San Jose got the strong start it wanted after a poor showing the previous night in a 5-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
First, the Sharks capitalized on a weak clearing pass by Jay Harrison when Tommy Wingels deflected a Jason Demers shot past Carolina goalie Cam Ward at 7:09. The lead doubled at 16:31 when Marc-Edouard Vlasic's shot from high in the left faceoff found the back of the net.
Carolina applied pressure throughout the second period, but backup goalie Alex Stalock came up with big saves until Harrison redeemed himself with a shot that bounced off the back-boards, into Stalock's skates and then his own net at 11:36.
Still, the Sharks were leading at the start of what turned into a disastrous final 20 minutes.
Carolina tied the game at 4:54 when Justin Braun lost the puck behind his own net and Harrison launched another shot, this one deflected in by Riley Nash. And less than two minutes later, the Hurricanes took the lead on a shot by Nathan Gerbe that Stalock thought he had covered, but didn't.
Jordan Staal was there to punch it into the San Jose net and the Sharks trailed 3-2 at 6:42.
"I got a stick on it, it hit our own guy and came back," said Stalock, who suffered his first NHL loss in his fourth start. "It was a routine play. I went to go freeze it, and it came out from under my glove and he ended up banging it in off the side."
The teams traded goals soon after that with Braun knotting things at 3-3 with a shot from the blue line at 9:35 before another deflection, this one by Eric Lindholm of a shot by Andrej Sekera at 14:00 for what proved to be the winner.
"I was following it to go blocker side," Stalock said. "It changed directions in the slot and ended up going five-hole."
The Sharks flew to Minnesota immediately after the game and have Saturday off to meet a requirement of the NHL labor pact. Their next game is an early 3 p.m. PST start Sunday against the Wild.
"Focus on the next one," the Sharks' Dan Boyle said. "We get a day off tomorrow and obviously we've got to try and win this Minnesota game and salvage what we can out of this road trip."