Matt Nieto’s second goal of the game, with 39.6 seconds left in overtime, gave the Sharks a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in NHL exhibition play Sunday.
Nieto beat Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller on a shot over his catching glove during an odd-man rush.
The Sharks (3-0-0) remained unbeaten in the exhibition season. All of the wins have been by a 3-2 score in overtime. Meanwhile, the Canucks (1-2-1) suffered their second loss in three exhibition outings.
Kevin Labanc had the other Sharks goal and was credited with an assist on Nieto’s regulation-time marker.
Tuomo Ruutu and Anton Rodin scored for the Canucks, who squandered 1-0 and 2-1 leads.
Sharks goaltender Martin Jones picked up the win as Canucks held a 28-20 advantage in shots. Jones was particularly strong in the third period as the Canucks outshot the Sharks 12-3.
Both teams dressed predominantly young lineups, although the Canucks went with a few more veterans. However, both clubs’ No. 1 goaltenders were between the pipes. Jones suited up for his first game since the Sharks fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins in last spring’s Stanley Cup final, and Ryan Miller made his second appearance for the Canucks.
Jones got off to a rough start as Ruutu beat him on Vancouver’s first shot 3:44 into the game. Ruutu, who is on a professional tryout, picked the top corner on Jones’ glove side.
The goal came as the Canucks were killing an instigator penalty to Andrey Pedan following his fight with fellow defenseman Dan Kelly, who was penalized about two minutes into his first game in the Sharks organization. Kelly, an offseason free-agent signing out of New Jersey’s system, appears headed for the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL. But the Morrisonville, New York, native made sure he was noticed by refusing to back down from the hulking Pedan, who is listed at 6-foot-5 but likely stands taller than that — on or off skates.
Nieto drew the Sharks even midway through the first period as he bunted home the puck after Julius Bergman’s point shot caromed off Chris Tierney, who did not get a point on the play. Labanc, who passed the puck to Bergman before he shot, was credited with an assist.
The Canucks went ahead 2-1 just under six minutes later as a wide-open Rodin whipped Bo Horvat’s pass from behind the net past Jones, who had no chance to make the save.
Jones had a more enjoyable time in the second period as he held the Canucks without a goal. He caught a break as Brendan Gaunce clanged a shot off the post in the early going. Later, the Sharks netminder foiled Rodin in a scramble and denied Horvat on a partial breakaway.
Labanc created a 2-2 tie on a power play with 1:07 left in the middle period. He crashed the net and put in his own rebound after taking a pass from Tierney. Vancouver defenseman Alex Biega was serving a delay-of-game penalty for shooting the puck over the glass.