By Mary Walsh
SAN JOSE– The San Jose Sharks won a nail-biter of a game Saturday, defeating the St. Louis Blues in overtime 3-2. The game went to the last minute of overtime before a Brent Burns blast from the blue line ended it. Andrew Desjardins and Marc-Edouard Vlasic also scored for the Sharks, while Steve Ott and Patrik Berglund scored for the Blues. It was the Sharks’ fifth win in a row, and eighth home win in a row.
It took the Sharks more than thirteen minutes to get a shot on goal against St. Louis. That shot came off of Barclay Goodrow’s stick. The Sharks saw several shots blocked, but the Blues also kept the Sharks hemmed in their zone for faceoff after faceoff, not allowing the Sharks to make much of the zone time they did get. For all the zone time the Blues had, they did not get all that many shots on net either. They were at four when the Sharks’ first shot registered.
Nonetheless, the Shark saw the Blues take the first penalty of the game at 13:31, for too many men on the ice. The Sharks did not get a shot on goal through the power play. Their second shot came in the last two minutes, from Patrick Marleau.
McLellan must have liked the way the Sharks started the first period, since he put exactly the same guys out to start the second: James Sheppard, Melker Karlsson and Barclay Goodrow up front, with Brent Burns and Brenden Dillon on defense. Whatever the plan was, it looked like an improvement. The Sharks tripled their shot count before three minutes elapsed in the second period.Five minutes in, the Sharks were outshooting the Blues 5-1. Shots came from Goodrow, Tye McGinn, John Scott, Marleau and Logan Couture.
The Blues took a second penalty, at 5:47 of the second. Jori Lehtera went to the box for high sticking. While the Sharks had trouble sustaining an attack, the power play was an improvement over the first period one. They had four shots through the two minutes, and a few very good chances. The Sharks took over the shot lead at the end of the power play.
Still, the teams remained tied 0-0.
Andrew Desjardins changed that at 10:47 of the middle frame. He carried the puck in and shot from a bad angle for his second of the season. Assists went to Justin Braun and Tye McGinn.
It took them several minutes but the Blues answered with a goal from Patrik Berglund at 14:29. The puck came off the back boards pretty hot, and Niemi stopped the resulting shot but he delivered the rebound right to Berglund and could not recover to stop his shot. Assists went to Alex Pietrangelo and Dmitrij Jaskin.
The Blues took the lead with 2:39 left in the period. After some very good pressure form the Sharks, the Blues got out of their zone by way of a breakaway for Steve Ott. His shot went under Niemi and assists went to Ian Cole and Maxim Lapierre.
The Sharks finished the period with some wild chances in the Blues’ zone but could not even the score. They did, however, get credit for 17 shots in the period.
The third period was mired in heavy mud, with the Sharks racking up shots and the Blues stopping them. By the end of the period, the Blues had only added three to their game tally, while the Sharks got credit for nine. In the final minutes, the Sharks were attacking furiously, but it was only in the last 20 seconds that they finally tied the game. The goal was Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s fourth of the season, with assists to Joe Thornton and Melker Karlsson.
With three minutes gone in the five minute overtime, neither team had recorded a shot on goal. Thirty seconds later, Patrick Marleau took the first, after a spectacular rush up the ice that showcased his exceptional speed.
With 1:03 left in overtime, Alexander Steen was called for hooking, giving the Sharks a man advantage for the final minute. They did not need the full minute. A few touches, several passes, and Brent Burns shot it in from the blue line for the win. Assists went to Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture.
Patrick Marleau led the Sharks in shots with 5. Tommy Wingels led the team in hits with 8, and Brent Burns had the most ice time among San Jose skaters with 26:07. Burns laso led the team in blocked shots with 4. Antti Niemi made 18 saves on 20 shots. The Sharks’ power play went 1/3 and they took no penalties.
David Backes led the Blues in shots with 4, and blocked the same number. Steve Ott led them in hits with 7. Jay Bouwmeester led the Blues in ice time at 26:03. Barret Jackman led his team in blocked shots with 5. Jake Allen made 27 saves on 30 shots.
The three stars of the game went to Brent Burns, Jake Allen and Andrew Desjardins.
The Sharks’ next game is in Anaheim on Monday against the Ducks at 7:00 PT.