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Sharks top Pacific-leading Knights behind Couture OT goal

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In a potential playoff preview, the Sharks proved dominant against the Vegas Golden Knights on the strength of a Logan Couture goal 39 seconds into overtime Thursday at SAP Center.

The 2-1 victory extends the Sharks’ win streak to six pulling them within six point of the Pacific leading Golden Knights (47-21-6).

Couture said about the overtime goal:

“I thought we were going to have a clear-cut 2-on-1, but they made a change was too many men by 50 feet. … I saw a 2-on-2, was able to make a move on the guy … and was able to go far side.”

Vegas set the tone early as Tomas Tatar netted the game’s first goal just over three-and-a-half minutes into the first period. Tatar received a pass from Jon Marchessault as he cut across the slot and beat Sharks keeper Martin Jones with a backhand off his left pad.

Brent Burns snapped a personal 15-game scoreless streak, getting San Jose (42-23-9) on the board, just three-and-a-half minutes into the second period when Paul Martin found him on the other side of the point who sent a long wrister over the top of Vegas’ backup net-minder Malcolm Subban.

Burns didn’t acknowledge his goal responding, “What’s that?” when asked about it, and expressed strong goaltending and defense contributed to the victory:

“I think we concentrate on the [defensive] side most of the time. When we do that I think we create a lot of offense and turnovers. … I think that is our game. I don’t think the high scoring is really what we’re aiming to do, I think it just happens off of good structure.”

Although the Sharks outshot Vegas 18-4 in the second, they were unable to gain capture the lead, even despite two power play chances including a double-minor, high-sticking penalty by Golden Knights’ Colin Miller.

The Sharks made Subban work all night forcing the young net-minder to make a career-high 42 saves — Including 13 on Sharks’ power play.

Head coach Pete DeBoer said about his team as they prepare for the playoffs:

“We want to be playing really good hockey this time of year and heading into the playoffs. I think that’s the goal. … That’s what I’m concentrating on.”

Up Next

The Sharks will host the Calgary Flames (35-30-10) Saturday in an important match as the home team holds a mere three-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings (40-27-7) for second place in the Pacific Division. With six of their last eight games coming against the forceful Central Division, San Jose will have to keep playing hot hockey.

Notes

The Golden Knights were minus veteran goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury after he took a puck to the mask and was removed after the first period in Tuesday’s 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. As the NHL’s third-ranked goaltender, Fleury has posted a 27-11-3 record with a 2.18 goals against average and .930 save percentage.

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