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Sharks earn surprise win against Canucks as overtime finally pays off

VANCOUVER - The tables finally turned for the San Jose Sharks.

After losing some games they probably should have won, the Sharks beat the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 in overtime Thursday night in an NHL game San Jose probably deserved to lose.

"This becomes the game you hear hockey people talk about the hockey gods where it starts to even out," said San Jose coach Todd McLellan.

"We weren't the better team tonight. We have been on the other end where we were the better team and found a way not to win. Tonight we found a way to come back."

Dan Boyle scored a power-play goal at 2:38 of four-on-four overtime to give the Sharks their third win of the season over Vancouver. Rookie Tomas Hertl tied the game with his 11th of the year with 1:05 left in the third.

The Sharks shouldn't have been surprised the game lasted longer than regulation. Six of San Jose's last seven games have gone into overtime or a shootout.

The Sharks beat the Calgary Flames 3-2 in overtime Monday. That snapped a five-game winless streak that saw San Jose lose four times in overtime or a shootout.

"We have been talking about putting teams away before we get to the extra time," said Boyle, who collected his fourth goal of the year. "The grind is just starting.

"It's not always pretty. Two points is two points."

Centre Logan Couture said even though the Sharks were collecting points, the overtime loses were taking a mental toll.

"Especially when you play Western Conference teams you don't like giving up that second point," said Couture.

"When you lose in shootouts and you lose in OT it's mentally a little bit tough."

The victory gave San Jose 10 wins in their last 11 regular-season and playoff games against Vancouver. The Canucks beat the Sharks 4-2 on Nov. 7.

The Sharks' recent stumble hasn't resulted in them falling down the standings. San Jose is third in the Western Conference with 29 points from a 12-2-5 record.

Holding onto leads has been a problem for San Jose. Heading into Thursday's game the Sharks had held at least one lead in each of the previous six games but still allowed the opposition to come back and tie.

The Sharks opened the season winning six straight games and eight of their first nine.

San Jose was outshot 35-30 against Vancouver, including 20-9 in the second period. The Sharks still enjoyed some good scoring chances.

Thornton rang a shot off the post during a second-period power play and Canuck goaltender Roberto Luongo had to make a big save off Joe Pavelski in the first period. In the third period Luongo gloved a James Sheppard blast.

After Thursday the Sharks and Canucks won't see each other again unless they meet in the playoffs. San Jose won the first two meetings of the season by a combined score of 8-2.

"It's weird," said Thornton. "Now we are done with them.

"It's too bad because they are always exciting games. I think both teams like playing against each other."

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