The sixth-seeded Sharks were one goal away from being in a 3-0 hole in their Western Conference second-round series.
Thanks to Logan Couture, they have a chance to take a 3-2 lead when they visit the fifth-seeded Los Angeles Kings for Game 5 today.
San Jose dropped the first two games of its matchup with its Pacific Division rival on the road and found itself in overtime in Game 3 at home on Saturday.
Couture helped the Sharks avoid the nearly insurmountable series deficit by scoring a power-play goal at 1:29 of the extra session. The center came up big again in Game 4 on Tuesday, deflecting defenseman Dan Boyle’s slap shot past Jonathan Quick during a man advantage at 3:55 of the second period to give San Jose a 2-0 lead.
The goal, Couture’s fifth of the postseason to tie him with Patrick Marleau for the team lead, proved to be the game-winner as Los Angeles’ Mike Richards converted a power-play opportunity midway through the third.
Joe Thornton was instrumental in giving San Jose an early lead in Game 4. The captain chased down a dump-in and outwitted Los Angeles’ Slava Voynov to gain possession behind the net by lifting the defenseman’s stick. After feeding Brent Burns for a shot that was blocked, Thornton regained control and made another pass to Burns, who converted at 6:09 of the first period.
The Kings have won 12 consecutive home games, including all five in the playoffs, while the Sharks are 2-2 on the road this postseason.
Kings defenseman Matt Greene made his postseason debut Tuesday, registering one shot and blocking two in 14:08 of ice time. Greene had not played since suffering a lower-body injury against Detroit on April 24 and appeared in only five regular-season contests due to back surgery.
Los Angeles is 6-4 this postseason after going 16-4 en route to its first Stanley Cup championship last year.