The San Jose Sharks (34-14-6, 74) fell to the Edmonton Oilers (18-32-6, 42) by the final score of 3-0 in a record breaking performance by goaltender Ben Scrivens. This was also the first of a short two-game road-trip for the San Jose Sharks before they finish at home for the remaining four games before the Olympic break.
The story of the night was Ben Scrivens, who stopped ALL 59 shots he faced throughout the night. He was incredible from start to finish and at the end of it all set an NHL record for most saves in a shutout as well as most saves by an Edmonton goalie.
Not only was the loss bad news, but Tyler Kennedy also went down with an injury after only playing for a total of three minutes. This forced the Sharks to shuffle the lines although based on the offensive stats did not impact them too much this game. Moving forward however it could prove to be an issue as the Sharks are already down quite a few forwards.
One more note, Martin Havlat was inserted back into the lineup and had a pretty good game although most of the Sharks did (aside from scoring goals). He would finish with four shots on goal, two takeways, and one hit.
Despite the Sharks dominating the first period it was the Oilers who got on the scoreboard first just past the halfway mark. The goal came on a shot by Justin Schultz from the point that seemed to deflect off of a San Jose defenseman and in.
In the second period it was the Scrivens show once again, and made save after save. At one point he robbed Patrick Marleau twice; first it was on a short-handed breakaway then on two-on-one chance in a span of about 30 seconds late in the period.
In the third period the Sharks would start off strong with some sustained zone time but it was the Oilers who struck again to push their lead to two goals. Taylor Hall would score on a one-timer that he put top-shelf on Antti Niemi after he received a pass from teammate Jordan Eberle.
Later on the Sharks would get a golden opportunity to cut the Edmonton lead to on half with a powerplay chance 8:58 left in regulation. Once again they had plenty of chances but no goals.
Eventually Eberle would seal the deal on an Oilers power play goal with less than 1:30 left in the game. He was the beneficiary of his linemate hacking away at a loose puck in front and chipped the puck into the net while Niemi was looking for it. It also happened as the Sharks were still trying to push the pace to get a goal even while down a man leaving the defense and Niemi out to dry a bit.
In the end Scrivens was able to pull out an NHL record with 59 saves in a shutout. Kudos to him as it clearly wasn’t his defense that earned him that win for those that watched the game. Sometimes when a goaltender is hot there is nothing you can do about it, and tonight was one of those nights.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Ben Scrivens (59 saves)
2. Jordan Eberle (1 goal, 2 assists)
3. Ben Scrivens (yes again)