Sharks winger Timo Meier avoided what could have been a serious injury Thursday night as his leg collided with that of New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech midway through the third period.
Meier, though, stayed in the game and made a key play to help the Sharks pick up another victory away from home.
Erik Karlsson scored at the 39-second mark of overtime off an assist from Meier to give the Sharks a 2-1 victory over the Islanders in their first visit to UBS Arena in Elmont, N.Y.
Karlsson and Meier went in on a 2-on-1 into the Islanders’ zone. Karlsson made an initial saucer pass to Meier, who had the puck go off his stick and into behind the Islanders net. But he fed it back to Karlsson, who beat Ilya Sorokin for his fifth goal of the season as the Sharks improved to 3-0-0 on this five-game road trip.
Meier also assisted on Nick Bonino’s first-period goal and now has nine points in his last five games.
“It was scary actually, seeing Timo down,” Sharks coach Bob Boughner said. “We can’t afford to lose a guy like that and thank god he was OK.
“He came back and made a great play on the overtime winner, so we sort of breathed a sigh of relief there and get away with one.”
Sharks goalie Adin Hill made 23 saves in regulation time as he made his first start since Nov. 20 and won his first game since Nov. 9 in Calgary.
New York opened the scoring just 64 seconds into the first period on a goal by Mat Barzal, who beat Hill high blocker side with a shot from the faceoff dot to the left of the Sharks’ net.
The Sharks got that goal back with 10:50 to go in the first, as Bonino scored his third in five games off a pretty pass from Jonathan Dahlen just after a goaltender interference call on Jean-Gabriel Pageau had expired.
The Sharks outshot the Islanders 27-17 through two periods. Isles goalie Ilya Sorokin had 15 saves in the second period and stopped six shots on three Sharks’ power plays in the first 40 minutes.
The Sharks lost Jonah Gadjovich to injury early in the first period.
Gadjovich was skating out to the blue line inside the Sharks’ defensive zone when he blocked a shot from Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson. The puck appeared to go off the inside of Gadjovich’s left leg, and he struggled to put any weight on the leg before he fell to the ice.
Gadjovich remained down for several seconds as he was tended to by head athletic trainer Ray Tufts. Again, as he was helped off the ice by his teammates, he was unable to place any weight on the leg.
Boughner said after the game that Gadjovich attempted to come back but that he couldn’t put any pressure on his leg “and he lost a little feeling in it for a while.”
Boughner said X-rays on Gadjovich’s ankle were negative. “He was in too much pain to come back,” he said.
Gadjiovich, who was claimed off waivers by San Jose from the Vancouver Canucks before the start of the regular season, was playing his 13th game for the Sharks. He has one assist and has averaged 9:58 of ice time per game.
Hill was making just his second start in the last nine games as James Reimer received the bulk of the work. In five games in November, Hill was 1-3-0 with a pedestrian .901 save percentage and 2.92 goals-against average.
Hill, though, came on in relief of Reimer in the Sharks’ 4-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 26 and stopped all 16 shots he faced in 26 minutes. For the season, Hill had a 4-5-0 record, a 2.94 goals-against average and a .897 save percentage in 10 games.
NOTE: The Sharks recalled defenseman Nicolas Meloche and assigned Santeri Hatakka to the Barracuda. Hatakka’s last NHL game was Nov. 18 in St. Louis, as he had been a healthy scratch for the last six games.
“He wants to play and he understands that he got some opportunity here, and we told him some of the things that he could work on,” Sharks coach Bob Boughner said of Hatakka before Thursday’s game. “But he’s happy to just get back to playing and getting back into game shape.”