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Antti Niemi saved 36 of 38 shots in Vancouver on Tuesday night. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
VANCOUVER – Scott Gomez and Adam Burish scored their first goals of the season and Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski converted in the shootout, to give the Sharks a 3-2 win in Vancouver on Tuesday night.
The teams played a wild and frantic third period and overtime, but neither could break a 2-2 tie. Vancouver had its best chances on a power play with James Sheppard in the box for tripping at 13:26 of the third, holding the puck in the zone for the entire two minutes, and while Brad Stuart was shaken up for most of it after taking a puck to the face. Antti Niemi made two brilliant pad saves on Alex Burrows and Alex Edler, though, keeping it deadlocked.
The Sharks went on a power play of their own at 15:47, and a diving glove save by Cory Schneider with less than three minutes to go denied Ryane Clowe. In the last minute of regulation, Niemi got a piece of a Jason Garrison blast that nicked off of the outside of the post, as well.
In overtime, Vancouver went on the power play when Gomez was called for goaltender interference after getting pushed into Schneider by Mason Raymond. They couldn’t convert on the four-on-three, though, and the game proceeded to the tiebreaker.
The Sharks were down to their final shooter after failing on their first two tries, as Chris Higgins converted on Vancouver's first attempt. Couture went five-hole past Schneider, though, and Pavelski ended it with a wrist shot that whizzed past the goaltender.
The Sharks improved to 11-6-4 and have collected seven of a possible eight points in their last four games. Todd McLellan tied Ron Wilson for the most wins in franchise history with 206.
The Canucks erased a 2-0 second period hole with a pair of goals before the intermission.
The Sedin brothers teamed up to make it 2-1. Daniel threw the puck on net from a bad angle, but Henrik found it at the side of the net before Niemi could locate it and put in his fourth of the year at 13:23.
Late in the second, Jannik Hansen poked the puck away from Clowe in the neutral zone, leading to sustained Vancouver pressure. Raymond dropped a pass to Hansen in the circle, and Hansen beat Niemi cleanly with a wrist shot at 19:35.
The Sharks were outshot and out-played in the first period, but escaped with a 1-0 lead thanks to Gomez’s first of the year. It came when a shot by Marc-Edouard Vlasic rattled around and ended up on Gomez’s stick in the high slot, and Gomez quickly fired it past Schneider at 7:42.
Vancouver poured 17 shots on net in the first, but Niemi was strong in stopping them all and controlling the majority of rebounds.
Burish’s shorthanded goal, the Sharks’ first of the season, made it 2-0. Stuart found Burish with a long pass from the defensive zone, and Burish deposited his wrist shot on a partial breakaway at 4:43 of the second to give San Jose a 2-0 lead that did not last.
The Sharks were forced to stay in Vancouver on Tuesday night due to visibility issues in Calgary, where they were supposed to fly immediately following the game.
San Jose’s penalty kill was again impressive, killing off all five Canucks power plays to go with Burish’s shorthanded goal. It was the fourth straight game the Sharks have not allowed an opponent to score on a man advantage.
After two power play goals against Nashville on Saturday, San Jose was 0-for-3.
Niemi made his ninth straight start, and stopped 36 of 38 shots.
Schneider made 28 saves, including 16 in the third period and overtime.
Marty Havlat missed the game with a lower body injury, and will be out on Tuesday night against Calgary, too. In his place, Bracken Kearns made his Sharks debut after being recalled from Worcester on Sunday. Kearns has 13 goals and 17 assists for 30 points in 50 games with the Sharks’ AHL affiliate.
On defense, Jason Demers returned after two games as a healthy scratch in place of Justin Braun.
The Sharks began a stretch of nine of 11 on the road, and visit the Flames on Wednesday.
San Jose hosts St. Louis on Saturday afternoon at HP Pavilion, and visits the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday evening to round out the week.