McLellan: 'We don't seem to have the jump'
Hurricanes' Riley Nash (20) tries to score while Marc-Edouard Vlasic (44) defends and Alex Stalock (32) deflects the puck. (AP)
RALEIGH – Elias Lindholm’s deflection capped a wild, back-and-forth third period, and gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 5-3 win over the Sharks at PNC Arena on Friday night.
Lindholm, who helped to generate a goal by Carolina earlier in the period, got a piece of an Andrej Sekera wrister with six minutes remaining in regulation to give the Hurricanes a 4-3 lead.
The Hurricanes trailed 2-1 to start the third, but a pair of goals in succession gave them their first lead of the night. Riley Nash tipped in a Jay Harrison shot at 4:54 of the third after an aggressive forecheck by Lindholm separated Justin Braun from the puck in the Sharks’ defensive zone.
Less than two minutes later, Alex Stalock was unable to freeze a loose puck, and Jordan Staal whacked it in at 6:42 to give Carolina its first lead, 3-2.
The Sharks were without Logan Couture to start the third period, as the center was perhaps feeling the effects from a hard, clean check from Harrison late in the second period. He returned, though, and on his second shift of the final frame saw a Braun floater sail past Cam Ward to tie it at 3-3 midway through the third.
The Sharks lost their second straight game in regulation for the first time this season. They are 1-2 on a four-game road trip that concludes on Sunday in Minnesota.
Harrison’s defensive zone turnover led to the Sharks’ opening the scoring. Jason Demers’ slap shot was high in the zone and Tommy Wingels perfect tip past Ward at 7:09 of the first period gave San Jose the lead.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s snuck a wrist shot through Ward’s legs at 16:31 for the defenseman’s fourth goal. After some strong board work, Tomas Hertl got the puck to Joe Thornton down low, and the captain found Vlasic for a point shot.
The Sharks have outscored the opposition 40-14 in the first period.
Thornton increased his point streak to eight games (3g, 7a) with an assist on Vlasic’s goal.
Lindholm finished with three points (1g, 2a), while Staal, Nash and Harrison all had multiple-point nights. No Sharks player had more than one point in the game.
The Sharks and Hurricanes were both playing the second of a back-to-back and third game in four nights, and the Sharks fell to 1-5-0 in their last six games here. They meet again in San Jose on March 4.
The Sharks fell to 12-1-4 when leading after the first period and 16-1-1 when leading after two.
The Sharks were 0-for-2 on the power play, and are just 1-for-14 in the last four games.
Carolina’s only power play came 38 seconds into the game on a Brent Burns hook, but it did not convert.
Stalock allowed four goals on 34 shots in losing for the first time in four starts. It was the first loss of his NHL career. All four of his stars have come on the road.
Antti Niemi had the night off after starting the previous seven games.
Ward made 22 saves and is 3-1-0 in four games against San Jose.
Brad Stuart was scratched for the first time since Nov. 10 in Winnipeg. Matt Irwin played for just the third time in the last 12 games.
Mike Brown sat out for the second straight game for undisclosed reasons, although Todd McLellan deemed him as “somewhere between injured and healthy” before the game.
After Sunday's game in Minnesota, the Sharks host the New York Islanders on Tuesday, Dec. 10. The Wild visit San Jose on Thursday, Dec. 12.