UNIONDALE, N.Y. – San Jose coach Todd McLellan was happy enough to laugh about the winning goal, even if it didn’t come on the play he designed.
Brent Burns scored a power-play goal 1:07 into overtime to give the surging Sharks a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday night.
“We were talking about our set. It’s not something that’s common, so we needed to take a timeout to set up what we were going to do. What we talked about, we didn’t do,” McLellan said between chuckles. “But we scored the goal, so we’ll take it.”
Burns slammed a one-timer from the top of the right circle past Rick DiPietro after a disputed delay-of-game penalty on New York defenceman Travis Hamonic.
Hamonic attempted to fire the puck off the glass to a streaking John Tavares, but it went out of play. The officials convened and concluded that the puck did not touch the glass, leading to a delay-of-game call. Replays, however, showed that the puck did in fact hit the glass first.
Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture also scored for the Sharks, and Thomas Greiss made 35 saves. San Jose has won the first five games of its six-game road trip, which concludes Monday night against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Tavares and Michael Grabner scored for the Islanders, who have lost five in a row.
DiPietro made 27 saves in his first start since a 7-4 loss in Philadelphia on April 4. He replaced an ill Evgeni Nabokov for the shootout in New York’s 3-2 loss at Pittsburgh on Thursday night.
“I felt pretty good,” DiPietro said. “I always have nervous anxiety at the start.”
The Sharks broke through almost as soon as the puck dropped, thanks to a cross-checking penalty on New York defenceman Steve Staios 10 seconds into the game. Only 7 seconds after the penalty was called, Pavelski slipped a backhand into a half-empty net after DiPietro slid out of position.
The Islanders entered the game with five goals in 29 power-play opportunities. They ended the night scoring twice on six power plays.
San Jose also was 2 for 6 with the man advantage.
“Ricky played well,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said.
Tavares tied it 1-all with a power-play goal at 3:15 of the second period. With Burns and fellow defencemen Marc-Edouard Vlassic focused on Matt Moulson and P.A. Parenteau, who were able to keep control of the puck in the offensive zone, Tavares was able to sneak into the slot unobstructed. He snapped his seventh goal of the season into a virtually wide-open net as Greiss laid flat on his back.
The Sharks, who played Friday night in Detroit, admitted to being tired. Following Tavares’ goal, New York began to dominate play. And when Grabner completed a passing sequence with linemates Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen with a one-time power-play strike at 11:28 of the second, the Islanders had a 2-1 lead.
“We were moving and getting pucks to the net,” Tavares said. “We did a lot of good things tonight.”
New York’s lead lasted all of 1:51 before Couture scored his third goal of the season.
“(The puck) hit their ‘D’ man and it was on my stick. I let it go quick,” Couture said. “I was able to be in the right spot at the right time.”
NOTES: The Islanders honoured their 1992-93 team in an on-ice ceremony before the game. That team upset Washington and two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh in the first two rounds of the playoffs before losing in five games to eventual Stanley Cup champion Montreal in five games in the Eastern Conference finals. … Announced attendance was 11,742 despite a nasty storm that left the Northeast covered in snow and slush. … New York set a season high with 37 shots on goal. … San Jose had 10 takeaways and 16 blocked shots.