After reeling off four consecutive wins, the San Jose Sharks lost their second straight on Wednesday, dropping a 3-2 contest to the Vancouver Canucks in overtime. Andrew Ebbett re-directed Kevin Bieksa’s shot from the point to lift the Canucks to victory, stifling a Sharks squad that had come alive beginning midway through the second period.
“We had some good chances,” San Jose captain Joe Thornton said. “A lot of games can go either way. For whatever reason, they’re just falling on their side right now.”
Vancouver struck twice, once in the first period and again in the second, to take a 2-0 lead. Daniel Sedin’s wrap-around goal just snuck in under the pad of Sharks goalie Antti Niemi at the 11:12 juncture of the opening period, his 15th of the season. Ryan Kesler added a power-play goal three minutes into the second to double the lead.
Halfway through the middle frame, Logan Couture netted his team-leading 16th goal of the year to pull San Jose within one at 2-1. At that point, 11:01 of the second period, the Sharks had begun to pick up the pace. A little more than five minutes later, Thornton provided the equalizer and the game was tied at 2-2.
San Jose kept the foot on the gas and applied pressure throughout the third period, especially toward the end. However, Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver defense were able to keep the puck out of the net and the Sharks off of the scoreboard despite multiple power-play opportunities for San Jose.
“The last couple of power plays we had… That’s what you call shooting ice,” Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle said. “You gotta just find a way to get the puck on the net, and I don’t think we did that.”
The game ventured into overtime, with Ebbett’s goal coming 3:23 into the extra period. With the win, the Canucks won their ninth game in their last twelve and extend their second-place lead on San Jose to six points in the Western Conference.
“We have to have the understanding that three is a very important number for us,” Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said. “It’s either hurting us when we give up three (goals) or hurting us when we score three. We’re a three-goal team and need to play that way for 60 minutes.”
San Jose is off until Monday, when they take to the road for a re-match with the same Vancouver team from Wednesday. Monday’s game is a national television broadcast and can be seen on Versus, while local radio coverage will be on 98.5 and 102.1 KFOX. The puck drops at 5:00 p.m.
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