Burns scores in OT, Sharks top Golden Knights 4-3
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The San Jose Sharks came from behind and finally experienced a victory again.
The Sharks clinched second place in the Pacific Division and home ice in the first round of the playoffs, ending their longest skid of the season and sending Vegas to its franchise-worst fifth straight loss.
“We needed a win and we found a way,” San Jose Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said.
The teams are likely to meet in the first round of the playoffs.
“Every time we play these guys, it’s always a hard-fought game. You definitely feel the intensity out there,” Sharks forward Evander Kane said. “It’s fun to be a part of that game. I’m sure we’ll see these guys again very soon.”
The Sharks led the division as recently as March 12, when they defeated Winnipeg for their sixth straight win.
Injuries to defenseman Erik Karlsson and center Joe Pavelski, both All-Stars, have figured prominently in their slide, and DeBoer said unspecified injuries to centers Melker Karlsson and Lukas Radil are a concern.
“I don’t know if we’re ready” for the playoffs, DeBoer said. “You’ve got a list of four or five pretty good players sitting out, you’re not ready for the playoffs, obviously, but if we can get healthy, we know our game. I know we lost seven, but we played a lot of good hockey this year, so I think we’re confident in our game.”
San Jose remained mathematically alive in the Pacific Division title race, closing to within six points of first-place Calgary in the Pacific Division. A regulation loss would have eliminated them from contention.
Colin Miller took a hooking penalty with 54.7 seconds left in regulation, setting up the power play.
San Jose hadn’t lost more than seven straight since a 10-game skid Nov. 5-30, 2005, when it went 0-7-3.
“To win a game, it feels like it’s been three months, honestly,” Sharks center Logan Couture said. “When you don’t win, you feel it weighing on you, so it’s a relief to finally win one.”
“We’re losing too much,” Karlsson said. “Things have been going way my, but that’s in the past. We have to look forward.”
Karlsson opened the scoring at 3:54 of the first period. The Sharks tied it at 58 seconds of the second period on Hertl’s 35th goal of the season and fourth in five games.
Eakin flicked in a backhander past Jones at 5:30 of the second period for 21st goal to give Vegas a 2-1 lead.
Kane tied it for San Jose with his 29th goal at 7:22 of the third period.
Vlasic scored at 11:26 of the third period, and Theodore tied it for Vegas less than 40 seconds later.
“There’s pride in the rivalry and that’s the way it’s going to be,” Eakin said. “There was a lot of stuff going on we could have straightened out. Four-on-three is tough at the end, in overtime. It could have gone either way. They’re going to be playing hard and I’m sure they enjoyed it as much as we did.”
NOTES: Vegas G Marc-Andre Fleury (lower body injury) missed his eighth straight game. … Vegas’ Ryan Reaves was assessed a 10-minute misconduct penalty and two minutes for roughing for his role in a brawl late in the first period. Sharks C Joe Thornton was assessed a two-minute penalty for roughing.
Vegas: Hosts Edmonton on Monday night.
San Jose: Hosts Calgary on Sunday night.