The San Jose Sharks (26-9-6, 58 points) defeated the Edmonton Oilers (13-24-5, 31 points) by the final score of 5-1 in the first game of the 2014 season for both teams.
The Sharks, who had a bit of a slow, sloppy start tonight, looked strong from the middle of the first period to the end of the game tonight and the big guns stepped up. They were all over the score sheet tonight and in fact San Jose would have five different goal scorers, one of which was Bracken Kearns.
It was another great night for Kearns who scored his third goal in as many games since being called up from Worcester. He would also have four hits, four shots and a blocked shot in 14:57 of ice time.
Couture has also quelled any afterthought of his goalless streak and just like Kearns has a goal in his last three games. Meanwhile, Joe Thornton quietly leads the league with 41 assists after adding two more tonight and is fourth in total points with 46.
The Sharks would open up the scoring in the first period with goals less than a minute apart on goals from Brent Burns and Patrick Marleau who kept the team lead with his 18th goal of the season. San Jose would also outshoot the Oilers 17-7 in that first period.
In the second they would add two more goals, first by Kearns then Couture on a breakaway, to push to lead to 4-0 before Edmonton would score their lone goal of the game with under five minutes left in the second period.
In the third the Sharks sealed the deal when Joe Pavelski added a goal of his own on what can only be described as a laser that he blasted off the inside of the post and in. After that the SAP Center gave a nice USA chant for the centerman after it was announced yesterday that he made the roster for the Olympic team.
Overall it was one of those great team wins where everyone pitched in and it ended in a dominating game by the San Jose Sharks. They outhit the Oilers 24-10, dominated in the faceoff circle 38-18, held a 12-5 margin in takeaways, but of course won in the most important category as well with the 5-1 victory.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Joe Pavelski (1 goal, 1 assist)
2. Joe Thornton (2 assists)
3. Bracken Kearns (1 goal)