SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) William Eklund scored in overtime to finish a hat trick, Devin Cooley made 34 saves in his first NHL win, and the San Jose Sharks beat the St. Louis Blues 3-2 on Saturday.

Eklund buried a wrist shot on a 2-on-1 break 3:56 into overtime. The Sharks responded after the Blues came back from a 2-0 deficit in the third period on goals by Jordan Kyrou and Brayden Schenn, who equalized at 17:31 after St. Louis pulled the goaltender for an extra skater.

The 21-year-old Eklund, who scored two power-play goals minutes apart in the second period for his first multigoal game, said he was looking to shoot the whole time once he got the puck on the advantage. Eklund celebrated by donning a straw hat - the fitting giveaway for fans in attendance. It was a rare celebratory moment this season for the Sharks, who had lost 22 of their last 25 games dating back to Jan. 31.

“It's just surreal,” Eklund said. “It was just a real team effort today. Through all the games, we stick together even when we face adversity, and I feel like today we stepped up big time.”

Cooley, a 26-year-old Los Gatos native, got the win in his third career start.

“It's such an unbelievable feeling,” Cooley said. “If you would have told me two months ago that I’d be sitting here in my hometown and talking to you guys after my first NHL win, I would have been like, ‘You guys are crazy. Not a chance.’ It's insane. I feel so good right now.”

The Sharks improved to 3-0 against the Blues this year and dealt another blow to St. Louis’ faint playoff hopes. The Blues entered the game seven points back of the Los Angeles Kings - who host the Vancouver Canucks later on Saturday - for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference with six games to play.

Joel Hofer made 22 saves for St. Louis.

“We just let them hang around and then they get one or two (goals),” Kyrou said. “Can’t really do that against this team."

Blues interim coach Drew Bannister said his team outplayed the Sharks, but got frustrated in the second period and “away from our gameplan.”

Sharks defenseman Calen Addison received a game misconduct late in the first period after he argued a cross-checking penalty. Jake Neighbours, who took a hit from the Sharks’ Luke Kunin in the second period, left the game with an upper-body injury.

Collin Graf, the Sharks’ newest addition, made his debut on the second line. The 21-year-old Graf, considered the top NCAA free agent, signed with the Sharks on Thursday after garnering heavy interest around the league and reported immediately to the team.

Graf, a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award the last two seasons, had 22 goals and 27 assists in 34 games at Quinnipiac University last year. He said he picked San Jose because the team was honest with him and he had familiarity with his new teammates from the Northeast.

Sharks coach David Quinn said he liked the details he saw from Graf in his first game.

“Always in the right place, poised with the puck, smart, good stick," Quinn said. “It's not always about wowing everybody in the National Hockey League.”


Blues: Visit the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.

Sharks: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday.



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