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Logan Couture buries OT winner, frustration in SJ Sharks’ win

Logan Couture got his wish Thursday night as he scored the overtime winner in the Sharks’ 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils.

In his second game back from an ankle fracture, the Sharks captain slotted a no-look pass from Evander Kane past Devils goalie Cory Schneider to seal the win. The small fist pump and half-hug of Kane was a celebration that expressed more relief than joy.

Couture said earlier in the day that he was unhappy with his play Tuesday in Philadelphia as his team finished off an 0-4 road trip. The East Coast swing spanned a somber trade deadline that included the departures of Patrick Marleau and Barclay Goodrow.

“Difficult couple days for myself personally and for a lot of guys in this room. Losing some very good friends, some very good people. You take that upon yourself and the reason they’re gone is because we haven’t played well this year. We’re all at fault for that.”

Couture bounced back Thursday evening to give the Sharks their first in nearly two weeks. Still, he was critical of San Jose’s first-period effort, which head coach Bob Boughner called “a disgrace.”

“I thought we played a pretty hard second, third and overtime for a group of fans who have stuck with us through a tough year,” Couture said of Thursday night’s win. “We owed it to them, to ourselves, to come out and play harder than the first, because that was embarrassing.

“Loved the response.”

That response won’t erase what’s made the season a rough one for Sharks fans, leading to San Jose’s second missed postseason in 16 years. But it could lead into a positive finish heading into the team’s rare early offseason.

Even Boughner recognizes that that the team, as currently constituted, is shorthanded. The Sharks are still missing Tomas Hertl, their third leading goal scorer. Top goal scorer Evander Kane is tied for 50th in the NHL and top points man, defenseman Brent Burns, ranks 83rd in that category.

Still, Boughner said earlier this week that’s no excuse to go through the motions.

“We know that there’s going to be teams that we play against that are going to have a better team on paper. We’re not dismissing that fact,” Boughner said before Tuesday’s loss. “But we’ve got to change our expectations that we expect to win this game tonight. It’s not good enough just to go out there and compete and say, well, we’ve got a bunch of young guys in the lineup and we’re going to play hard and see what happens.

“That’s not the attitude and the mindset we need.”



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