EDMONTON, AB - Edmonton was the first team to score but the Sharks would score the next five-straight goals with Joe Pavelski recording a hat trick, as San Jose stormed their way to a 5-2 win over the Oilers at Rexall Place.
“They’re a good team,” Oilers winger Taylor Hall said. “You can see that team going pretty deep (in the playoffs) this year. Their power play just kind of killed us tonight. They were so dangerous out there and they’re so hard to defend that we gave them three chances and they capitalized. I thought for the most part, our game was there. (We were) just maybe a little scared in some areas to make some plays but I thought it was a lot better than last game and something we can build on.”
At 4:11 of the first period, Hall left a drop pass for David Perron and the Oilers forward made a move towards the goal, roofing a shot from the bottom of the circle over the glove side of Antti Niemi. Perron continued his career season with that goal, netting his 51st point and Hall’s assist was the winger’s 66th point of the season. Jeff Petry earned the second assist on the goal.
With 9:29 remaining in the opening frame, Sam Gagner had a good offensive look as he sent a backhand on net but it was swallowed up by Niemi.
Ryan Smyth would head to the sin bin at 5:51 of the second period and the Sharks would capitalize on the game’s first power play.
Sharks Joe Pavelski tied the game at 6:28 of the second period, on the man advantage. Patrick Marleau shot the puck on net and Ben Scrivens made the initial save, but Pavelski was there to bury the rebound. Joe Thornton earned the second assist.
Marleau would capitalize on the Sharks next power play with a shot from the top of the circle that found a clean path through past Scrivens at 9:57 of the middle frame. Pavelski and Brent Burns recorded the assists as San Jose took the 2-1 lead.
“Those teams make you work for every inch of the ice,” Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “They’re extremely talented, they’ve got such a veteran presence on their team… You know the words; heavy. The thing for me is that they’re ‘heady’. They understand the game and they’re a step ahead of everyone else on the ice and that comes with games played and lots of games played. The guys like Thornton and Marleau, they’re incredible.”
Marty Havlat scored for the Sharks with 30 seconds remaining in the second period to give the visitors the 3-1 lead. Jason Demers earned the lone assist.
31 seconds into the third period, Hall took a holding penalty and put the Oilers back on the penalty kill. The Sharks converted their third-straight power play opportunity when Pavelski spun around and put the puck in past Scrivens at 1:17, giving San Jose the 4-1 lead. Dan Boyle and Burns recorded the assists.
“Like I said, their power play killed us and we didn’t get anything on ours,” Hall said. “It was pretty even for the most part tonight but, like I said, our battle was there and I think our compete and our smarts were a little bit more there than last game and we’ve got to take whatever we can build on right now. We’ve got to get some confidence from whatever part of the game that we can.”
Pavelski netted the hat trick at 13:00 of the final frame when he connected on a one-timer from the high slot and the Sharks gained the 5-1 lead. Thornton and Brad Stuart had the helpers.
Pavelski’s hat trick is his third of the season, tying him for the most in the NHL.
Edmonton halted the Sharks scoring spree when Andrew Ference’s slap shot from the point rebounded out to Hall in the crease and he put home the backhand at 14:56. Jordan Eberle added the second assist.