SAN JOSE – In a preseason opener that featured just a smattering of NHL players on either side, the Sharks downed the Canucks in overtime on Tuesday at SAP Center, 3-2.
Sven Baertschi’s third period goal gave Vancouver a 2-1 lead. On an odd-man rush, Baertschi found Mantas Armalis’ five hole with a wrist shot to put the Canucks ahead with 11:36 to go in regulation.
San Jose tied it on a Tommy Wingels goal with 22 seconds left and the goalie pulled for an extra attacker, when he jammed a loose puck through Michael Garteig after David Schlemko tossed it towards the goaltender.
Kevin Lebanc scored in three-on-three overtime at 1:05, flinging a wrist shot through Gartieg’s near side after an offensive rush with Matt Nieto, who got the only assist.
The Sharks outshot Vancouver for the game, 33-15.
Vancouver opened the scoring on a Bo Horvat goal. The centerman converted a juicy rebound left by Troy Grosenick on a Jake Virtanen shot at 2:06.
The Sharks controlled virtually the rest of the opening frame, outshooting Vancouver 15-4, but could not beat Richard Bachman. Former first round pick Nikolay Goldobin had the best chance, but couldn’t sling home a set up by linemate Chris Tierney about seven minutes in.
San Jose eventually did tie it up at the 14-minute mark of the second period, when Barclay Goodrow slipped a Labanc pass through the five-hole of Gartieg.
The NHL waived the requirement for teams to dress eight veteran players this preseason game due to the World Cup of Hockey.
San Jose has five of its regulars in the World Cup final, as Logan Couture, Joe Thornton, Brent Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic compete for Canada, and new addition Mikkel Boedker plays for Team Europe. The Canadians won Game 1 of the best-of-three on Tuesday in Toronto, 3-1, with Game 2 on Thursday.
The Sharks were 0-for-3 on the power play, but killed off all five Canucks advantages.
Starters Grosenick and Bachman both left the game with five-and-a-half minutes to go in the second period. Grosenick allowed one goal on eight shots, while Bachman was impressive in turning aside all 20 shots he saw.
Armalis allowed one goal on seven shots, while Garteig surrendered all three Sharks goals on just 13 shots.
Of the players the Sharks dressed, arguably the only ones whose roster spots are assured were the projected third defense pair of Brenden Dillon and Schlemko, and Tierney. Wingels and Nieto also suited up, as they compete to keep their jobs.
Among the players that did not play was top prospect Timo Meier, who has missed three straight days of practice due to strep throat.
A familiar face skating for the Canucks was forward James Sheppard, who posted 40 points (10g, 30a) in 156 games with San Jose from 2012-15. He’s trying to catch on as a tryout.
Virtanen was hurt in the second period and did not return.
The Sharks remain home for their next preseason game on Friday against Arizona (7:30 p.m.). They visit Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 2.
The Sharks and Canucks will not meet in the regular season until Feb. 2, the first of five meetings over the final 66 days.