The St. Louis Blues have always fared well in San Jose. But their 22nd win in 33 visits to the Shark Tank might have been the most memorable.
Carlo Colaiacovo tied the game by scoring a shorthanded goal with 6.6 seconds left in regulation, and shootout goals by Andy McDonald and T.J. Oshie gave the Blues a shocking 3-2 victory over the Sharks on Thursday night.
San Jose appeared to have the game wrapped up when Blues forward Brad Boyes was called for holding with 1:51 remaining in regulation and the Sharks leading 2-1. Instead, the Blues forced Evgeni Nabokov to make a superb save on Barrett Jackman with less than 30 seconds, then forced overtime when Keith Tkachuk's pass caromed off a San Jose stick to Colaiacovo, who was above the left circle. He whirled and took a shot that zipped past a handful of bodies before beating Nabokov.
"You get pucks to the net, people to the net, and good things happen," said Blues goaltender Ty Conklin, who finished with 32 saves.
It was the fifth shorthanded goal allowed by the Sharks this season and fourth in their last three home games -- and was the kind of thing San Jose coach Todd McLellan said should never happen.
"You put your five top players on the ice -- a minute-30 is way too long for one shift," he said. "Five top players on the ice and they give up two very good scoring chances, on a power-play situation -- it's unacceptable. I'm very disappointed and not very happy right now."
McDonald scored in the first round of the shootout. After Patrick Marleau tied it for San Jose in the top of the third round, Oshie raced in and beat Nabokov through the pads for the game-winner, giving the Blues a 22-8-1-2 record in San Jose.
"Every time we play San Jose it seems like it's a lot of emotion," Oshie said. "We both play physical, play strong, play with heavy sticks on the puck."
"We had a chance to win the game, and that's all we wanted."
Oshie, a second-year forward, outguessed Nabokov, who failed on a poke-check attempt."I had a feeling he was going to use a poke check on me," Oshie said. "We've seen it before and he didn't use it on the first two guys. I was going for the five-hole. I figured it was going to be open."
The Blues improved to 11-10-5, though that's still only good enough for 13th in the 15-team Western Conference.
"We're hungry for points," Conklin said. "We need every one we can get. We played a solid road game. Every point is really important right now."
The Sharks got off to a fast start when Dany Heatley blasted a slap shot from the high slot that went past a screened Conklin just 1:19 into the game. Joe Thornton earned an assist, extending his points streak to 10 games.
The Blues tied it at 11:06 when Alex Steen fed Jay McClement for a one-timer from the right faceoff dot that knuckled past into the far side top corner. McClement scored his second goal in 16 games after getting three in his first 10.
But much to the consternation of their coach, the Sharks couldn't close the deal.
"We're on the power play, we've got five of the best players in the world going on the ice, I have a ton of confidence in them," he said. "They didn't manage the seconds very well.
"We're not going to get into a finger-pointing situation. Our power play let us down. It let us down during the game when we needed a goal, and it let us down at the end of the night when we gave up one."
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report
|Dany Heatley (19) ASST: Joe Thornton (33), Rob Blake (6)|
1 - 0 SJS
|Jay McClement (5) ASST: Alexander Steen (2)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Joe Pavelski (4) ASST: Douglas Murray (4), Ryane Clowe (14)|
2 - 1 SJS
|SHG - Carlo Colaiacovo (3) ASST: Keith Tkachuk (9), David Perron (8)|
2 - 2 Tie
|1||R. Clowe||A. McDonald|
|2||J. Pavelski||B. Boyes|
|3||P. Marleau||T. Oshie|
|Power Play %||18.7%||16.4%|
|% on Road||25.7%||20.0%|
|% at Home||12.5%||10.7%|
|Ryane Clowe Fighting (maj) against B.J. Crombeen|
|B.J. Crombeen Fighting (maj) against Ryane Clowe|
|Douglas Murray Holding against Paul Kariya|
|Keith Tkachuk Interference against Frazer McLaren|
|Mike Weaver Interference against Scott Nichol|
|Keith Tkachuk Too many men/ice - bench|
|Manny Malhotra Holding against Andy McDonald|
|Frazer McLaren Roughing against David Backes|
|Frazer McLaren Game misconduct against David Backes|
|David Backes Holding against Dany Heatley|
|Paul Kariya Holding against Dan Boyle|
|Kent Huskins Tripping against Brad Boyes|
|Brad Boyes Hooking against Dany Heatley|