Event Name: San Jose Sharks VS Edmonton Oilers
Date: Thursday, April 6, 2017
Location: SAP Center: 525 W Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113
Hosted by: San Jose Sharks Hockey
Thursday night, the San Jose Sharks previewed a likely first round matchup in the playoffs against their division rivals the Edmonton Oilers – a team with a storied history going back 38 years. They won 5 Stanley Cups in 7 years from 1984-1990 in large part thanks to record setting years by Wayne Gretzky, but for the last 10 years have not made the playoffs. This year the expectations were very high with the continued development young stars Leon Draisaitl (29) and Connor McDavid (97), who is currently leading the league with 97 points.
The Oilers came into the game tied with the Sharks for second in the Pacific Division with 97 points. The season series is also tied with each team having won two games. In their last matchup of the regular season, each team looks for a win that would go a long ways towards securing home ice advantage for at least some of the playoffs. This season Edmonton is 20-14-5 on the road, while San Jose is 25-10-4 at home giving the Sharks a slight advantage. The only way for these two teams to not meet in the first round is if Anaheim loses both of their remaining games and one of these two teams win both of their remaining games. With their playoff fates all but secured, both teams looked to secure an edge before next week.
The Oilers came in to the game with an attitude that their matchup against the Sharks was their biggest test of the season – and they brought an intensity in their play to match. Just 6 minutes into the period, David Schlemko (5) took a hard shot from the blue line which got tipped by Joel Ward (42) in front of the net and beat Oilers’ Goalie Cam Talbot (33) through his 5 hole giving the Sharks a 1-0 lead. Just past the 16 minute mark, Milan Lucic (27) skated down to put a hard hit on an unsuspecting Chris Tierney (50), which led to a quick response from Micheal Haley (38) as the two exchanged some punches. The period ended with the Sharks leading 1-0 but the Oilers leading in shots 10-5.
Four minutes into the second period, Oscar Klefbom (77) took a hard shot from top of the left circle that got deflected twice – first off of Tomas Hertl’s (48) ankle, and then off of Justin Braun’s (61) skate. Martin Jones (31) made an amazing left leg kick save on the initial shot, but Connor McDavid was right there to tap home the rebound tying the score 1-1. Hertl went limping to the dressing room for a check-up but quickly returned to the bench. Over twelve minutes in to the period, Mikkel Boedker (89) won a faceoff in the right circle that Hertl passed back to Brent Burns (88) on the blue line. Burns took a hard shot that went straight into the net beating Talbot over his right shoulder regaining the lead for the Sharks.
Just over 2 minutes into the 3rd Period Marcus Sorensen (20) got a break away but was hooked by Matt Benning (83), giving Sorensen a penalty shot, which he failed to capitalize on. Four minutes into the third, the Sharks got a very questionable bench minor for too many men on the ice, putting the Oilers on their third power play. Just seconds into the power play, Klefbom took a slap shot from near the blue line which got deflected by Lucic right in the front of the net and beats Jones below his right arm tying the score at 2-2. Just four minutes later, Klefbom took a shot from middle of the left circle which Jones saved, but the rebound bounced right back to onto his stick and he threw it in front of the net where Lucic tapped it into the open net giving the Oilers their first lead of the game. Just eight minutes later, Patrick Marleau (12) hooked Benning putting the Oilers on their fourth power play of the game. Just a minute into the power play, Klefbom took yet another slap shot from the blue line that bounced off of Mark Letestu (55) and Jones onto Lucic’s stick, and he tapped it home for a hat trick and an undoubtedly game-ending goal putting Edmonton up 4-2.
The Sharks led in face-offs (58%-42%), giveaways (21-15), and takeaways (9-7), while the Oilers led in shots (32-15), hits (36-20), and blocked shots (28-16).
Marc-Edouard Vlasic (44) registered his 200th assist tonight and also led the team with 4 blocked shots.
San Jose plays their last regular season game on Saturday against the Calgary Flames.
INDTVUSA Staff Writer