The San Jose Sharks (48-20-9, 105 points) defeated the Edmonton Oilers (26-41-9, 61 points) by the final score of 5-4 at the SAP Center.
The Sharks found themselves in a shootout tonight against the Oilers and in the end proved they had more firepower than Edmonton. It took a full team effort to get the win tonight and while they struggled at times got an all-around effort this evening.
In the first period the Sharks did not play particularly well but were still able to head to the intermission with a 2-1 lead. The lead was thanks in part to Andrew Desjardins who scored the game’s opening goal on a rebound opportunity.
It was also thanks in part to Dan Boyle who gave San Jose a 2-1 lead with about four minutes left in the period. His wrister from the point was his third goal in as many games and fifth straight game with a point.
In the second period the San Jose Sharks pulled out to a 3-1 lead on a Tommy Wingels goal. He was in front of the net providing a screen while on the power play, then just as the man-advantage expired jabbed in a rebound after Ben Scrivens was unable to hang onto a rebound.
Later on though the Oilers would strike back quickly with two goals in under a minute. First it was Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who threw a simple shot on net from the top of the faceoff circles, and it was one that Antti Niemi would probably want back.
Then, 37 seconds later, Nugent-Hopkins was driving to the net when Jordan Eberle threw the puck in his direction. While the puck didn’t get to Nugent-Hopkins it did bounce off of defenseman Ryan Braun and into the net tying the game at three.
In the third period is was more from Edmonton as they continued their strong play. They got a power play chance of their own but failed to convert thanks to a couple of strong saves by Niemi.
The Oilers did eventually get on the board in the third period though as Nugent-Hopkins scored his second goal of the game on a loose puck. He was battling with Dan Boyle for the puck, and once he got his stick free wasted no time in putting it on net giving his team their first lead of the game.
Shortly after the top line for the San Jose Sharks answered back after a Brent Burns one-timer from the top of the crease after to great passes from his linemates. Joe Pavelski‘s initial pass to Joe Thornton was especially impressive since he was able to kick the puck to Thornton after being pushed off the puck. Thornton then fed Burns across the crease who fired the puck between the pads of Scrivens.
Two minutes after that San Jose scored its first power play goal of the game to once again take the lead. Patrick Marleau netted his 32nd game of the season on a rebound chance after a Burns shot from the point did not reach initially reach the net. Marleau realized this and pounced on the loose puck and put it home with the backhand as Ben Scrivens was out of position.
After that it was a matter of locking it down defensively and that is what the San Jose Sharks did. They were forced to weather the storm after the Oilers pulled Scrivens for the extra man, and stood strong defensively.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2 goals, 2 assists)
2. Dan Boyle (1 goal, 1 assist)
3. Joe Thornton (2 assists)