Thanks to stellar goaltending from Devan Dubnyk and key offensive contributions from their top line, the Oilers overcame a 43-29 shot deficit to defeat the Sharks 5-2 Thursday night. Taylor Hall led the team with two goals (including an empty-netter), his linemate Ales Hemsky tallied four assists, and Dubnyk finished with 41 saves for the win.
Under the Scope
The Oilers and Sharks battled shot-for-shot through the game's first six minutes, paving the way for a shot-for-shot battle between Theo Peckham and Ryane Clowe. Five-minute fighting majors were assessed.
Before Peckham and Clowe completed their sentences, Ladislav Smid and Jamie McGinn scuffled in Dubnyk's crease, took roughing minors, and joined their teammates in the penalty boxes. San Jose assumed a 9-4 shot lead on the resulting four-on-four, but Dubnyk kept it scoreless.
Edmonton fought back to even the attempts and, on their ninth shot, scored the first goal of the game. On the right side, Liam Reddox stole the puck and fed it to Andrew Cogliano, who cut to the net uninpeded and fired top-shelf on Antero Niittymaki.
With 1:38 remaining in the period, Hemsky was called for hooking and the Sharks benefited from the game's first power-play. The Oilers killed the remaining time and carried their one-goal lead and 22-second one-man-disadvantage into the second period.
The Oilers outlasted the remainder of the Hemsky's penalty and, four minutes later, converted that solid defending into more offense. With help from linemates Hemsky and Hall, Dustin Penner got the puck above the left face-off circle and slapped it inside Niittymaki's far post to set the score 2-0 Oilers.
Following the goal, San Jose's Niclas Wallin was called for hooking, but Edmonton couldn't add another one on the resulting power-play.
The Sharks swarmed in the latter half of the frame, keeping Dubnyk scrambling to preserve the two-goal cushion. With just over four minutes remaining on the clock, the Oil regained possession with Hall at the helm. Aided by Wallin's wipe-out, the rookie coasted in on Niittymaki and let loose with a wrister. The goalie lost the puck in his jersey, and as he fell backwards, it tumbled loose and across the line. The Oilers went up 3-0.
48 seconds after the goal, Edmonton was assessed the first of two consecutive penalties. San Jose topped 28 shots on the power-plays, but Dubnyk was exceptional and continued to frustrate the hometown snipers and their fans.
Hemsky came within inches of making it 4-0 three minutes into the third, but his partial-break backhander deflected off the post.
Soon a fifth Oilers penalty put the visitors back on their heels and the Sharks capitalized. With 14 minutes remaining in regulation, Joe Thornton concluded a three-on-two with a pretty wrister that Dubnyk couldn't snag. The goal, San Jose's first on 39 shots, set the score 3-1.
The power-play tables quickly turned, however. Near the seven-minute mark, the Sharks took two penalties in succession, offering the Oil a two-man-advantage for 1:56. Although Niittymaki was perfect in the intense five-on-three, he couldn't keep it up as Edmonton continued to press, resulting in a gritty goal from rookie Linus Omark.
Shortly after San Jose topped 40 shots, Omark took his third consecutive penalty to offer the Sharks their fifth power-play. The home team pounced and quickly got the puck into the net, but because Dubnyk had two players laying on top of him, the goal was disallowed.
Niittymaki skated to the bench in the final minute, and six Sharks skaters produced a second home power-play goal shortly thereafter. But with the empty net, Hall soon got that one back and the Oilers came out with a 5-2 win Thursday night.