The Sharks dramatic overtime win in Dallas put them one point closer to the playoffs. San Jose began the night three points behind Edmonton, but when the evening ended, Team Teal found themselves just two points behind Vancouver. Edmonton’s 7-1 route of the Coyotes kept the Oilers three points up on San Jose, but the Sharks still have two games in hand.
San Jose’s two point gap with Vancouver looks even more promising as the Sharks still have three games in hand on the Canucks. The Canucks 1-0 loss to Los Angeles kept the Kings even with San Jose in the playoff race, but the Sharks have two games in hand on L.A.
The game could have turned the wrong way for San Jose when Dallas scored late in the third, but the Sharks did not let the third period tally deflate them.
“We knew there was a point there,” said Joe Thornton
. “It was a 20-man effort. We know what’s at stake right now.”
The Sharks one-two deep center combination set up the game-winning tally, but not the way many would think, as this time Thornton was the recipient of the great pass.
“Patty slid over a perfect pass and I shot it upstairs,” said Thornton.
The reason Marleau was able to make the play was the stellar pass he received from defenseman Tom Preissing, who blindly backhanded the puck to where Marleau was heading.
“I got kind of lucky,” said Preissing. “I tried to draw my guy and it created a three on two.”
Just 30 seconds prior to Thornton’s goal, Marty Turco had just robbed Jonathan Cheechoo in close. The Sharks kept coming though as they had all night long.
“We feed off every good shift,” said Thornton. “It is a boost to the bench.”
The victory in Texas will have to be quickly put in the memory bank as the Sharks flew after the game to Colorado to prepare for a Wednesday battle with the Avalanche.
“Right now we can’t get too high with a win or too low with a loss,” said Preissing. “We just need to put together a good effort and the wins will take care of themselves.”
With the importance each night on both what the Sharks do and what their counterparts do, it is hard not to scoreboard watch.
“I try not to look, but I did see Edmonton up 6-1 tonight,” said Preissing.
Dallas was already guaranteed a playoff spot and virtually guaranteed the second seed prior to Monday. Wednesday night’s opponent is in a battle for their division title and is not yet guaranteed a playoff spot.
“Colorado will probably be a little more desperate,” said Preissing. “They're still fighting for position. It will be a tough game.”