Take your pick of the big reason the Sharks managed to skate out of Rogers Arena with a 3-2 shootout victory Tuesday night over the Vancouver Canucks.

Overdue goals from Scott Gomez and Adam Burish -- two offseason acquisitions who hadn't found the back of the net yet? An impressive penalty kill anchored by goalie Antti Niemi? Pressure-packed shootout scoring from Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski?

Let's begin at the end. The pressure was on Couture in the third round of the shootout. Fail and the Sharks would lose, score on Canucks netminder Cory Schneider, and the Sharks still had hopes of earning that extra point. Couture scored, and when Niemi stopped Alex Burrows in the fourth round of the shootout, Pavelski had a chance to win the game.

"It's about as good a chance as you can get when Nemo makes a big save and you can win it instead of just tying it," said Pavelski. "It's not looking good there for a second, and then in a minute or two you have a chance to win it."

Pavelski did just that, but the game wouldn't have gotten to the shootout if San Jose hadn't killed off a questionable goalie interference call against Gomez in overtime. That kept San Jose a perfect 5-for-5 short-handed with Niemi coming up big all night.

"Our penalty kill was very good against a power play that's very potent. They can do a lot of damage," said Sharks coach Todd McLellan, declining to share his thoughts on the call against Gomez, who clearly was pushed into Schneider by Vancouver forward Mason Raymond.

And the game would never have gotten to overtime if it weren't for the goals by Gomez and Burish.

"We sit next to each other on the plane," Gomez said, "and one of us was due, we were joking around the other day."

Looking to generate offense from a Sharks team that had not scored more than two goals in regulation for the past 10 games, McLellan added a pair of prospects from Worcester -- Tim Kennedy and Bracken Kearns -- to the top two lines.

But if that experiment didn't work, McLellan found a silver lining.

"Our four guys that score a lot for our team weren't even on the board tonight, and we still found a way to win, so that's a real positive sign for our team," the coach said.

The rebound of a shot by Marc-Edouard Vlasic ended up on Gomez's stick, and his slap shot beat Schneider on the stick side to give San Jose a 1-0 lead at 7:42 of the first period.