Name: San Jose Sharks vs Edmonton Oilers
Date: Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Tuesday night, the San Jose Sharks continued their quest for the Stanley Cup in Round 1 Game 4 action against the Edmonton Oilers. Prior to the game, the Oilers led the series 2 to 1. San Jose won the first game of the series in Edmonton before losing the next game 2-0 on two shorthanded goals by the Oilers. In Game 3, which took place in San Jose on Sunday, the Sharks were yet again unable to muster up any offense, getting shut out again in a 1-0 loss. San Jose coach Peter DeBoer looked for answers to point the Sharks in the right direction after two consecutive scoreless games. The Sharks had yet to hold a lead over the Oilers at any point in the series, and their struggling power play, which came into the game 1 for 14 in the series, was proving to be more of a hindrance than a source of offense.
In what has shaped into a more defensive series, Edmonton has scored 5 total goals while San Jose has scored 3. Each team has scored two 5 on 5 goals and 1 power play goal, but Edmonton has scored the additional two shorthanded goals which has been the difference so far. Going into the game tonight, Coach Peter DeBoer made line adjustments to all four offensive lines while Coach Todd McLellan moved Leon Draisatl (29) from the Oiler’s top line to their 3rd line with Zack Kassian in hopes of generating more chances for their 3rd line.
Unlike game three, it wouldn’t take long for fans at the SAP Center to see a goal scored. Just 15 seconds in to the opening frame, Joe Pavelski (8) won a offensive faceoff to Patrick Marleau (12), who passed it back to Justin Braun (61) on the blue line. Bruan released a wrister as he floated back towards the blue line which got deflected by Pavelski and bounced off of the ice above Cam Talbot’s (33) glove hand giving the Sharks their first lead of the game and of the series. Half way through the period, Kris Russel (4) took a hooking penalty putting the Sharks on their first power play of the game. That’s when San Jose’s stagnant power play unit went to work. Brent Burns (88) passed the puck down to Pavelski who was waiting low in the left circle, and he quickly passed it across the slot to Logan Couture in the right circle, where he rifled a shot top shelf short side giving the Sharks their first 2 goal lead in the series. With seconds left in the period, Zack Kassian pushed Justin Braun into the net dislodging it from the pegs, and received a delay of game penalty.
The Sharks started the second period with a man advantage, but just a minute into the period Connor McDavid (97) took another penalty for interference putting Sharks on a 5 on 3 power play for a just about a minute. Before the 2nd penalty would run out, Burns made a one touch pass to Marleau who was waiting on top of the left circle, and he sniped home a wrist shot into the top corner, far side giving the Sharks a 3-0 lead. Again about halfway through the second period, Joel Ward (42) passed the puck to David Schlemko (5) on the blue line, and he one timed a bomb on net which Talbot blocked. But Marcus Sorensen (20) was there to tap the rebound home scoring his first career NHL playoff goal. Just 3 minutes later, Jannik Hansen (36) passed to Logan Couture in the left circle and he released another rocket of a wrister, beating Talbot on the short side and extending the Sharks lead to 5-0. That would be all she wrote for Talbot, as he was finally replaced with backup goalie Laurent Brossoit (1) after giving up 5 goals on 24 shots. The young Oilers team’s frustration really began to show soon afterwards. Clearly rattled by the momentum of the Sharks and the raucous atmosphere in the SAP, their play became very sloppy, and they targeted the Sharks with a series of reckless attempts at establishing their hard hittin game. Just a mere minutes after the goalie change, Leon Draisatl (29), seemingly out of frustration, speared Chris Tierney in the groin and received a 5 minute major for spearing and 10 minute game misconduct for his trouble. It wouldn’t take long for the red-hot Sharks powerplay to take advantage. Burns took a hard shot from the blue line which was deflected by Pavelski into the net giving the Sharks 6-0 lead before the period ended.
Just seven minutes into the third, Hertl made a pass back to the blue line to Schlemko who rocketed a slap shot straight in the net past a screened Brossoit, tying the Sharks franchise record with 7 goals in a playoff game.
The Sharks also set a new franchise record for the widest margin of victory. The previous record was 5 goals, which came in Game 7 in the Second Round of last year’s playoff series against the Nashville Predators. San Jose also set a franchise playoff record with 4 power play goals, and with the first goal of the game coming at 15 seconds, set a franchise record for quickest goal scored in a playoff game.
The Sharks led in shots (32-23), face-offs (59%-41%) and takeaways (7-3), while the Oilers led in hits (34-22), blocked shots (20-19) and giveaways (17-11).
All four forward lines and all three defensive lines for the Sharks earned points, with 12 Sharks registering points. Joe Pavelski had 2 goals and an assist. His first goal came just 15 seconds into the game which was the fastest goal ever scored by the Sharks in a playoff game. Logan Couture had 2 goals. Patrick Marleau had a goal and an assist. Brent Burns had 3 assists. Marcus Sorensen scored his first career playoff goal. David Schlemko had a goal and an assist. Joel Ward had 2 assists. Tomas Hertl had an assist and led all skaters with 77% of faceoffs won, and Martin Jones made 23 saves to earn his 4th career playoff shutout and first shutout of the postseason this year.
San Jose continues Game 5 of Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Thursday back in Edmonton.
INDTVUSA Staff Writer