SAN JOSE, Calif. – A tired Dany Heatley sprinted into action once he had the puck on his stick and an open lane to the net.
Heatley scored on a breakaway at 4:06 of overtime to give the San Jose Sharks a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night.
“I was surprised Dany was able to pull away,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. “He was tired and at the back end of a shift. We were actually trying to get him off.”
San Jose’s Patrick Marleau tied it with a power-play goal with 7:09 left in regulation, and Evgeni Nabokov made 28 saves. Tied for the NHL lead with Chicago with 63 points, the Sharks have won nine of their last 10 games.
“He got rewarded for blocking a shot,” Nabokov said about Heatley’s winner. “He was tired too, but he did a good job. I got excited and thought, ‘There he goes, he’s got the breakaway.’ Those guys play us hard every single game but we stayed with it.”
Andy McDonald scored in his fourth straight game for the Blues, who lost their sixth straight and second since interim coach Davis Payne took over Saturday following Andy Murray’s firing. Mason made a season-high 42 saves for St. Louis.
“We played with a lot more structure and came out strong,” McDonald said. “They scored on a power play on a penalty on myself and that’s a hard pill to swallow.”
Heatley blocked McDonald’s shot to start the winning sequence. He got a step on a pair of Blues’ defenders and beat Mason.
“I was going to wait and see after I got a little step on the guys,” Heatley said. “I played with Mason last year in the world championships so he knows my game. It was more of a split-second decision on the shot.”
The Blues were missing two of their top offensive stars in Keith Tkachuk and Paul Kariya, two noted Sharks’ killers. Tkachuk remained at home following his mishap with broken teeth in the Blues’ 6-3 loss to Chicago on Saturday.
Kariya, who missed his fourth game because of concussion-like symptoms, skated during the pre-game but wasn’t well enough to play.
Tkachuk has 33 career goals against the Sharks, his second-most (34 versus the Blackhawks) against any team. Kariya has 60 points against San Jose, his fourth-highest total against any team.
McDonald, who scored his 14th goal, helped his own cause. He was pushed into Nabokov during the power play and they both went to the ice