|SJS||1||0||0||1||(0 - 0)||2|
|CBJ||1||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ The goalie didn't see the puck. Neither did the defenseman. Marco Sturm sure did.
Sturm jammed in a loose puck with 16.1 seconds left in overtime _ on the Sharks' franchise-record 50th shot _ to give San Jose a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.
Marc Denis, who set a Columbus record with 48 saves, appeared to have covered Patrick Marleau's shot. But Sturm swooped in near the left post and got a stick on the puck as it popped loose off Denis' leg pad, pushing it into the net while shadowed by a defenseman for his 16th goal of the season.
``It was kind of funny because (Marleau's) shot wasn't really hard,'' Sturm said. ``The goalie didn't see it at all. It was laying right there, between the posts and his pad. I got lucky that the defenseman didn't see it either and I put it in.''
It was the Sharks' first overtime victory of the season after going 0-5-11 in their first 16. Sturm's goal also ended the Sharks' four-game road losing skid.
San Jose dominated the game, continually controlling the puck yet could easily have lost.
``You just fear that as the game goes on it's going to be a bad bounce or a mistake that gets you,'' coach Ron Wilson said.
Brad Stuart, who also assisted on Sturm's goal, notched his fourth goal for the Sharks, and Evgeni Nabokov made 23 saves.
The 50 shots on goal broke the previous San Jose record of 45 set earlier this season against Phoenix.
``We just tried to keep shooting the puck, keep it wide, put it on net and see what happens,'' said Stuart, who hadn't scored a goal in 33 games since Nov. 30 at Edmonton. ``Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't. We were lucky enough to score in the final seconds of the game.''
Geoff Sanderson scored the only goal for Columbus, which had won its last two at home. The Blue Jackets were 4-0-4 in their last eight overtime games _ all under interim coach Gerard Gallant.
``We can't play like that. We played like a bunch of individuals tonight. It wasn't a team game,'' Gallant said. ``That's why they deserve to win in overtime. The whole game they dominated, from the 10-minute mark of the first period on. One guy (Denis) scored a point for us tonight.''
Denis said setting the team record for saves meant nothing.
``All that is erased by the end result,'' he said.
Sanderson put the Blue Jackets ahead 3:14 into the opening period when Alexander Svitov's centering pass from the right boards ricocheted off a defenseman's skate and ended up on Sanderson's stick behind the goal cage. Sanderson's wraparound slipped through the leg pads of Nabokov for his 10th goal of the season.
The Sharks pulled even later in the period when Denis blocked Alexander Korolyuk's blast from the left circle but Stuart slapped in the rebound for his seventh.
There were plenty of close calls for both teams.
Rick Nash, leading the NHL with 31 goals, ended up with the puck all alone in the slot after a turnover early in the final period. He put a move on Nabokov, and drilled a shot that clanged off the left post.
Three times the Sharks had shots hit the pipes. Wayne Primeau, Alyn McCauley and Alexander Korolyuk each had shots in the second period that eluded Denis but caught metal.
The Blue Jackets cycled the puck after San Jose's Scott Hannan was called for a holding penalty 2:09 into the overtime but they never mustered a shot.
``That was an unbelievable penalty kill in overtime,'' Wilson said.
Stuart passed to Marleau to initiate the final rush that led to Sturm's game-winner. Sturm said he was worried that the referee might blow the play dead before he could get his stick on the puck.
``It was kind of there for a couple of seconds,'' he said.
The teams failed score on four power-play chances each.
|Geoff Sanderson (10) Wrap-around - ASST: Alexander Svitov (4), Nikolay Zherdev (10)|
1 - 0 CBJ
|Brad Stuart (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Alexander Korolyuk (8), Nisse Ekman (18)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Marco Sturm (16) Wrist shot - ASST: Patrick Marleau (17), Brad Stuart (20)|
2 - 1 SJS
|Alexander Svitov Interference|
|Jody Shelley Fighting (maj) against Vesa Toskala|
|Scott Parker Fighting (maj) against Jody Shelley|
|David Ling Roughing|
|Niko Dimitrakos Too many men/ice - bench|
|Aaron Johnson Hi-sticking|
|Vincent Damphousse Roughing against Tyler Wright|
|Nisse Ekman Hi-sticking|
|Trevor Letowski Hooking - Obstruction|
|Scott Hannan Holding against Aaron Johnson|