Sharks regrouping as power play goes from lacklustre to liability versus Oilers

Apr 18, 2017, 01:37
Sharks regrouping as power play goes from lacklustre to liability versus Oilers

For most Edmonton Oilers fans, Wednesday's 3-2 overtime loss in the Stanley Cup Playoffs opener against the San Jose Sharks was a letdown. It's probably not how the Oilers drew it up, but two shorthanded goals were enough for them to tie up this series before heading to San Jose.

It took the hosts almost eight minutes to record their first shot, but once they got into the flow, the Sharks enjoyed the better of a scoreless opening period.

Kassian took advantage of a turnover by San Jose defenseman David Schlemko, who appeared to try and hit teammate Tomas Hertl with an ill-advised pass along on the end boards to the left of Sharks goalie Martin Jones.

Kassian had the only goal of the game Sunday in San Jose as the Oilers toughed out a 1-0 victory.

The game started so promising for the Sharks, who welcomed back future Hall of Fame center Joe Thornton to the lineup.

Coach Peter DeBoer's team shouldn't expect things to get easier over the next two games in northern California starting when the Sharks and Oilers meet in Game 3 on Sunday night. He has played all three playoff games but has no points and three shots while averaging 19:22 of ice time.

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Every team needs to defeat the team on top of the table. "He provoked the first goal, and I'm sure he can score in every game". They now have a seven point lead over London rivals Tottenham with seven matches of the league season remaining.

Typically, centers Joe Thornton and Logan Couture would be prime candidates for the Sharks, but Thornton missed the first two games of this series and the final three regular-season games with an injury to his left knee and Couture missed the final seven regular season games after being hit in the mouth with a deflected puck. A previous jackpot of about $70,000 went unclaimed and it rolled over.

On Saturday night, the Edmonton Oilers won their first playoff game since June 17, 2006 - a stretch of futility that lasted 3,954 days. This marked the first time San Jose has been shut out in consecutive playoff games since Dallas did it in a second-round series. During 5v5 play the Oilers out attempted the Sharks 47-21.

After blowing a 2-0 lead in Game 1, the Oilers bounced back in a big way in Game 2. San Jose's Logan Couture, his face still a mess of wire and plastic to fix the damage after being hit with a shot, ditched the full cage in favour of the visor to improve his vision. And Patrick Maroon couldn't get a handle on the rebound in the slot with a gaping half-net to fill. I think (McLellan) finally trusts us, and we're doing it the right way.

There is nothing quite like a playoff series, where the same two teams batter each other in what amounts to one extended game that can last between one and two weeks.

"It was not a demotion by any means for Leon, in fact I whispered in his ear that it was a promotion", McLellan told reporters. "We really locked it down once we got that first goal". "This isn't the first team that's tried to be physical on key guys".

"We've got to just get back at it", DeBoer said Saturday in a conference call. This series looks like it'll go the distance and in their first home playoff game of the season I like the Sharks to get it done to take the 2-1 series lead.