Kevin Labanc had a goal, two assists and the shootout winner as the beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 Saturday night for their sixth straight win.
Logan Couture had three assists and Erik Karlsson and Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored for San Jose.
“When you’re putting together a winning streak, you’re going to win all kinds of different ways,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. “You’re going to put some solid games together, and you’re going to have to win some like this.”
The Sharks have 21 points in 21 games (10-10-1), the first time reaching the point-per-game mark since they were 3-3-0 on Oct. 15.
“We’re obviously in a better spot now than we were six games ago, and we still have a long way to go,” said Karlsson, who played in his 700th NHL game. “I think we’re finding ways to win games now. I don’t think we played well in Anaheim or tonight in long stretches, but we’re finding a way.”
Martin Jones had 25 saves and stopped all three Red Wings attempts in the shootout. Among his saves was a sensational one that robbed Brendan Perlini of a power-play goal midway through the second with San Jose up 2-1.
San Jose’s NHL-best killing unit held the Red Wings scoreless on three power plays including one in overtime.
“He made massive saves,” Couture said of Jones. “That penalty kill, and save in the second was huge … He’s playing great. Big reason we got two points was him tonight.”
Jimmy Howard had 16 saves and stopped 2 of 3 shootout attempts.
Athanasiou tied it at 3 by scoring his fifth of the season with 4:14 left. He took a no-look pass from Valtteri Filppula on a 2-on-1 and fired a 35-footer past Jones.
Karlsson broke a 2-2 tie at 12:32 of the second on a power play.
Labanc snapped a streak of eight games without a goal when he scored his sixth with just under a minute left in the first of a scoreless game. He hadn’t tallied a point in his previous five games.
Vlasic fired a in long shot just over a minute into the second to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead.
The Red Wings answered 13 seconds later on Athanasiou’s fourth goal, and they tied it midway through the second on Hirose’s first goal of the season in his 18th game.
“Overall we played pretty good hockey,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “We weren’t perfect, I thought we played fast a lot of the times, I thought our gaps were better, I thought our O-zone offense was better. We leaked a little oil at the end of the hockey game and I thought we were good in overtime.”
NOTES: Red Wings C Luke Glendening was back in the lineup after missing 11 games with a wrist injury. ... D Filip Hronek (lower body) missed his second straight game. ... D Mike Green missed Saturday’s game for personal reason. ... F Givani Smith was assigned to the team’s team’s AHL Grand Rapids affiliate. ... Sharks C Tomas Hertl was back in the lineup after leaving Thursday’s game against Anaheim in the third period after sustaining a blow to his right knee. Hertl had his five-game goal scoring streak snapped, one game short of the team record (Owen Nolan, Jan. 20-30, 2003). ... Couture 11 pts (two goals, nine assists) in his last five games.
Red Wings: Host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.
Sharks: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.
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