VANCOUVER -- For the sixth time in their last seven games, the Sharks played past regulation. And, for the second straight game, the result was an overtime victory.
After Tomas Hertl tied it with just over a minute to go in regulation, Dan Boyle’s power play goal gave the Sharks a 2-1 win over the Canucks on Thursday night at Rogers Arena.
Henrik Sedin’s hooking penalty gave San Jose a man advantage in the extra session. The Sharks worked the puck around to Boyle, who patiently waited for Roberto Luongo to commit, picked his spot, and lifted in a wrist shot at 2:38. A brief video review confirmed it was a good goal as the puck deflected off of the back bar high in the cage.
Hertl’s goal with 65 seconds left in regulation finally got the Sharks on the board, after San Jose was outplayed for much of the night. Joe Thornton, who had just gotten knocked over behind the net, managed to slide the puck to the high slot. Boyle flubbed the shot, butfFortunately for San Jose, the puck directed right to Hertl’s stick and the rookie deposited his team-leading 11th.
A power play goal by Kevin Bieksa was the only marker through 59 minutes. The defenseman's blast from high in the zone appeared to deflect past Antti Niemi at 13:40 of the second period, as Daniel Sedin and Justin Braun battled for position in front of the crease.
Niemi, who entered with a five-game personal losing streak, was the primary reason San Jose was still in the game, especially after 40 minutes. The goalie stopped 19 of 20 shots in the second period alone, including Daniel Sedin’s open look from the circle with 3:34 left, after a lengthy shift in the San Jose zone by Vancouver’s top line.
In the first, Niemi made an outstanding pad save on Mike Santorelli with 12:23 to go in the opening period. The Sharks’ best chances before the Hertl goal came in the first, but Tommy Wingels couldn’t control a pass from Thornton on a two-on-one rush midway through, and Thornton later hit the crossbar on a power play.
Luongo’s most impressive stop came in the third period, when he gloved a James Sheppard wrist shot with 7:42 to go.
The Sharks tweaked three of their forward lines, starting late in the first period. Wingers Sheppard and John McCarthy were bumped up to play with Joe Pavelski as the center, while a struggling Matt Nieto and ineffective Marty Havlat skated with Andrew Desjardins.
Later, Pavelski played with Couture and Marleau while Kennedy was with McCarthy and Sheppard.
Things got chippy in the third period. Pavelski and Brad Richardson dropped the gloves and were issued coincidental roughing minors at 9:35, and Desjardins and Bieksa fought with 5:06 left in the game.
The Canucks were playing in the first game of a season-long six-game homestand.
The Sharks improved to 2-0-1 on their five-game road trip. They ended the season series with the Canucks with a 3-1-0 mark.
The Canucks entered the game with the top ranked penalty kill in the NHL, and killed off all three Sharks attempts before overtime. San Jose was 1-for-4.
Vancouver finished 1-for-2. The Sharks have given up just four power play goals in 12 road games.
Niemi looked much better after allowing four goals in four of his last five starts, and made 34 saves to record his 10th victory.
Luongo, who played every minute of the four games with San Jose, stopped 28 of 20 Sharks shots.
Mike Brown and Matt Irwin remained as the Sharks’ scratches.
The Sharks play in their second back-to-back situation of the season as they visit the Edmonton Oilers on Friday. The road trip concludes on Sunday in Chicago.
San Jose hosts the Tampa Bay Lightning on Nov. 21.