The San Jose Sharks (12-2-5, 29 points) defeated the Vancouver Canucks (11-7-3, 25 points) 2-1 Thursday in a low-scoring overtime affair at the Rogers Arena. This was the fourth and final game of the regular season between these two teams and the third San Jose victory.
The Sharks, who have had problems holding on to leads this season, got some magic of their own on some late-game heroics by both Tomas Hertl to tie the game and then Dan Boyle to win it.
Hertl’s goal, which came as the Sharks pulled goaltender Antti Niemi, was equal parts luck and skill as a misfire by Boyle rolled to the winger’s stick and he had plenty of room to pick a spot and score on Roberto Luongo. Hertl’s team-leading 11th goal of the season came with just 1:05 left in regulation and would spring the Sharks into overtime.
In overtime San Jose would get a huge opportunity after Henrik Sedin was called for hooking Jason Demers while he was backchecking. On that insuing power play Dan Boyle scored his fifth goal of the season after some beautiful passing from both Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture which put Luongo well out of position. Boyle had all the time in the world to settle the pass and pick a spot in the top corner for the goal to complete San Jose’s comeback victory.
This evening’s game between these to bitter Pacific Division rivals was more of what we are used to with plenty of chippiness and some fighting thrown in. Even Pavelski was willing to throw down the mitts although just as soon as the “fight” began, it was over. In the end both he and Brad Richardson oddly only received two minutes for roughing.
Another fight, which may have indirectly led to San Jose’s game-tying goal, occurred between Andrew Desjardins and Kevin Bieksa with just about six minutes left in regulation when both received five-minute majors for fighting. Bieksa, who more than likely would have been out there in the final one to two minutes of play as one of Vancouver’s top defenseman, was instead sitting the penalty box when the Sharks scored.
Overall this was a very evenly matched game with both teams getting quality goaltending that trumped a majority of the scoring chances. At times Vancouver looked a bit more in charge of the game, even late in the third period, but that all changed quickly when San Jose got the late offensive zone faceoff they needed and took advantage.
As far as San Jose’s next game is concerned, tomorrow night they take on the Edmonton Oilers at 7 p.m. Pacific time in their second set of back-to-back games this season. Currently the Oilers are on a four-game losing streak and overall they have won just one out of their last 10 games. They will be looking to get back on track while the Sharks look to extend their winning streak to three games.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Dan Boyle (1 goal, 1 assist)
2. Antti Niemi (34 saves)
3. Roberto Luongo (29 saves)