Hurricanes storm back to hand Sharks loss

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes were determined to make sure they were rewarded for a strong performance Friday night.
It just took time.
Rookie center Elias Lindholm scored the go-ahead goal in Carolina's four-goal third period as it rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat the visiting San Jose Sharks 5-3 at PNC Arena.
"I think we felt good about how we were playing," Hurricanes center Riley Nash said. "All the guys kind of followed suit."
Lindholm found room near the crease to deposit the winning goal with six minutes to play, giving Carolina its season-best three-game winning streak.
"We had to bring our 'A' game," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. "We played the game so well. It was such a strong 60 minutes, we deserved to get points."
The Sharks, who lost 5-1 on Thursday night at Pittsburgh, went pointless in consecutive games for the first time this season. They had not lost in regulation when leading after two periods in 17 previous games this season.
"I don't know what it is, but we came up without the points that we needed," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. "Some concerns about our group right now. I don't know if we are playing with the energy we played with earlier in the year and I don't know why that is."
The Hurricanes went ahead twice in the final period.
Sharks defenseman Justin Braun tied the score at 3 with 10:25 remaining with a shot from near the blue line.
Defenseman Jay Harrison, center Riley Nash and center Jordan Staal also scored for the Hurricanes, who won only seven of 17 home games. Center Eric Staal added an empty-net goal in the last minute.
"We definitely didn't waver the whole game," Jordan Staal said. "We were playing really good hockey."
Lindholm said he was relieved to be a part of the scoring mix. He has two goals in barely a two-week span since returning from an assignment with the AHL's Charlotte Checkers.
Jordan Staal nudged the puck over the goal line after San Jose goalie Alex Stalock made an initial stop, putting Carolina ahead for the first time. The advantage didn't last long before Braun pulled the Sharks even.
Center Tommy Wingels and defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic staked the Sharks to a 2-0 lead in the first period.
San Jose, playing its sixth game in a 10-day span, was denied reaching the 20-win mark for the second night in a row.
Goalie Cam Ward, who didn't play in the previous two games, stopped 21 shots.
Stalock, in only his fourth full game of the season, made 29 saves while allowing only one goal on Carolina's first 27 shots.
"He has not played a lot, but I thought he gave us a chance to win at least," McLellan said.
The Sharks struck first when Wingels' tipped a shot by defenseman Jason Demers 7:09 into the game. The tally came after the Hurricanes failed to clear the puck when Ward retrieved it from behind the net.
Stalock's sprawling save with his right leg denied Hurricanes center Nathan Gerbe later in the first period.
Before the first session ended, Vlasic scored by sending a shot through traffic at 16:31.
Harrison's goal, which made it 2-1 in the second period, was part of a fluky sequence when his blast from inside the blue line ricocheted off the boards behind Stalock and bounced off at least one Sharks player and into the net.
"We kept telling each other we were going to get one," Jordan Staal said. "We just kept at it and we were rewarded."
The tying goal came when Nash redirected Harrison's shot with 15:06 left in the third period.
Nash, who assisted on the first goal, has points in consecutive games for the first time this season. He was credited with the game-winner Thursday night at Nashville.
NOTES: The Sharks scratched D Brad Stuart, who scored game-winning goals in three of the previous 11 games, based on a coach's decision. ... Hurricanes LW Drayson Bowman missed a game for the first time this season. He has a lower-body injury. ... Carolina RW Patrick Dwyer sat out a night after he took a high stick to the face at Nashville. ...The Hurricanes recalled LW Zach Boychuk from Charlotte of the AHL, and he assisted on the team's first goal. They put D Mike Komisarek on injured reserve with a lower-body ailment. ... G Antti Niemi was the San Jose backup after starting eight consecutive games. ...The teams meet again March 4 at San Jose. ... The Sharks conclude their four-game road trip with Sunday's game at Minnesota. ... Carolina won't play at home again until Dec. 20, beginning four-game road stretch Monday at Vancouver.

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