Sharks edge Coyotes on Vlasic's goal in OTJanuary 14, 2018 8:00am

Jan. 14-- SAN JOSE, Calif.-Marc-Edouard Vlasic got credit for scoring the winning goal in overtime for the San Jose Sharks against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night at SAP Center. Joonas Donskoi did just about everything else to save the Sharks from an embarrassing defeat.

Vlasic charged toward the net and made contact with Christian Dvorak, whose skate tapped the puck over the goal line with 2:18 left in overtime to give the Sharks a dramatic 6-5 win at SAP Center. Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton had the assists, as the Sharks snapped a three-game losing streak.

The Sharks made some dazzling offensive plays-most notably by Donskoi-in their first game in nearly a week.

Donskoi had a goal and an assist before he scored with 15.8 seconds left in the third period to tie the game 5-5 and help send it into overtime.

Donskoi had also given the Sharks a 4-3 lead at the 17:07 mark of the second period with a nifty individual effort. Donskoi got a stick on a long pass from Mikkel Boedker, and as the puck slid toward the Coyotes' goal, he raced in and chipped it over a charging Scott Wedgewood into the net to snap a 10-game goal drought.

Donskoi also had a memorable assist as part of a three-goal first period for the Sharks. Donskoi took control of the puck inside the Coyotes' zone. held off Ekman-Larsson and Kevin Connauton, and somehow found Logan Couture for a goal and what was a 3-2 Sharks lead. .

But Ekman-Larsson and Josh Archibald scored in the first 6:22 of the third period to give the Coyotes the lead, continuing an ugly defensive trend for San Jose. On their five-game road trip before the break, the Sharks allowed 19 goals in regulation time or overtime.

That first period saw six goals on 25 shots on net as Thornton, Pavelski and Couture all scored. Goalie Martin Jones, though, was pulled at the 13:40 mark of the first after Christian Fischer got behind the Sharks defense and beat him on a breakaway to tie the score 3-3.

It was just the second time in his 2{ seasons that Jones had been pulled in the first period. The other came in Nov. 2015 when he lasted just 3:30 in a game against the New York Islanders.

The Sharks had done a solid job this season of beating the NHL's worst teams this season, and can't afford to let these points get away.

Against the teams that entered Saturday at least five points out of a playoff spot, the Sharks were a combined 9-2-2. They beat the Coyotes 3-1 on Nov. 22 in Arizona.

These are the teams the Sharks will have to take care of if they want to keep pace in the Western Conference, where, as of the start of Saturday, six points separated fifth through 12th place.

The Sharks came into Saturday having lost three straight, as they completed their pre-bye road trip with a 1-2-2 record.

"Along the way, there was a couple points that gave away," Couture said Friday, "but we've been pretty good."

The Sharks will have just about the busiest schedule in the NHL over the next 12 weeks, starting with this stretch of six games in nine days.

After Saturday, they play three games in four days on the road, the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins at home next Saturday and the Ducks in Anaheim on Jan. 21.

"The nice thing is we're coming out of a break, so we're fresh," Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said Saturday morning. "But we told everybody yesterday, it's going to test our depth and we don't have time to ease into this. These are important points and it's coming right at us."

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(c)2018 The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

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