PITTSBURGH — Brent Burns scored a power play goal with 2:58 left in overtime as the Sharks began 2020 with a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday.
With Penguins defenseman Kris Letang serving a tripping penalty, Burns, with room to move on the 4 on 3 advantage, stepped into a slap shot and beat Penguins goalie for his seventh goal of the season.
The win was the just the second in seven games for the Sharks, who continue their five-game road trip Saturday in Columbus,
Aaron Dell had 36 saves through three periods, including 11 in the final 20 minutes of regulation time.
The Sharks were coming off a 2-0 loss to Detroit on Tuesday, the first time they had been shut out this season. The game marked the fifth time in six games that the Sharks had been held to two goals or less.
Just in the last six games before Thursday, though, the Sharks had been outscored 10-4 in the third period, although two of those goals allowed were empty-netters.
The Penguins took momentum into the third period after Patric Hornqvist scored his second of the game with 51 seconds left in the second.
Moments after tripping penalty to Barclay Goodrow had expired, Dell played the puck behind his own net and tried to fire it around the glass. Instead, the puck was stopped and came to Alex Galchenyuk on the other side of the ice. He passed to Bryan Rust, who found Hornqvist open in front for an easy tap-in past Dell.
The Sharks had a 2-1 lead after the first period on goals by Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture.
The Sharks struck first at the 2:48 mark of the opening period, as Joel Kellman chipped the puck into the Penguins zone and outbattled defenseman Kris Letang for possession. Kellman then rimmed the puck around the boards to Brent Burns, who sent a puck to the slot that was redirected by Hertl past Tristan Jarry for his team-leading 15th of the season.
The Penguins responded at the 16:51 mark of the first period. Defenseman Mario Ferraro tried to find Timo Meier with a backhand pass. Instead, the puck went through Meier’s, legs, Hornqvist intercepted it, skated in and beat Dell to the blocker side for his eighth of the season.
The Sharks, though, responded exactly 60 seconds later. Patrick Marleau forced a turnover after he chased down defenseman John Marino near the Penguins blue line, took possession of the puck and skated back toward Jarry. He found Couture, who joined the play and beat Jarry high to the glove side.
In his last nine games before Thursday, starting with his 37-save performance vs. Vegas on Nov. 21, Dell had a 2-3-2 record and a .914 save percentage. In his last two starts, sandwiched around the Christmas break, Dell had a combined .920 save percentage for the Sharks in a 3-1 loss to Vegas on Dec. 22 and a 3-2 overtime to Los Angeles on Dec. 27.