However, the Sharks caught a break 75 seconds later. A Paul Martin shot caromed in off blue-liner Brett Pesce. Thus they scored as many goals in the first 3:14 as in any entire December game.
There were plenty of chances on both sides leading up to the end of the first period, but neither team scored. However, the Hurricanes took over in the beginning of the second.
San Jose had a chance to get momentum back and extend the lead on a power play midway through. Instead, Joakim Nordstrom scored on a breakaway that Brent Burns defended poorly.
Then the Sharks scored just after a power play expired for the second straight game. Six seconds after Derek Ryan left the box, Burns fed Logan Couture on the far wing for the eventual game-winning goal.
Logan Couture has contributed to a San Jose Sharks score in five of the last six games. John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Labanc stayed hot 1:52 later, burying the rebound of a Dylan DeMelo shot. The young defenseman played for the ailing David Schlemko and San Jose also lost Marc-Edouard Vlasic before the third period.
Ryan scored on another Carolina power play 3:44 into the third. All three goals came the only three times either team killed a penalty.
The Sharks have been struggling on the penalty kill of late. They had killed 26 straight penalties at one point. Now they have given up five goals on 14 chances over the last five games.
The Hurricanes controlled the tempo and attack just as the event summary suggests. They won four faceoffs for every three lost and still had five fewer giveaways and almost as many takeaways. They attempted 24 more shots and got 13 more on net.
Want your voice heard? Join the Blades of Teal team!
San Jose did defend well, achieving substantial edges in blocks (24-10) and hits (23-12). Still, it was the second game in a row in which the opposition was better.
The win returns the Sharks back to the best point percentage (.589) in a tight Pacific Division. Their 16-11-1 record this 2016-17 NHL season is one point short of the Calgary Flames, but with three games in hand. The Anaheim Ducks are tied with 33 points in 28 games, but three fewer regulation/overtime wins. The Edmonton Oilers are a game back with 33 points in 30 games, as are the Los Angeles Kings with 30 in 27.
San Jose earned a split with Carolina for the 2016-17 NHL season series. Both teams won by a single goal in regulation at home.
The Sharks embark on a four-game road trip that starts with a visit to the Toronto Maple Leafs Tuesday. The Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens follow before the finale at the Chicago Blackhawks Dec. 18.