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OT goal allows 'Canes to salvage last game of trip

The SportsXchange

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Carolina Hurricanes looked headed for a winless five-game road trip before Jay Harrison came to the rescue.

The defenseman scored on a broken play with 41.2 seconds left in overtime, giving the Hurricanes a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.

Defenseman Andrej Sekera's shot from the left point bounced off Sharks defenseman Scott Hannan in front to Carolina right winger Elias Lindholm, who found a pinching Harrison wide open in the right circle.

"It was a real heads-up play made by Lindholm to put it in the open space where I was, and I had a pretty easy task of just banging it in," Harrison said.

Sharks goalie Alex Stalock said, "They got the bounce, and their guy was there at the right time. We had a chance like that in the third, too, we just didn't have a guy there. It ended up right on his tape. I don't know what you do."

The Sharks peppered the Carolina net in the third period, outshooting the dragging visitors 16-7. However, San Jose could not solve Hurricanes netminder Anton Khudobin, who gift-wrapped two first-period goals.

"That's not our best game, we've got to get better," Sharks center James Sheppard said. "We've got a homestand here to prove it."

Trying to salvage the fifth and final game of a winless road trip to start the post-Olympic portion of the schedule, the Hurricanes scored the only goal of the second period to tie the score at 2.

Sharks skaters got fixed on the puck, which was on the stick of Carolina center Eric Staal behind the San Jose net, allowing Lindholm to fill the slot, take a centering feed and blast a wrist shot past Stalock at 4:16 for his fifth goal of the season.

The Sharks escaped the first period with a 2-1 lead despite not playing particularly well. The Hurricanes had a 16-11 advantage in shots, but they surrendered two goals thanks to mishaps by Khudobin, who signed a contract extension earlier in the day.

"Our defensemen were working hard all night," Khudobin said. "(The Sharks) were shooting a lot of pucks, and they drove hard a lot. I just had to keep focusing and figure out what I can do."

Carolina's first lead of the trip lasted less than a minute, as San Jose right winger Martin Havlat scored his fifth goal of the season on a fat rebound left on a shot by left winger Tyler Kennedy at 13:05.

The Sharks took the lead in the final minute of the period as Khudobin mishandled a puck behind his net, allowing Sheppard to start the scoring sequence.

Sheppard tossed the puck out front to left winger Raffi Torres, who dished to an open Brent Burns. The struggling winger banged home his 15th goal at 19:32 to snap a 19-game goal-less drought.

"Great to see Burnsie bury one," Sheppard said. "He put everything into it, that's how he's going to score. It was a great play."

Carolina scored first at 12:07 when right winger Alexander Semin sprung left winger Jiri Tlusty on a mini-break with a pass through center that split San Jose defensemen Jason Demers and Hannan, who was just on during a change. Tlusty's backhand through Stalock's five-hole was his 10th goal.

Khudobin finished with 35 saves. Stalock stopped 32 shots.

"It just didn't look like we had our legs early on," said center Joe Thornton, the Sharks' captain. "Coming off of a road trip, that's normal."

The Hurricanes head home on a positive note after ending a five-game losing streak that began in the last game before the Olympic break.

"I don't think the results generally reflected our effort and some of the games we played on this trip, but that's the game," Harrison said. "We need to find ways to win, and tonight was a step in that direction."

NOTES: Carolina agreed to terms on a two-year, $4.5 million contract with G Anton Khudobin. ... The Sharks opened a four-game homestand by playing their fourth game in a stretch of 12 in a row against Eastern Conference opponents. ... Tuesday's game marked the first time since 2000-01 that San Jose and the Carolina/Hartford franchise met more than once in a season. ... D Brad Stuart missed his fourth straight game due to an unspecified upper-body injury sustained Feb. 7 during San Jose's final game before the Olympic break. ... LW Tomas Hertl (right knee surgery) also remains out for the Sharks, while D Joni Pitkanen (left heel surgery) and D Justin Faulk (upper body) are nursing injuries for Carolina. ... RW Mike Brown, C Adam Burish and D Matt Tennyson did not dress for San Jose. RW Radek Dvorak was a healthy scratch for Carolina.

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