ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Not even an unusual travel schedule could stop the San Jose Sharks’ overtime dominance.
Brent Burns scored 2:46 into overtime, Martin Jones stopped 34 shots and the Sharks beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Melker Karlsson and Paul Martin also scored for the Sharks, who spent the morning in San Jose before boarding a plane and then outlasting the Ducks to win their third straight game and sixth of their last seven to maintain their lead atop the Pacific Division.
Burns took a pass from Joe Pavelski and made two quick fakes before beating John Gibson for the winner, capitalizing on an extended flurry of possession that wore down the Ducks’ usual overtime rotation. That left the unlikely trio of Antoinne Vermette, Ondrej Kase and Cam Fowler to deal with Burns, Pavelski and Joe Thornton.
“It’s all about possession,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “If you can get your change on when you have the puck it seems to be a huge, huge advantage.”
The Sharks improved to 6-1 in overtime this season, though Burns didn’t have an explanation for that success.
“Anything can happen,” said Burns, who scored his 14th goal of the season. “I don’t know if it fits anything. We’ve been good so far and hopefully you guys talking about it doesn’t screw it up.”
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer credited Jones for creating the confidence to take chances in the 3-on-3 format, knowing the goalie would be ready and waiting to deal with a possible break the other way.
Despite giving up a goal to Jakob Silfverberg off a redirected shot by Ryan Kesler to tie the game 2-2 with 6:25 remaining in regulation, Jones was the “best player” on the ice, according to DeBoer, and allowed the Sharks to overcome a sluggish offensive performance.
Karlsson stuck out his stick and redirected a dump-in by Joel Ward, causing the puck to take several odd bounces and careen past Gibson on his right stick side, giving the Sharks a 2-1 lead with 5:52 left in the second period.
“Our guys found a way in a tough circumstance, so we’ll take it,” DeBoer said.
Kase also scored and Gibson stopped 22 shots for the Ducks, who have dropped three straight.
Kase, a rookie, scored on a twisting backhand while falling to his knees midway through the second period, tying the game 1-1 on his second career goal.
Martin put the Sharks ahead 1-0 with his third goal of the season, 6:30 into the first period. Carlyle thought about challenging the play as Logan Couture was on top of Gibson to give Martin an empty net, but explained that the goal was unlikely to be overturned because of contact initiated by the Ducks.
“Those seemed to be the bounces going against us,” Carlyle said. “We’ll take the point and move on.”
NOTES: Ducks D Sami Vatanen did not play because of illness. Vatanen’s status for an upcoming two-game road trip will be decided Wednesday morning, Carlyle said. The Ducks also scratched RW Stefan Noesen. … The Sharks scratched D David Schlemko, C Tommy Wingels and LW Matt Nieto. … The Sharks tied the season series 2-2, with the final regular-season meeting to be played March 18 in San Jose.
Sharks: Close out a successful 2016 at Los Angeles on Saturday.
Ducks: Play at Vancouver on Thursday.