Joe Pavelski scored a fantastic goal with the help of Logan Couture right in front of the New Jersey Devil net with just 32 seconds left in regulation, giving the San Jose Sharks the tie for the second time in the game. Then it was onto overtime, and neither team gave in during that period, so the game went to a shootout. Goals from Michal Handzus and Ryane Clowe win it for the Sharks in the shootout.
Joe Thornton had a great solo effort to give the Sharks their first goal, in the second period he took it over the blue line by himself and simply beat Johan Hedberg. Ryane Clowe and Logan Couture swarmed him shortly after that goal to give the Sharks their second of the night, with several shots on goal, and a whole lot of confusion before the puck trickled into the net past Hedberg.
The Sharks got started off slowly, giving up a big goal to Patrik Elias in the first period off a huge pass across the ice. Antti Niemi made a bad, bad play by taking too long to go post-to-post. Then Zach Parise scored right at the very beginning of the second period on a penalty shot that was probably a weak call. Niemi did get back into form though, making some good stops. Ultimately, the Sharks outplayed the Devils for a good portion of the game, but still barely squeaked out a win despite having 40 shots on goal to New Jersey's 19.
Below, the play-by-play as written during the game, unedited, included because there's no reason to throw it out. The Sharks head to Boston to take on the Bruins on Saturday to continue their road trip.
Torrey Mitchell gets boarded early and the Sharks have a power play, but they fail to do anything with it. Then the Devils push Brad Winchester into Hedberg, but the referees call goalie interference anyway. The Sharks keep the puck in New Jersey's zone for most of the power play attempt though, and the Sharks kill it without issue. Following the power play, the Sharks get a couple shots on the net. The play goes back and forth a little bit, with the Sharks controlling it a little more, until 12:49 into the first period, where Douglas Murray is called for roughing on Clarkson, and the Devils get a power play.
They get a great feed from across the ice to the left side of Antti Niemi, who jumps across, the shot is fired by Patrik Elias and Niemi can't get across to it, letting the puck go above his glove hand and the Devils take a 1-0 lead. It was a pretty bad play by Niemi, who took a long time to get post-to-post. When play restarts, Joe Thornton is called for cross checking when he bumped into the back of Parise ... but it was probably a bit of diving on Parise's part. So the Devils take another power play.
Niemi almost immediately has to go post-to-post again, but this time he makes the kick save early in the New Jersey man advantage. The rest of the penalty is killed well and things are balanced, just slightly in the Devils favor, for the remainder of the period, until the 30 second mark when Adam Larson was called on a holding the stick penalty, and the Sharks had a power play, but time expires in the first before they can get anything done.
The Devils begin down a man, but Zach Parise gets the puck at the blueline and has a breakaway, he gets tripped up and the referees call a penalty shot. It's a very weak call, and he beats Niemi on the shot too - so the Devils take a 2-0 lead.
Benn Ferriero gets a good shot opportunity, and then Dan Boyle takes a shot at the net after play is stopped following the first shot, but he puts it right in the logo of Hedberg. Play goes back and forth until Logan Couture is pulled down and Bryce Salvador is called for interference, so the Sharks get a power play at 6:34 of the second period.
But nothing comes of it. Dan Boyle misses a golden opportunity with Hedberg on the wrong side, but whiffs on the shot. They don't make anything happen on the power play, but they do get right back on it when Nick Palmieri is called for goalie interference. Unfortunately, the Sharks can't get anything done on the power play once again, and they're back to even strength. There's nothing to note for some time, until Patrick Marleau steals the puck, beats his man and shoots .... directly into Hedberg's logo. So there's that.
The Sharks eventually catch a break though, at 4:42 remaining in the second period, Thornton enters the zone with the puck and just beats Hedberg from the right side, between his legs. The Sharks attack on the next possession, and Couture gets the puck in front of the net. They attack, shoot, and it's kicked away, but it's fed back into the net with Couture and Ryane Clowe attacking, and it goes in, with both Couture and Clowe falling. They review it to make sure it wasn't kicked, and it's still unclear who gets the goal. They're going with Clowe for now.
The Devils come out really hot and start attacking big time. They keep the puck in the Sharks zone, and eventually Dan Boyle is called for a hi-sticking penalty, and the Sharks go into panic mode. Fortunately, panic mode entails killing the penalty, with a nasty steal from Joe Thornton in the final seconds to stamp it out, and the period comes to an end all tied up.
Sharks get on it early and get it in front of the net, but Hedberg manages to stop it and cover it. Play is back and forth through three minutes of play, but the Sharks start to take control. The Devils try to get it out of their zone twice, three times and then four times without being able to, and thehn are called for icing and the Sharks are on the attack. Then the Devils are called for a tripping penalty, Joe Thornton was the guy who went down, and it's slightly questionable - we'll just call it evening out for the dumb penalty he was called for earlier in the game.
The power play gets going and the first minute passes without a Sharks shot on goal. They can't even get it into the zone until the final five seconds, and the penalty is killed. The Sharks continue to look bad after the power play, looking ugly and without any momentum. David Clarkson gets the puck all alone in front of Niemi and he beats him no problem, zipping the puck into the net. Clarkson interfered with White in the neutral zone, but the referee didn't call anything. The Devils have a 3-2 lead with seven minutes to go.
The Sharks try to attack, but the Devils are playing fast and keep them out of it until there's under a minute left in the game. But a break comes their way, with Couture crowding the net, he sets Joe Pavelski up, who buries it high and away from Hedberg and the Sharks tied it with 32 seconds left in regulation. The period comes to an end and we go to overtime.
The Sharks get two shots early, but they're blocked. The team's exchange scoring opportunities in one another's zone, but the play is very balanced. Both teams exchange turnovers in the neutral zone multiple times but time expires with no serious threats, and we're heading to a shootout.
Ilya Kovalchuk buries it on the Devils' first shot. Pavelski misses his shot for the Sharks. Parise misses for the Devils, and then Handzus makes it in for the Sharks. Elias misses it for the Devils, and then Ryane Clowe makes it in for the Sharks, giving them the win.