Couture's OT goal sends Sharks past Golden Knights 2-1

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Couture's OT goal sends Sharks past Golden Knights 2-1
Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Malcolm Subban, bottom right, leans back to stop a shot from San Jose Sharks' Kevin Labanc, left, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 22, 2018, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Logan Couture scored 39 seconds into overtime to send the San Jose Sharks to their season-high sixth straight victory, 2-1 over the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night.

Brent Burns also scored and Martin Jones made 24 saves to help the Sharks move within seven points of first-place Vegas with eight games remaining in the regular season. San Jose also opened a four-point lead over third-place Los Angeles in the Pacific Division with a game in hand as the Sharks close in on home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Tomas Tatar scored the lone goal for the Golden Knights, who were kept in the game by a sterling performance by goalie Malcolm Subban. He stopped 42 shots but it wasn’t enough for Vegas to come up with the win.

After Jones made a big save early in the overtime, the Sharks came up with the puck in transition and Couture beat Subban with a backhand for his 31st goal of the season.

The Golden Knights struck first on a pretty passing play early in the first period that ended when Jonathan Marchessault found Tatar cutting through the slot ahead of Justin Braun. Tatar skated past Jones and backhanded the puck into the open net.

Vegas has been dominant when getting off to a lead, posting an NHL-best 31-5-1 record when scoring first heading into this game. But the Sharks dominated the second period, outshooting the Golden Knights 18-4 and getting the equalizer on a blast by Burns from the point after another strong shift by San Jose’s fourth line.

But Vegas managed to keep it tied despite the lopsided shot totals, killing off a four-minute penalty to Colin Miller and another late power play that started late in the second.

That penalty carried over until the third period and the Sharks got 25 seconds of a two-man advantage after Brayden McNabb was called for throwing his stick but still couldn’t get anything past Subban.

The Golden Knights squandered a power-play chance later in the period when Colin Miller was called for cross checking with the man advantage. That nearly led to a power-play goal for San Jose but Subban appeared to get a piece of a shot from in close to Joe Pavelski to keep the game tied at 1.

NOTES: Vegas G Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t make the trip to San Jose with an undisclosed injury but is expected to join the team for Saturday’s game in Colorado. … Burns became the 15th player to play 500 career games with the Sharks.

UP NEXT

Golden Knights: Visit Colorado on Saturday.

Sharks: Host Calgary on Saturday.

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