TOP 5 OILERS-SHARKS ENCOUNTERS
From awe-inspiring goals, re-writing of the record books, post-season success and everything in between, the Oilers and San Jose Sharks have had some memorable encounters over the years. In 101 all-time meetings, the Oilers hold a 47-38-16 record over their new (beginning in the 2013-14 campaign) division rival. This week, with the Sharks invading Rexall Place on Wednesday night, we count down the Top 5 most exciting and unforgettable games ever played between the two.
#5 - Oct. 4, 2007: 3-2 Shootout Win
Following a 25th-place result in 2006-07, the Oilers opened the new season with new hope and renewed optimism. Rookies Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano, along with power forward Dustin Penner were all making their Oilers debuts, adding to a revamped class that included hotshot prospect Robert Nilsson, Ales Hemsky and others. 0-0 through 40 minutes, veteran Patrick Marleau opened the scoring at 26 seconds of the third, but Gagner and Cogliano recorded their first-career NHL assists with helpers on Tom Gilbert's equalizer a little more than a minute later. After Kyle Brodziak tallied to give the home side a 2-1 edge, Joe Thornton tied the game with only 10.6 seconds to play. Overtime solved nothing, but Nilsson and Jarret Stoll each potted goals in the shootout while Dwayne Roloson (who made 28 saves in regulation and OT) stopped three of four Sharks shooters to give the Oilers a dramatic 3-2 win.
#4 - Mar. 3, 2006: 3-2 Win
With the Oilers needing a win to keep pace in the ultra-tight Western Conference, Ales Hemsky single-handidly pushed the copper and blue to a 3-2 win with one of the prettiest goals in Oilers history. After collecting a neutral zone feed from captain Jason Smith, Hemsky dangled his way through a sea of teal and white, craftily dancing inside-out on Sharks defenceman Josh Gorges before sliding a backhand shot past Vesa Toskala with only 1:07 to play.
#3 - Oct. 12, 2006: Smyth Makes History
Buoyed by a Jonathan Cheechoo hat trick in the opening 20, the Sharks had a 4-2 lead heading into the third period. That's when Ryan Smyth took the game into his own hands. Beginning at the 4:05 mark and spanning a mere 2:01, Smyth collected a natural hat trick, surpassing 500 career points and setting a new Oilers record for the fastest three goals scored in club history. The legendary Wayne Gretzky had previously held that honour, but No. 94's tallies came 17 seconds quicker than The Great One's trio. With an insurance marker scored by Ales Hemsky late in the game, the Oilers went on to win 6-4.
#2 - 2006 Playoffs: Game 3
Down 2-0 in their second-round playoff series to San Jose, Edmonton needed a win or an already uphill climb would become next to impossible. Tied after 60 minutes, the game progressed to overtime where the Oilers played their third-longest game in club history. 2:24 into triple OT, Shawn Horcoff collected a backhand pass from Ryan Smyth, bulled his way to the crease and swatted the puck past Vesa Toskala for the electric game-winning tally.
#1 - 2006 Playoffs: Game 4
Following a gargantuan OT win in Game 3 to get back in the series, the Oilers fell to a 3-1 deficit by the 10-minute mark of the second period. Four unanswered goals courtesy of Michael Peca, Sergei Samsonov (on one of the most unusual sequences in Oilers history, prompting CBC play-by-play commentator Jim Hughson to shout, "Do you believe what you've just seen?!"), Jason Smith, Ales Hemsky and Jarret Stoll propelled the Oilers to a 6-4 victory in Game 4. Now having captured all momentum, the Oilers went on to win the best-of-seven series with consecutive (and convincing) wins and in Games 5 and 6.
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