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game recap

Sharks top Blues in overtime, move into first in Pacific

Labanc scores at 3:21 to give San Jose fourth straight win

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

Labanc's overtime winner

STL@SJS: Labanc nets OT winner in 200th career game

Logan Couture sends a return feed to Kevin Labanc, who blisters a wrist shot into the net to give the Sharks a 3-2 win in overtime

  • 01:27 •

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks moved into first place in the Pacific Division with a 3-2 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues at SAP Center on Saturday.

The Sharks (41-19-8), who lead the Calgary Flames by one point in the division, won their fourth straight game and are 13-3-1 in their past 17. They lead the Western Conference with 90 points.

"It feels good," Sharks forward Logan Couture said. "It means that we've come a long way. Not too long ago, it was December there, we were going through some tough times as a team and we weren't anywhere near the top of the conference. It means that we've found our game and we've played up to our capabilities."

 

[WATCH: All Blues vs. Sharks highlights]

 

Kevin Labanc scored from the low slot at 3:21 of overtime on a pass from Couture. Timo Meier scored two goals, and Martin Jones made 17 saves for the Sharks.

"We're only one point (ahead), we've still got a lot of work to do, but it's definitely nice knowing that you're on top of the conference," Labanc said.

Video: EA Sports Overtime Winner: Labanc lifts Sharks to win

Pat Maroon and Brayden Schenn scored for the Blues (36-25-7), who are third in the Central Division with 79 points, four behind the Nashville Predators and four ahead of the Dallas Stars.

Jake Allen, who started consecutive games for the first time since Jan. 3 and 5, made 30 saves for the Blues after making 28 in a 4-0 victory at the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.

"He was excellent," St. Louis coach Craig Berube said of Allen. "We got a little loose there at the end of the third, and he stopped a couple of big scoring opportunities to get us a point."

The Blues took a 1-0 lead at 10:35 of the first period on a power-play goal by Maroon, who scored on a tap-in from the crease after Colton Parayko's point shot bounced off the end boards.

Meier made it 1-1 at 16:23 with a power-play goal to extend his goal streak to four games (five goals). He took a pass from Joe Thornton and scored on a wrist shot from below the left circle. The assist was the 1,467th NHL point for Thornton, tying Stan Mikita for 14th place.

Video: STL@SJS: Meier nets PPG, Thornton ties Mikita

"He keeps adding layers to his game," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said of Meier. "A couple big moments for us tonight. I thought he had good legs. He was one of the guys I thought was really going. I actually double-shifted him a few times to keep him going because I think he felt good."

Meier put San Jose ahead 2-1 at 19:33. He took a pass in front of the crease from Couture and scored on a backhand inside the right post.

"He made two great passes today, on my goal and then the overtime goal," Meier said of Couture. "It just shows the quality of his skill."

St. Louis tied it 2-2 with three seconds remaining in the second period on a power-play goal by Schenn.

Video: STL@SJS: Schenn steals puck, scores from doorstep

The Blues went 2-0-1 on their California road trip, with victories against the Anaheim Ducks and Kings.

"L.A. and Anaheim aren't where they want to be in the standings but they're still tough teams to play against," Schenn said. "And then it's never easy to come into this building. So five out of six points, we'll take it. Anything can happen in overtime, we played hard today, we battled hard to get one point."

The Sharks swept the four-game home stand and are 23-5-5 at SAP Center, where they'll play eight of their final 14 games.

"I think it's been a long road for us from where we started till now and some of the stuff we've dealt with," DeBoer said of being in first place. "It's good. Whether it lasts for a night or a couple nights, but more importantly I like where our game's at heading into the last portion of the season."

 

They said it

"Jake's done what it takes to put in the work, be ready for his chance and he's making the most of it. He's making huge saves for us doing what he does and we have confidence in both of our goalies." -- Blues forward Brayden Schenn on goalies Jake Allen and Jordan Binnington

"You're fighting for every inch of ice. It was relentless. We're going to be expecting the last 14 games to be like this, so we've got to be ready. Just start getting ready for that (Stanley Cup) Playoff-like hockey." -- Sharks forward Kevin Labanc

 

Need to know     

Blues first-line right wing Vladimir Tarasenko missed the game with an upper-body injury. … Sharks forward Evander Kane (undisclosed) missed his fourth straight game and is day to day. … San Jose defenseman Erik Karlsson (groin) missed his fourth straight game. … Labanc played his 200th NHL game.

 

What's next

Blues: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; FS-MW, FS-A, NHL.TV)

Sharks: At the Minnesota Wild on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN1, SNE, SNP, NHL.TV)

Video: Labanc's OT goal gives Sharks 3-2 win

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