The San Jose Sharks (47-18-9, 103 points) defeated the Edmonton Oilers (25-39-9, 59 points) by the final score of 5-2 on the second game of their back-to-back Alberta road trip. Joe Pavelski led all skater with four points including his third hat trick of the season.
There was a lot of lineup shuffling that occurred this evening due to the absence of Logan Couture who was held out tonight after leaving yesterday’s game early for blocking a shot. As a result none of the lines were what we have grown to expect and it showed early.
Patrick Marleau, one of this evenings goal-scorers, played center this evening as did Joe Pavelski. As a result James Sheppard was placed in Pavelski’s place on the top line on Joe Thornton‘s wing. Also, Matt Irwin was a healthy scratch tonight allowing Brad Stuart to get into the lineup once again. In net tonight was Antti Niemi.
In the first period the San Jose Sharks looked pretty lackluster and the Oilers took advantage. That goal, scored by David Perron about four minutes into the game, came after he made a nice move in the offensive zone to get around the defense then snapped it by Niemi for the 1-0 lead.
The Sharks would then answer back in the second period after they looked to get their legs beneath them by scoring three times, twice on the power play.
The first goal came with about six minutes into the period when Joe Pavelski knocked in a rebound after a Patrick Marleau one-timer. The goal came after the power play had a lengthy amount of sustained pressure in the zone and were finally able to break through.
A few minutes later, on the power play once again, Patrick Marleau would make it 2-1 after he scored on a one-timer from the high slot after Pavelski fed him the puck. Pavelski picked up a loose puck from the front of the net, spotted an open Marleau behind him, then passed the puck to him while falling to the ice.
At the tail-end of the period, after a near-goal for Edmonton, the San Jose Sharks got their third goal of the game. This time it was Martin Havlat who fired a shot from the circle on a two-on-one with 30 seconds left in the period. That pushed the Sharks lead to two goals.
In the final stanza the San Jose Sharks would continue their dominance on the power play with Pavelski picking up his second goal of the game.This time he received a pass right in front of Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens, had enough time to turn and face the goaltender, then pick the top corner and score. There was a defender off to the side, but that defender decided to lay down and block any passes across the crease instead of pressuring Pavelski which gave him the time to turn and score.
Later on in the period Joe Pavelski would finish his hat trick of the season on a shot from the slot that deflected off of an Edmonton defenseman who partially blocked the shot. But, rather than helping his goaltender the defenseman hurt Scrivens and in went Pavelski’s 37th goal of the season.
The one negative from tonight was the loss of Adam Burish who, just like Couture, left the game early after blocking a shot from the point and looked to be in serious pain as he left the ice. He did not even head to the bench when the whistle blew for him, and instead went straight to the locker rooms.
With the win the San Jose Sharks pull four points ahead of Anaheim in the division although the Ducks still have three games in hand on the Sharks. Now they head home for one game against Winnipeg in Thursday night after a much needed rest tomorrow.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Joe Pavelski (3 goals, 1 assist)
2. Patrick Marleau (1 goal, 1 assist)
3. Antti Niemi (27 saves)