In a fast-paced, end-to-game game, the Oilers rallied back from a 2-0 deficit to force overtime and eventually a shootout. But in the extra session, the Sharks tallied twice while the visitors were unable to respond, dropping a 3-2 decision Thursday night in San Jose.
Just over a minute in, the Sharks got a glorious scoring chance when Ryan Clowe, Logan Couture and Scott Gomez orchestrated a one-touch three-way passing play. Devan Dubnyk came up with a brilliant save, however, smothering the puck at the doorstep.
San Jose was assessed a minor for too many men at 3:03, putting the League's (second) best power-play to work. Late in the advantage, Sharks winger Martin Havlat snuck in behind Justin Schultz and broke in alone on a breakaway. Once again, Dubnyk's heroics preserved the 0-0 score as he dropped down to make an incredible left pad save.
Moments later, Gomez and Couture connected once more. This time, Couture's far side shot rang off Dubnyk's blocker side post.
Another partial break was presented to the Sharks when Ryan Whitney and Mark Fistric were caught out of position, leaving the middle lane wide open for Joe Pavelski. The San Jose pivot raced in as the defencemen chased and, fortunately for the Oilers, his backhand try sailed wide.
With 5:16 to play, Sam Gagner got an excellent chance in the slot as the puck took a fortuitous bounce in his direction. One-on-one with Antti Niemi, Gagner's rising wrist shot was snared by the glove of the netminder.
At 17:19 and well after the whistle, Nail Yakupov was assessed a questionable cross-checking minor. The Sharks generated only a single shot on goal, however, and the penalty was killed.
With 20 minutes in the books, the game remained in a scoreless tie. Edmonton carried an 11-7 edge in shots into the middle frame.
Just 15 seconds in, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins escaped a check and scooted in alone, but his quick shot was kicked away by Niemi.
A bit of comic relief came as the seven-minute mark approached. As Darcy Hordichuk raced into the Sharks end to lay a hit, he broke his skate in the process. Hordichuk hobbled as quick as he could to tag up and keep the play onside.
With 12:28 to play, Ryan Whitney turned the puck over in the neutral zone and Logan Couture raced back the other way on a partial 2-on-1. Electing to shoot, Couture launched a missle of a wrist shot up and over Dubnyk to make it a 1-0 game.
Thirty-nine seconds later on a similar play, San Jose extended to a 2-0 lead. This time it was Joe Pavelski doing the damage. Head Coach Ralph Krueger then called a timeout to settle everyone down.
Following a turnover at the Oilers' blue line, Yakupov and Gagner turned back and created a 2-on-1. Yakupov stopped up and located Mark Fistric at the point. No. 45's long-range wrister was redirected en route by Gagner, popping the water bottle and making it a 2-1 game at 10:56.
Just seconds later, the Oilers nearly equalized the score when Ryan Smyth broke in on a clearcut breakaway, but his backhand try was denied.
At 12:54, Jeff Petry was sent off for hooking. The Oilers continued their strong showing on the PK, giving up nothing and keeping the 2-1 score intact.
With 3:56 to play, Gomez was assessed a minor for high-sticking as he dangerously clipped Dubnyk with his errant twig as he crashed the net. The power-play stumbled and nearly crumbled as the Sharks got the advantage's best chances, but Dubnyk was there to turn them aside.
After two periods of play, the Sharks continued to lead 2-1 while the Oilers were in possession of a slim 20-18 edge in shots.
The Oilers wasted little time in getting the game back on even terms. Jumping up on a 2-on-1 with Eberle, Taylor Hall sent a cross-ice pass to his winger and bolted for the crease. Eberle returned the favour and Hall had nothing but net to shoot for, making no mistake by cashing into the empty cage.
At 4:24, Ryan Clowe and Mark Fistric got tangled up at the Oilers blue line; Clowe broke in alone and deposited the puck past Dubnyk, but the whistle had blown. Instead of going up 3-2, the Sharks went to the PK as Clowe was assessed an interference minor.
With 25 seconds left in the power-play, the Oilers picked up a bench minor for too many men. Chances at both ends ensued during the brief 4-on-4 sequence and on to the Sharks power-play, but nothing was converted and the 2-2 score remained.
With 8:23 to play, Petry picked up his second minor penalty of the night when he was sent off for cross-checking. There were a couple scares, but the Oilers came up with another big kill.
Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau nearly ended it early on, but Dubnyk's sensational diving effort kept the game going. Back the other way, Hall ripped a strong wrist shot on Niemi, but the Sharks goaltender was equal to his counterpart's heroics.
Late in the extra period, Gagner was called for hooking. The Sharks were all over the Oilers, but Dubnyk was unbelievable and pushing the game to a shootout.
1. Michal Handzus - GOAL
2. Joe Pavelski - SAVE
3. Dan Boyle - GOAL
1. Sam Gagner - MISS
2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - MISS
Sharks win 3-2 in a shootout.
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