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Late heroics propel Sharks after lethargic start
Timo Meier ties the game in last minute
2/11/18 - By Mike Lee -

Sometimes you deserve to win a game and the result falls short. The Sharks didn't deserve to win their game in Anaheim on Sunday night, but they skated away with two points after stunning the host Ducks with a tying goal late in regulation before stealing the win in the shootout. Timo Meier helped the Sharks earn a point with his tying goal with 54 seconds left in the 3rd period, before Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture buried their chances in the shootout to seal the victory for San Jose.

San Jose stumbled through the first 50 minutes of the game, falling behind to the more physical Ducks by a pair of goals. Somehow they stood up to the bullies in black and orange by knuckling up late in the contest.

San Jose fell behind early in the game when Ondrej Kase threw a puck at Martin Jones that should have been stopped, but a chink in the goaltender's armor allowed it to squeak past for Kase's 15th tally of the season.

Anaheim's approach was simple from that point forward. By hitting the Sharks at every opportunity, the tried to wear down San Jose or at least plant the seed that the game was going to be uncomfortable. The hit counter only registered 25 Ducks hits, but scorekeeper was likely conservative given that every Anaheim player finished their checks.

That approach seemed as if it would be effective given the Sharks inability to get the puck anywhere close to goaltender John Gibson. San Jose did finish the game with 39 shots, but a majority of those were of the long range variety that never challenged Gibson.

Barclay Goodrow tried to light a fire under his bench by lining up Ducks winger J.T. Brown with a hit behind the Ducks goal later in the 2nd period. That raised the ire of Brown, who immediately went after Goodrow. The move didn't result in an instigator penalty as it should have, but when Goodrow obliged by dropping the gloves, it at least sent a message that someone in a teal sweater wasn't going to role over.

Things looked bleak for San Jose 6:28 into the 3rd period when Cam Fowler lifted a shot past Jones for his 7th goal of the season after Kase put a shot in the vicinity of Jones. San Jose looked unmotivated throughout the game and Fowler's goal seemed to exacerbate that sentiment.

Logan Couture changed all of that when he scored his team leading 23rd goal of the season at the 10:58 mark. Couture stepped into a Brent Burns feed out of the left wing, ripping a shot that caught the upper right hand corner of the net. Jannik Hansen may have disrupted Gibson's focus on the shot as he slid toward the Ducks goal as he locked sticks with Hampus Lindholm.

Couture's goal left the Sharks with 9 minutes to draw even with Anaheim, but they couldn't get it done with five skaters on the ice. San Jose would pull Jones with 2 minutes left in regulation, but was forced to stick him back in goal after a stoppage. Jones would skate off a second time with a minute left, as the Sharks setup the dramatic sequence that would extend the game.

San Jose would score that equalizer when Couture ripped a shot from the right point, that Meier tipped home as he sat parked in front of the Anaheim net. Three Ducks defenders looked to the rafters in unison, all in disbelief that Meier was able to get a stick on the puck and redirect it past Gibson.

In the overtime period, both teams traded a trio of shots, but none was more hair raising than a Ducks chance that came right at the final buzzer as it appeared that the Sharks would control it after the extra 5-minute period expired.

In the shootout, Jones stopped Adam Henrique's shot before Pavelski put a double move on Gibson to deposit his chance. Richard Rakell appeared to beat Jones with a move to his right, but his shot clanked off the right post to setup Couture for the game winner.

Couture would take care of business with a shot wrist shot that helped San Jose steal two points.

Game Notes:

* Timo Meier's game tying goal in the 3rd period was his 6th goal in the last 13 games.

* There were nine games in the NHL on Sunday and all nine road teams, including the Sharks, won their game. San Jose appeared to be the one team that would buck the trend with their lethargic play, but their late heroics kept the stars aligned.

* Every Shark skater recorded a shot on goal with the exception of defensemen Brendan Dillon and Joakim Ryan. Joonas Donskoi and Mikkel Boedker recorded 5 shots each.


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1 2 3 OT SO T
SJ 0 0 2 0 1 3
ANA 1 0 1 0 0 2
1st period - 1, ANA, Kase 15 (Henrique, Ritchie), 2:39.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 2, ANA, Fowler 7 (Kase, Ritchie), 6:28. 3, SJ, Couture 23 (Hertl, Vlasic), 10:56. 4, SJ, Meier 14 (Couture, Burns), 19:06.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - ANA: Henrique (miss), Rakell (miss). SJ: Pavelski (goal), Couture (goal).
1st period - Burns, SJ (holding), 12:57; Labanc, SJ (hooking), 17:51.
2nd period - Montour, ANA (tripping), 4:06; Goodrow, SJ (fighting major), 15:11; Brown, ANA (fighting major), 15:11.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 27 25
ANA - Gibson 39 37
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 10 14 12 3 39
ANA 13 2 9 3 27
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 1
ANA 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Timo Meier
Ondrej Kase
John Gibson
Honda Center - 17,435
Referees: Sutherland, StPierre. Linesmen: Amell, Cameron.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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