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Improbable comeback
Sharks overcome 3-1 deficit to beat Carolina in OT
12/7/17 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks gave each of the 16,947 in attendance plenty of reasons to walk out on their game with the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night at SAP Center. After a miserable 1st period, the Sharks were dead on arrival. Then a Christmas miracle happened. Trailing 4-1 with a period and change to play, San Jose chipped away at the Hurricanes lead, and tied it on an improbable short handed goal. Brent Burns, a guy that looks like Jesus, literally walked on (frozen) water in the overtime period by scoring the game winner to cap the most improbable of wins.

That overtime winner came 22 seconds into the extra frame, seemingly a quick and sudden death for the Hurricanes who had to be kicking themselves for blowing a 3 goal lead.

The SAP Center ice turned electric for a moment, exploding when Burns slipped the puck between goaltender Cam Ward's pads. Burns pinched while Joe Pavelski maneuvered around a defender inside the blueline, taking a pass after he beat Sebastian Aho for inside position on the Carolina net. Burns may have figured that he needed to act quickly, save the Sharks luck finally run out.

They used plenty of it in the 3rd period, when then scored a pair of goals.

That luck was necessary given the atrocious start to the game. Carolina went on a scoring spree to open the game. Aho opened the goal-fest with his 6th tally of the season 9:01 into the game. The Hurricanes forward helped with the forecheck behind the Sharks net, and then took a Noah Hanifin pass from the slot to the right of the Sharks goal. Martin Jones had to come out of his net to take away Hanifin's shooting angle, but by doing so, he allowed Aho to easily stuff Hanifin's feed into a wide open goal.

Victor Rask buried an Elias Lindholm pass from the left side after the Sharks botched a clearing attempt from their own end. Marc-Edouard Vlasic tried to push the puck out of the right corner, but he bounced it off linemate Justin Braun's skate, deflecting it right to Lindholm. Rask was simply a bystander on the right side, but when Lindholm whipped a pass through the slot to him, he obliged by sweeping the puck past Jones for the 2-0 lead.

Aho made it 3-0 less than 3 minutes later, taking a Teuvo Teravainen pass as he filled the slot, and lifted puck past Jones to stun the Sharks.

San Jose went into odd goal scoring mode the rest of the night. None of the Sharks goals would be scored with 10 skaters on the ice.

With Dylan DeMelo in the box for throwing his stick of all things, the Sharks found themselves on a 2-on-1 break after a Hurricanes defenseman picked the wrong time to make a line change. Chris Tierney raced up the right wing, holding the puck as long as he could before whipping a pass to the left side where Melker Karlsson whipped a shot past Ward to cut the Carolina lead to 3-1.

Jeff Skinner pushed the Hurricanes lead back to three goals by punching home a shot from the doorstep after the Sharks failed to clear numerous chances around their own goal. Justin Williams setup the goal with a scoring chance of his own from the left side.

The magical goal ferry finally decided to show up for San Jose with just over 2 minutes left in the period. James Van Riemsdyk helped matters by taking a holding the stick penalty to setup one of three Shark power plays.

Joe Thornton snapped a shot from the top of the left circle with Tomas Hertl parked in front of Ward, catching the twine just inside the right post. Ward had no opportunity to react to the shot with Hertl blocking his line of sight.

San Jose took advantage of a Justin Faulk interference penalty 8:18 into the 3rd period. Logan Couture one-timed a Brent Burns feed from the right dot, putting the puck just over Ward's left shoulder, but low enough to catch the top of the goal.

The energy in the building began to shift on Couture's goal, because it gave the Sharks life. A Burns interference penalty would not affect that energy.

Playing down a skater, the Sharks forced a turnover in their own zone. Jannik Hansen led a break up the left wing, then flipped the puck forward after Barclay Goodrow inexplicably skated past two Carolina defenders. Goodrow gathered Hansen's pass before racing in on net and slipping a shot past Ward to tie the game.

The Sharks recharged their batteries before heading to the overtime where Burns worked his magic.

Game Notes:

* Paul Martin made his return to the Sharks lineup after missing the last 24 games of the season. Martin was one of two Sharks who would not record a shot on goal. Martin finished the game with a -2 plus/minus.

* Brendan Dillon served his one game suspension for his slash on Washington Capital defenseman Madison Bowey on Monday night.

* The Sharks continue to struggle to sellout midweek games. The announced attendance was only 16,947.





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Scoring
1 2 3 OT T
CAR 3 1 0 0 4
SJ 0 2 2 1 5
1st period - 1, CAR, Aho 6 (Hanifin, Ryan), 9:01. 2, CAR, Rask 5 (Lindholm), 11:37. 3, CAR, Aho 7 (Teravainen, Van Riemsdyk), 14:14.
2nd period - 4, SJ, Karlsson 4 (Tierney), 10:21, (sh). 5, CAR, Skinner 11 (Williams, Staal), 14:44. 6, SJ, Thornton 5 (DeMelo, Hertl), 17:51, (pp).
3rd period - 7, SJ, Couture 14 (Burns, Thornton), 8:31, (pp). 8, SJ, Goodrow 2 (Hansen, Ryan), 11:56, (sh).
Overtime - 9, SJ, Burns 2 (Pavelski, Thornton), 0:22.
Penalties
1st period - None.
2nd period - Braun, SJ (slashing), 3:40; Williams, CAR (tripping), 4:50; DeMelo, SJ (throwing stick), 8:53; Van Riemsdyk, CAR (holding the stick), 16:10..
3rd period - Faulk, CAR (interference), 8:18; Burns, SJ (interference), 10:33.
Overtime - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
CAR - Ward 33 28
SJ - Jones 25 21
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
CAR 6 13 6 0 25
SJ 5 11 16 1 33
Power Play Conversion
CAR 0 of 3
SJ 2 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Brent Burns
Joe Thornton
Sebastian Aho
Attendance
SAP Center - 16,947
Officials
Referees: O'Rourke, Rank. Linesmen: Smith, Cameron.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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