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Logan Couture emerges as leader on Sharks

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm •  Published: May 19, 2013
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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — When Logan Couture limped off the ice in the middle of a tied game San Jose desperately needed to win, it looked as if he was taking the Sharks' playoffs hopes with him.

Instead Couture managed to make it back out on the ice to give his team an emotional spark and topped that by scoring the overtime game-winner that got the Sharks back into their second-round series against Los Angeles with a 2-1 victory in Game 3 on Saturday night.

It's just the latest big moment for a young player who has emerged as a leader and perhaps the top player on a Sharks team looking to make a deep playoff run.

"Logan is a huge, huge part of our team," coach Todd McLellan said Saturday. "This is his coming out party. Nationally people have probably started talking about him. But we've known Logan like this for a long time."

With two days off before Game 4 at home on Tuesday night when San Jose will look to tie the series at 2, Couture and his teammates mostly stayed off the ice Sunday to rest up and heal their wounds.

Couture got hurt early in the second period when he stepped on a puck with his left skate after a check from Jeff Carter and slammed awkwardly into the boards. He limped off the ice favoring his left leg and went straight to the Sharks dressing room as a hush came over the crowd.

San Jose survived the next 15 minutes of game action without Couture or forward Marty Havlat, who left after aggravating a lower-body injury in the first period, by juggling their lines.

The crowd got a jolt late in the second when Couture came out during a stoppage and skated around for a minute and then he played the final shift of the period.

"It's playoffs. Everyone plays through injuries," Couture said. "The four years I've been here, I seen guys play through a lot of injuries. Stanley Cup is what you're playing for. Whatever it takes."

Couture showed few signs of the injury in the third period and got the second most ice time of any San Jose forward after returning to the game.

The return paid off on the power play early in the overtime when he set up in the slot and took a pass from Patrick Marleau before beating Jonathan Quick with a wrist shot for his fourth goal of the postseason and first ever playoff overtime goal.

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