Detroit, MI – Patrick Marleau supplied the decisive shootout goal as the San Jose Sharks edged the Detroit Red Wings, 3-2, at Joe Louis Arena.
Each team scored in the first round of the penalty-shot tiebreaker before the goaltenders traded stops in the next round.
Gustav Nyquist was the third shooter for Detroit and he went with a spin-o- rama backhand, but San Jose netminder Antti Niemi denied the flashy attempt with his left skate.
Marleau, who opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal, secured the extra point for the Sharks by beating Detroit's Jimmy Howard through the five-hole with a wrister.
Logan Couture tied the game in the third period for San Jose, which snapped a two-game winless streak and remained in fifth place in the Western Conference.
"These points are huge and you never know what's going to happen," Marleau said. "There's still a lot of room for error both ways."
Niemi made 27 saves through regulation and overtime.
Justin Abdelkader and Jakub Kindl lit the lamp for the Red Wings, who have dropped five of their last seven games but still hold a two-point lead over Phoenix for the final playoff spot in the West.
"We're in a dogfight. We'd like to get two points, but, to me, we're just going to keep battling, keep worrying about the process and doing good things, and in the end, good things will happen to us. We just got to compete hard," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock.
Howard, who said Thursday that he is close to signing a six-year contract extension to remain in Detroit, stopped 28 shots.
Kindl broke a 1-1 tie 2:29 into the third period with his first career power- play goal. The defenseman moved down from the point to the slot and one-timed Henrik Zetterberg's pass behind Niemi.
Couture quickly countered with a power-play goal of his own. Stationed in front of Howard, he collected a rebound and roofed a backhander at the four- minute mark.
Not long after the game's opening faceoff, San Jose forward Tommy Wingels went off for boarding. The Red Wings, however, turned the puck over in the San Jose zone, resulting in a 2-on-1 for the Sharks. Joe Pavelski dished to Marleau, who found the back of the net at the 2:35 mark of the first period.
Detroit pulled even at 9:51 of the middle frame when Abdelkader scored from close range off Johan Franzen's behind-the-net pass.
Zetterberg picked up his 400th career assist ... The Sharks have now won eight of the last 10 meetings with the Red Wings.