Domingo, 24 Marcha, 2019

Experience Vs. Inexperience as San Jose Sharks Open Playoffs Against Oilers

Montrelle Montesinos | 27 Abril, 2017, 20:05

Zack Kassian and Connor McDavid both scored shorthanded goals, helping the Oilers earn a rough-and-tumble 2-0 win over the Sharks to level the opening round series at one win apiece. San Jose had only won once in 24 games when trailing after two periods this season; the Oilers had only lost three in 32 times when leading heading into the third.

Oscar Klefbom scored the Oilers first playoff goal since June 17, 2006, when his centring pass deflected in off Sharks defenceman David Schlemko.

Couture is the team's top two-way center, who would be counted on to match up with National Hockey League scoring leader Connor McDavid in this series if healthy.

Rogers Place, the Oilers' sparkling new downtown arena, will be no doubt be rocking Wednesday as it hosts its first playoff game.

The Sharks played without star center Joe Thornton, who is day-to-day with a left knee injury. Couture took a puck to the mouth against Nashville and needed dental work. Hertl led the way for the Sharks with three shots on goal.

The din grew louder when Milan Lucic gobbled up a rebound off a shot by Mark Letestu and blasted it past Jones with 2:53 left in the first period. He threw a borderline high hit on Brenden Dillon in the first period, and ran over Logan Couture in the second period with a heavy check while the Sharks were trying to set up another fruitless power play. Score close situations can be very predictive of a team's true ability, but those numbers are a likely product of score effects, as the Sharks trailed 2-0 entering the second period of Game 1 before halving the Oilers with a power play goal. Winger Joonas Donskoi came around behind the net and fed the puck in front on the backhand to Ward, who then redirected the puck past Talbot. Rogers Place erupted when Oscar Klefbom, a defenceman who sat out nearly two-thirds of last season after contracting a staph infection, whistled a wrist shot past Martin Jones 6 minutes and 44 seconds into the game.

"The only word that comes to mind about the San Jose Sharks the last two months is hibernation", said former Shark Bret Hedican on NBC Sports after the game.

This was a tougher, stronger and much more determined team than the one that let a 2-0 lead turn into a humbling and crushing defeat in Game 1.

Canucks forward Bo Horvat said they knew it was going to be a challenge with the Oilers looking to go into the playoffs on a roll.

"We've got to stay out of the (penalty) box".

"At this time of the year you just throw him out and you use him", said McLellan. "The guys who kill (the penalty) are wasting a lot of energy and the guys who aren't are sitting on the bench".

"Now we know that once we get that lead we can lock it down, and we know what it takes to play that way", said Talbot.

"We gained some momentum".

EDMONTON, Alberta The Sharks were handed one power play opportunity after another Friday night as the Edmonton Oilers repeatedly put themselves down a man with a handful of reckless plays. "Tonight we did all those little things". We're going to continue to try and improve from night to night, you have to do that in the playoffs.

"At this time of year there is always another good team that gets in your way so it's not going to be handed to you, you have to go earn it". "I thought the refs did a good job". Please support our efforts.