NASHVILLE – Mike Fisher scored in the third overtime, giving Nashville a 4-3 win in Game 4 of their second round series with the Sharks on Thursday night.
The game was the second-longest in Sharks franchise history.
On the deciding goal, Fisher corralled a Mattias Ekhom rebound in front of the crease and curled it over the line at 11:12.
The home team has now captured all four games in the series, which shifts back to SAP Center for Game 5 on Saturday. The best road team in the NHL in the regular season, San Jose had not lost consecutive games on the road since Dec. 18-20.
San Jose has now dropped both of its overtime games in the playoffs, including Game 3 to Los Angeles in the first round.
Prior to the winner, an apparent Joe Pavelski goal in the first overtime was waved off after a lengthy review.
The Sharks captain plowed into Pekka Rinne – perhaps helped by Paul Gaustad – while trying to play an airborne puck with his hand. The disc sat on the goal line before a prone Pavelski smacked it across at 7:34, but the league’s Situation Room decided it was “incidental contact,” thereby “preventing Rinne from doing his job in the crease.”
Martin Jones kept 3-3 at 7:18 of the third overtime, sealing his five hole on Colin Wilson’s breakaway attempt after Justin Braun was caught out of position.
The game was tied at 2-2 after two periods when Brent Burns gave the Sharks their first lead in the third period on the power play, his second score of the night. He passed the puck to Logan Couture, who quickly slid it back, before blasting in a one-timer that deflected off of Roman Josi at 6:48 of the final frame.
Nashville kept up the pressure, though, and re-tied it on James Neal’s goal with 4:21 left in regulation, when he pounded home a Ryan Ellis rebound. Paul Martin failed to clear the puck out of the zone with a backhand, leading to the score.
That’s where the game stood until Fisher ended it at 1:03 a.m. Saturday morning, local time.
It didn’t take long for the Preds to take the lead, when Wilson cleaned up a loose puck in front of the net just 41 seconds into the game. Ellis’ shot hit Joonas Donskoi in front of the net before Wilson spotted it for his fourth goal.
Less than two minutes later, Burns tied the game on a wrist shot from a bad angle that beat Rinne up high at 3:08.
Nashville took a 2-1 edge on Mike Fisher’s second goal of the series, when Jones left a big rebound off of his arm on a Neal blast. Fisher slammed it home at 9:50 of the first period.
The Sharks, who were generally outplayed in the opening frame, got going in the second after coincidental minors to Filip Forsberg and Tommy Wingels at 6:38. San Jose had a pair of great chances to score the equalizer during four-on-four, but Rinne denied Pavelski on a one-timer from the high slot, and later stopped Couture streaking towards the net.
San Jose did get the tying goal at 14:09, though. At the exact moment a penalty to Josi expired, Joonas Donskoi smacked a shot that deflected past Rinne off of the shaft of Ellis’ stick to make it 2-2.
Nashville challenged that Joel Ward was offside earlier in the sequence to no avail.
The Sharks played their first multiple-overtime game in the playoffs since April 12, 2012, when Marty Havlat scored the game-winner in St. Louis. The longest game in franchise history was a four-overtime game against Dallas on May 4, 2008.
The Sharks are 4-9 all-time when a series is tied at two games apiece.
Each team had a pair of power plays throughout the lengthy overtime, but did not convert.
The Sharks were officially 1-for-5 on the power play, including their failed chance at the end of the second overtime, although Donskoi’s marker occurred as the penalty box door was opening for Josi. San Jose is 4-for-14 in the series.
Nashville finished 0-for-5. The Preds are 3-for-15 in the series and just 4-for-41 in the playoffs.
Jones allowed four goals on 45 shots to suffer the loss.
Rinne allowed more than two goals for just the second time in his last six games. He made 44 saves, including a dandy on Tomas Hertl in the second overtime.
Wilson increased his point streak to five games, with three goals and three assists over that span.
Roman Polak was hurt late in the first period when the defenseman blocked a Shea Weber slap shot on a Nashville power play, but he returned in the second.
Neither team altered its lineup from Game 3, as Nashville’s Mike Ribeiro was again a healthy scratch.
The Sharks will return home for Game 5, where they are 3-1 so far in the postseason, winning their last three. Nashville is 3-3 on the road.
In the other Western Conference second round series, Dallas and St. Louis are tied at two games apiece. The Stars won Game 4 in overtime on Thursday, 3-2.