San Jose Sharks, New York Rangers in NHL playoffs after San Jose's OT win

By Ross McKeon, The Sports Xchange  |  March 29, 2017 at 1:19 PM
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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Both the New York Rangers and San Jose Sharks clinched playoff spots on Tuesday, but only the latter skated out of SAP Center feeling satisfied.

Brent Burns broke a 16-game goal drought with his career-high 28th of the season at 3:10 of overtime to give the Sharks a wild 5-4 victory.

"When you lose six straight, it's obviously a relief when you win one," said Sharks goalie Martin Jones, who made 24 saves. "Win or lose, we played a lot better tonight."

San Jose was on the verge of losing a seventh straight in regulation until Chris Tierney scored his second of the game and career-high ninth, at 17:45 of the third period, to rescue San Jose.

"Whether you think, 'Here we go again,' there was a feeling we were still going to get this," Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said.

The Rangers, who stormed back from a 3-1 deficit to lead 4-3 late, only needed the one point earned with the overtime loss to cinch a seventh straight playoff appearance.

"We didn't make a perfect game, but we got in the playoffs," New York captain Ryan McDonagh said. "But the big picture, we gave ourselves an opportunity to compete for the best trophy in sports. We know our game isn't where it has to be for us to be successful in the playoffs. But we have some games here to fine tune things."

Earlier in the third, New York's Jesper Fast tied the game 3-3 with a redirected goal at 1:24 and J.T. Miller converted on a power play at 4:44 -- his second score of the game and 22nd of the season -- to put the Rangers on top for the first time all night.

The Sharks played without center Logan Couture, who needed emergency dental repair after taking a puck to the mouth on Saturday.

"It's good we broke through tonight, especially with Couture out of the lineup," Tierney said. "We'll have to keep it going."

The teams traded goals in the second period as the Sharks took a 3-2 lead to the third.

San Jose built a two-goal edge at 11:38 when Tierney stickhandled through the slot, took the puck off Jimmy Vesey's stick and punched home a shot in close with goalie Henrik Lundqvist down and out.

"I'm extremely disappointed right now," Lundqvist said. "I'm glad we're in, but I want to get the job done. I want the win. We found a way to lose this one at the end. We played really well in the third. The second period wasn't great. I didn't come up with the extra saves we needed to win. That period I was exhausted and I was all over the place."

But the Rangers struck back on the power play in the final minute to draw within a goal.

With Marleau off for interference, Derek Stepan capped a tic-tac-toe passing play to score his 16th goal of the season, from the bottom of the left circle with 22.4 seconds left in the period.

The Sharks got the good start they wanted for the first time in seven games, scoring first and potting a pair on nine shots in the opening 20 minutes for a one-goal lead.

Jannik Hansen scored his first goal in his ninth game with the Sharks, poking a loose puck from the side of the net behind Lundqvist at 1:44. Lundqvist (30 saves) overcommitted on a Mikkel Boedker chance in close to start a scrambling situation in his goal crease.

New York tied it when Miller won a battle on the boards against San Jose's Paul Martin and Melker Karlsson, then beat Jones with a shot from the right circle that caught a piece of Burns' stick on the way into the upper corner of the net. Miller's 21st goal of the season came at 13:30.

The Sharks went ahead when Karlsson converted a 2-on-1 short-handed break with a wrist shot from the edge of the left circle while using Tierney as a decoy.

Returning after missing eight games with an injury, Karlsson became only the Sharks' fifth double-figure goal-scorer, getting his 10th at 18:01.

"For 39 minutes we didn't show up," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "We didn't make a play. We didn't defend or execute. After our power-play goal, in the third we started to play. We were able to come back. At the end of the night we got a point."

NOTES: D Dan Girardi replaced D Kevin Klein alongside D Ryan McDonagh on New York's top pairing. Girardi missed 12 games with an ankle injury before returning Saturday. Klein was out 16 games before playing in Anaheim on Sunday. ... San Jose C Micheal Haley served a one-game suspension on Tuesday. ... Rookie LW Kevin Labanc was recalled from the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL and slipped into the top line while Jannik Hansen moved to a third line alongside C Tomas Hertl and RW Mikkel Boedker. ... LW Matt Puempel replaced LW Pavel Buchnevich on the fourth line. ... LW Marcus Sorensen and D Dylan DeMelo were San Jose's healthy scratches, while D Adam Clendening, LW Tanner Glass, D Steven Kampfer and RW Brandon Pirri did not dress for New York.

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