SAN JOSE -- Backup goaltender Aaron Dell made 24 saves, and Logan Couture scored the game-winning goal 22 seconds into the third period, helping the San Jose Sharks defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 at SAP Center on Thursday.
Couture missed a 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday because of a stomach illness that caused him to lose 6 pounds. After forward Kevin Labanc won a battle for the puck along the end boards, Couture beat goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy through the five-hole with a wrist shot from the low right circle.
"Gutsy effort by him coming back in," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "I had to give him a couple shifts here and there. I didn't ask, and he wasn't asking to stay out. We needed him. We needed a spark tonight after traveling and coming off that emotional win. I thought [Dell] and him really gave us that."
WATCH: All Lightning vs. Sharks highlights
Rookie Ryan Carpenter scored in the second period for the Sharks (28-16-2), who won their third straight game. Dell (5-2-0) made his seventh start of the season in place of Martin Jones, who made 22 saves against the Kings.
"We like playing in front of him," Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said of Dell. "He's aggressive, he's into the game, he's attacking pucks. That's everything you want from your goalie. He's made all the saves that we can ask him to make."
Jonathan Drouin scored in the second period for Tampa Bay (21-21-5), and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 22 saves but lost his sixth straight start.
"I think it was a good game for us if you look at our play," Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman said. "We just can't find the back of the net. It's a little tough when [we] finally turn our game around and play some good hockey and you can't find the goal."
Carpenter gave San Jose a 1-0 lead at 5:01 of the second period when he beat Vasilevskiy with a slap shot from the right circle that deflected off Lightning defenseman Nikita Nesterov. Drouin tied it 1-1 with a power-play goal at 6:51.
Video: TBL@SJS: Carpenter blasts home Martin's feed in 2nd
Goal of the game
Drouin skated down the right circle past Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, cut sharply in front of the crease, and beat Dell with a wrist shot for his 14th goal of the season. It was Drouin's 23rd point in his past 22 games.
Video: TBL@SJS: Drouin scores PPG on a dazzling solo effort
Save of the game
With 6:49 left in the third period, Dell lost his stick but made a left-pad save on Valtteri Filppula's wraparound.
"The knob got caught in the net," Dell said. "I think the best thing I did there was just let it go."
Unsung performance of the game
Lightning center Cedric Paquette paid a painful price to block a slap shot by Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon with 10:19 left in the first period. Paquette, who was hit in the foot, limped off the ice but quickly returned.
Highlight of the game
Couture wasn't at full strength but had enough energy to score the game-winner, sneaking the puck through Vasilevskiy's pads.
Video: TBL@SJS: Couture surprises Vasilevskiy with wrister
They said it
"I wasn't feeling too well during the [Winnipeg Jets] game [on Monday]. Had an IV during that game and came off. Didn't have enough energy to finish that game. Went home. Started throwing up a bunch and actually went to the hospital. Got a couple more IVs. Slept that night, didn't make it through the night. Threw up a couple more times. ... Didn't get any food in my throat for about 48 hours. It was a tough little stretch and finally yesterday was able to get back to normal. I think it was just a stomach bug, but it hit pretty hard. I think I lost 6 pounds." -- Sharks forward Logan Couture
"I think we had our fair share of chances. It just seems to be one of those road trips where we're playing really well [but] we're just not getting a ton of goals. We're getting a lot of scoring chances. It's just not going in." -- Lightning forward Alex Killorn
Need to know
Sharks forward Joonas Donskoi (upper body) returned to the lineup after missing three games and had an assist on Couture's goal. The Sharks placed forward Michael Haley (lower body) on injured reserve and activated Donskoi from IR. ... Sharks rookie forward Timo Meier (upper body) was scratched. ... Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (illness) missed his third straight game. … Lightning forward Joel Vermin was in the lineup, replacing Erik Condra. ... Sharks forward Mikkel Boedker was benched in the third period.
Lightning: At the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday (5 p.m. ET; SUN, FS-A+, NHL.TV)
Sharks: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; ALT2, CSN-CA, NHL.TV)
Video: Couture lifts Sharks to 2-1 win over Lightning