Late Oilers rally falls short, Sharks win 4-3
|San Jose's Patrick Marleau attempts to get the puck past Edmonton's Devan Dubnyk Saturday night at Rexall Place. The Sharks edged out a 4-3 win. (Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
Finding themselves down 4-1 to the Sharks midway through the third, the Oilers rallied to get back within one late in the game Saturday night. But at that point, the Sharks stopped the comeback attempt and held on for a 4-3 win at Rexall Place. Sam Gagner
, Shawn Horcoff
, and Jim Vandermeer
scored for Edmonton, while goalie Devan Dubnyk
stopped 21 shots in the loss.
Under the Scope
1:10 after opening puck drop, the Sharks struck. Although Dubnyk stopped an initial shot, he couldn't slide over fast enough to get a pad on Benn Ferriero's rebound and the visitors nabbed the game's first goal.
Less than two minutes later, a shoving match in front of the San Jose bench resulted in roughing minors to Colin Fraser
and John McCarthy. 44 seconds into those infractions, Douglas Murray added a tripping minor to the tally, offering the Oilers a four-on-three for 1:16.
Edmonton immediately capitalized. Gagner's initial backhander was turned away by Antero Niittymaki, but the forward promptly spotted the rebound and slipped it across the line to tie the game at one.
The Oilers had a pair of good scoring changes as the game progressed -- including close calls from linesmates Horcoff, Taylor Hall
, and Jordan Eberle
-- but the go-ahead goal remained elusive. After 20 minutes, Edmonton held a 9-5 shot advantage in the 1-1 game.
42 seconds into the middle frame, San Jose benefited from its first power-play when Hall was called for boarding. Edmonton managed to kill the majority of the infraction, but at 2:06, Dany Heatley ended the man-advantage with a sharp slapshot that flew top shelf.
Following the goal, a second consecutive power-play helped the Sharks take control of the shot clock. With just over five minutes left on the clock, the power-play tables turned, but the Oilers were unable to match the Sharks.
Two minutes later, San Jose pulled further ahead. After firing unsuccessfully on Dubnyk, Heatley regained the puck at the side of the net and deflected it off the goalie's skate and across the line to set the score 3-1 Sharks heading into the third period.
Edmonton came out strong in the final frame, but San Jose was the next to capitalize. At the nine-minute mark, Joe Pavelski skated in and fired past Dubnyk to craft a three-goal cushion for the Sharks. With an assist on the play, Heatley earned his third point of the night.
Faced with a 4-1 deficit, the Oilers took control. With 7:21 remaining in regulation, Horcoff surprised Niittymaki with a rebound redirection to get the Oil back within two. One minute later, Vandermeer cut the gap in half by wiring the puck through traffic from the point, setting the score 4-3.
The late rally inspired the crowd, but Niittymaki stopped it there. At the final buzzer, the Oilers were still down a goal and the Sharks went up two points.
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