Alexander Barabanov doesn't get a lot a press
playing for the San Jose Sharks, but he's scored 3 goals in his last 7 games,
including the unlikely game winner against the red hot Carolina Hurricanes at
SAP Center on Monday night. The Hurricanes entered play having lost only twice
in their first 16 games, including wins over Vegas, Anaheim and Los Angeles
last week. Barabanov was the story of the night after almost getting knocked
out of the game. He potted a goal in overtime to get San Jose back into the win
column for the first time in almost a week.
The young Sharks forward
pushed a shot past Carolina goaltender Antti Raanta at 1:42 of the overtime
right after a Brett Pesce tripping penalty expired. Barabanov was parked on the
left post, and when Tomas Hertl tried jamming a shot past Raanta from the off
post, but was denied. Hertl regained control of the puck and slid a pass under
defenseman Ian Cole's arm over to the Russian who lifted it home to cap the 2-1
The Sharks were forced to shorten their bench midway through the
1st period when Nino Niederreiter caught Barabanov with a shoulder to the
winger's head as both chased a puck down in the Hurricanes zone. San Jose
played short on Saturday when Jonathan Dahlen was injured. Barabanov skated to
the Sharks bench but was ordered to the locker room by NHL spotters, likely to
undergo a concussion test.
Barabanov would return to the start the 2nd
period, but he mentioned the hit in a post game interview.
"I was a
little bit confused, but I returned to the game, " said the young Russian. "It
was not easy, but I'm happy with the win." Barabanov credited Hertl with the
pass, who made the feed at the perfect moment. Cole was laid out between Hertl
and the net, but he chose to raise his outstretched arm just as the pass was
initiated. It was like the parting of the red sea, and it allowed the puck to
find Barabanov for the game winner.
The Hurricanes opened the game's
scoring when Tony DeAngelo fired a shot from the high slot that eluded
goaltender James Reimer76 seconds into the 2nd period. The Hurricanes worked
the puck off the left wing boards, where three Shark defenders were pulled,
opening up a lane for DeAngelo who tucked his blast just inside the left post.
The Sharks missed on a trio of chances 9 minutes into the middle
period when Timo Meier, Rudolfs Balcers and Erik Karlsson missed on chances in
tight on Hurricanes goaltender Antti Raanta.
San Jose would finally break their goal scoring
drought, which last more than six consecutive periods, when Kevin Labanc pumped
a shot from the right dot that beat Hurricanes goaltender Antti Raanta 3:54
into the 3rd period. Jasper Weatherby fought to dig the puck out of the right
corner, sliding a pass from the end boards that landed right on Labanc's stick.
The Sharks forward placed his shot between Raanta's pads for his 3rd goal of
The Sharks kept the pressure on Carolina immediately
following Labanc's goal, but Raanta denied them the go-ahead goal.
penalty for too many men put the Hurricanes back on the power play at 7:46 of
the period, but the Sharks penalty kill kept the game tied. San did not receive
any support from referees Kyle Rehman and Trevor Hansen until Pesce was
whistled for tripping with 21.8 seconds left in regulation.
Karlsson took exception to a missed interference call two minutes earlier,
slamming his stick against the glass in frustration. Pesce's penalty would make
up for it. Game Notes:
* Scott Reedy made his NHL debut
in the game, becoming the 7th Shark to do so this season. Reedy logged 10:56 of
ice time on 15 shifts, and was credited with 2 blocked shots. He wore
* From statistician Darren Stephens, Alexander Barabanov becomes
the 3rd Russian-born Sharks player to score an overtime goal, joining Sergei
Makarov (February 3, 1994 at Philadelphia) and Viktor Kozlov (October 6, 1996
at Los Angeles).
* Kevin Labanc went 15 games between goals, although
five of those games came during his COVID induced outage. He also missed
Saturday's game due to suspension for slew-footing St Louis Blues forward Tyler
Bozak last week.
* The assist on the game winner was Tomas Hertl's
12th point of the season. He has recorded a point in ten games this season.
* Nick Bonino still hasn't recorded a point for the Sharks this
season, but he is contributing in other areas. The veteran forward skated on
both penalty kills, and was 11-for-15 (73%) in the faceoff circle.
Timo Meier led all skaters with 6 shots on goal. The Sharks forward had a
handful of scoring chances in the game, but Raanta made several key stops.