.

"I just kind of copied [Ryan Donato], just came in from the other way and I saw that work," Labanc told NBC Sports California's Randy Hahn and Bret Hedican. "Got him out of position a little bit and faked him and went backhand and shot it over him, so it was a big win for us, though, on this road trip."

The Sharks last played on Jan. 28 when they lost to the Colorado Avalanche. Then, they had two games against the Vegas Golden Knights postponed due to COVID-19 protocols. So the team was able to return to the Bay Area for the first time in over a month before heading down to Southern California for two games against the Ducks and two more against the Los Angeles Kings.

After taking a 1-0 lead into the second period, Sharks goalie Martin Jones allowed three Ducks goals to Adam Henrique, Troy Terry and Max Comtois.


The Sharks rebounded in the third period and took the lead on three consecutive goals from Logan Couture, Evander Kane and Brent Burns. Comtois tied the game 4-4 at 11:33 in the third.

Despite giving up two leads Friday night, Labanc liked how the Sharks responded.

"We just kind of took a couple bad penalties and we kind of shifted away from our gameplan," Labanc told Hahn and Hedican. "But in the third period, everybody came out and that was a good comeback victory for us. You're going to have games like that and you've gotta find a way. And we found a way to get two points here."

RELATED: Road trip ideal time for Sharks to get back on track

The Sharks and Ducks will tussle again Saturday night, and coach Bob Boughner said prior to Friday's game that Devan Dubnyk will start in goal.

If he can play well, the Sharks could head to LA with a .500 record.