Karlsson does it all as Sharks rally for stirring victory over Dallas
SAN JOSE – Erik Karlsson helped the San Jose Sharks turn what was looking like just another loss on home ice into their most stirring victory of the season.
Trailing by three midway through the second period, the Sharks scored five unanswered goals, with Karlsson picking up points on four of them to help beat the Dallas Stars 5-3 on Wednesday at SAP Center.
With his team down by two, Karlsson assisted on second-period goals by Nick Bonino and Timo Meier to help tie the game, then scored the go-ahead goal with 9:19 left in the third period.
Karlsson’s goal came from a sharp angle to the left of the Stars’ net, as he beat Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger on the short side for his 15th goal and 61st point of the season, marks that lead all NHL defensemen.
“That shot he had, I thought was unbelievable,” Meier said of Karlsson. “So, huge game for him. A huge, huge effort to help us get a win here.”
Karlsson also assisted on Logan Couture’s empty-net goal with 36 seconds left, completing his fourth fourpoint night of the season. His 15 goals and 62 points lead all NHL defensemen.
“(Karlsson’s) a special player,” said Sharks goalie James Reimer, who made 33 saves to earn his 200th career win. “The way he sees the race and creates offense, and the way he plays the game.”
Steven Lorentz began the comeback for the Sharks (1423-9), as his goal at the 9:41 mark of the second period cut the Dallas lead to 3-1.
The Sharks were the more energetic team for the rest of the period. Bonino buried a pass from Alexander Barabanov for his seventh goal of the season at the 11:49 mark to cut Dallas’ lead to 3-2, and Meier scored a power-play goal just 3:29 later to tie the game.
“I’m not surprised that we were able to battle back because we’ve been doing that all year,” Sharks coach David Quinn said of his team, “not only within games but within the season.”
Unlike their game against New Jersey on Monday, the Sharks were able to protect a one-goal lead after the Stars pulled Oettinger to create a 6-on-5.
Reimer made three saves in the 40 seconds before Couture’s goal, and Karlsson played most of the final six minutes of regulation time, with his final two shifts lasting 1:47 and 2:16, respectively.
Wednesday’s win helped the Sharks erase the bitter memory of their 4-3 shootout loss two days earlier, when Jack Hughes tied the game with 8.6 seconds left in the third period, as his shot from the half-wall went off Karlsson’s stick and past Reimer. New Jersey then won the game in a shootout.
“I’m really happy for them,” Quinn said of his team. “You could feel after what happened the other night with the 6-on-5, the way we competed in that 6-on-5 (Wednesday), I thought we did a heck of a job in a critical time in the game. We just (stiffened) up.”