photo from sfgate: San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture, right rear, is congratulated by left wing Evander Kane (9) and defenseman Brent Burns, front right, after scoring against the New York Islanders during overtime in an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. The Sharks won 2-1.
By Mary Walsh
SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks beat the New York Islanders 2-1 in overtime Saturday. Marcus Sorensen and Logan Couture scored for San Jose, while Martin Jones made 27 saves for the win. Casey Cizikas scored for New York and Semyon Varlamov made 24 saves in the loss.
“We didn’t help ourselves tonight by getting in the box but we still found way and I thought it was a pretty gutsy effort,” said Sharks Head Coach Peter DeBoer. That was in reference to the six penalties in a row that the Sharks had to kill for the win. Sharks forward Evander Kane said: “We killed a lot tonight, let’s be honest. I mean we did a great job with the penalty kill and Joner was fantastic in stopping, some key saves there in some real dangerous scoring areas.”
The New York Islanders are one of the hottest teams in the league right now, with just one road loss before Saturday’s game. Asked whether that added value to the win, Logan Couture said: “The big thing was, I mean we saw all the teams around us before the game, they won. So we wanted to keep pace. You know, we’re right in it now, after a horrendous start. We’ve given ourselves an opportunity to make a push here and collect some more points. I think that’s enough motivation right there.”
A scoreless first period was marked by speed and offense from the Sharks as they out-shot the Islanders 8-1 in the first seven minutes of play. By the end of the period, the Sharks had an advantage in shots 13-7 and had won 73% of the face-offs. Barclay Goodrow won five of those face-offs and lost none. Each team took a penalty, each team killed one. The Sharks had four shots during their power play, the Islanders had none.
The second period started with a fight 37 seconds in, between Brenden Dillon and Casek Cizikas after a hit on Mario Ferraro.
Almost seven minutes in, Martin Jones had to make a save on a breakaway by Brock Nelson before the rest of his team arrived to help defend the zone. They made quick work of that and went the other way with Mario Ferraro and Marcus Sorensen attacking two on one. Ferraro’s pass bumped almost gently off of Sorensen’s stick and around Semyon Varlamov. Assists went to Ferraro and Joe Thornton.
Less than 30 seconds later, New York tied it up with a goal from Casey Cizikas. Adam Pelech’s shot went off of Cizikas’s body as he fought Brent Burns for position in front of the net. Assists went to Pelech and Ryan Pulock.
The Sharks challenged the goal for goaltender interference. The replay did look a good deal like the disallowed goal in Las Vegas Thursday, but the only contact with Jones was Brent Burns’ stick as Cizikas pushed his way through it. The goal was upheld and the Sharks were shorthanded but killed the penalty. They killed another at 12:08 when Lukas Radil was called for tripping Scott Mayfield. And another at 16:42, when Kevin Labanc was called for slashing Anthony Beauvillier. Over the course of those four power plays, the Islanders got credit for four shots.
Over the period, the Islanders had ten shots and the Sharks had only six. In the face-off circle, their dominance dwindled to 58%.
The Islanders were back on the power play early in the third period. This time it was Patrick Marleau in the box for tripping Scott Mayfield. This time the Islanders brought some real pressure to bear, getting three shots on goal and spending very little time retrieving the puck in their own end. The Islanders had another chance at 12:26, their sixth power play in a row, when Kevin Labanc went to the box for tripping.
In the third period, the Islanders out-shot the Sharks 11-5 but the game remained tied. The Sharks had some time to recover from the endless penalty kills during the pre-overtime break.
Exactly half way through overtime, Evander Kane picked up a drifting puck that Brent Burns left behind. He had to battle for possession but he got it and eventually found Logan Couture in front of the net for a game-winning shot.
The Sharks finished the game with a 53% winning percentage and the Islanders had 28 shots to the Sharks’ 26.
The Sharks next play on Monday in Los Angeles against the Kings at 7:30 PM PT.