SAN JOSE (CBS / AP) — Joe Pavelski scored in the sixth round of the shootout and Antti Niemi sealed the win with a sliding pad save against P.K. Subban as the San Jose Sharks beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 on Thursday night.
Ryane Clowe tied the game with 1:26 left in regulation, and after a fast-paced overtime, the Sharks maintained their home dominance over the Canadiens in the shootout. San Jose has won six straight at home against Montreal, last losing 3-2 in overtime on Nov. 23, 1999.
The Canadiens looked as though they would end that dry spell when Erik Cole gave them a 3-2 lead midway through the third. But after Clowe tied it, the Sharks pulled it out in the shootout.
Marty Havlat beat Carey Price in the second round with a forehand before Brian Gionta kept it going in the third round when he stickhandled past Niemi.
Michal Handzus and David Desharnais traded goals in the fourth round before both teams missed in the fifth. Pavelski then beat Price with a forehand wrister before Niemi got his pad out just in time to stop Subban’s backhand attempt.
Logan Couture and Jamie McGinn scored and Niemi made 29 saves for the Sharks, who avoided matching a season-worst, three-game losing streak.
Desharnais had a goal and two assists, and Cole and Michael Cammalleri each had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens, who have lost four in a row.
That streak appeared to be near an end when Desharnais’ wraparound attempt trickled through the crease, and Cole beat Marc-Edouard Vlasic to the loose puck and knocked it past Niemi to give the Canadiens a 3-2 lead with 11:14 to go.
But the Sharks tied it late when Marty Havlat fired a puck on Carey Price, and Clowe got the rebound in the slot and knocked it in for his first goal since Nov. 3. Couture also assisted on the goal as San Jose’s reunited second line provided the spark coach Todd McLellan was looking for when he put flipped Couture and Patrick Marleau.
That was a pattern that held up all game as Montreal scored first in each period and San Jose answered.
The Canadiens got it started in the first period when Niemi was out of position after he made a save during a scramble in front of the net. Cammalleri then redirected a point shot from Desharnais into the empty net.
Just 41 seconds later, McGinn knocked the rebound of Michal Handzus’ wraparound attempt past Price for his third goal.
The Canadiens scored first again in the second period after a turnover in the offensive zone by Pavelski. Cole then banked a blind, backhand pass of the boards that reached Desharnais in stride. He raced up ice and fired a wrist shot past Niemi before Dan Boyle could get over to slow him down.
This time, the Sharks took 1:37 to tie the game when Couture raced in from the blue line to take a pass from Clowe and beat Price with a wrist shot for his eighth goal.
NOTES: Canadiens F Max Pacioretty, whose parents grew up in the Bay Area, served the second game of his of three-game suspension for an illegal head hit on Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang, disappointing about 35 family members who bought tickets. … Handzus returned to the lineup after missing Monday’s game with an illness. … Montreal D Andrei Markov, who has been out for more than a year since tearing ligaments in his right knee on Nov. 13, 2010, is close to returning.
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