SAN JOSE, CA - The Oilers led at one point in the third, however the San Jose Sharks scored two goals less than two minutes apart in the final frame to spoil Taylor Hall's four-point night and defeat Edmonton 5-4.
The Oilers racked up 23 penalty minutes in the loss.
“It was good and bad,” Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “I thought that we battled extremely hard. In my recent memory, I can’t remember a game where we were supporting and fighting and battling in the game. I liked our compete level, I thought we had lots of sacrifice and the bad part is, you can’t take seven penalties against a team like that. Especially in the third after we battled back from a deficit. You just can’t take those penalties and especially, you can’t take them against a good team and against any team in this league. To take seven penalties, you’re going to get in trouble.”
The Sharks took the 1-0 lead at 3:11 of the opening period. Tyler Kennedy’s shot was saved by Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens but he kicked a juicy rebound out into the slot where Andrew Desjardins capitalized on the wide-open net. Jason Demers was awarded the second assist.
The Oilers got the equalizer on the power play at 12:34 of the first. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins stepped over the line and backhanded a pass to Taylor Hall on the left wing. Hall ripped a shot glove-side of goaltender Antti Niemi for the game-tying goal and his team-leading 69th point of the season. Jordan Eberle snagged the second assist.
San Jose gained back the lead when penalties to both sides provided the fans with some 4-on-4 hockey. The Sharks won the draw and Joe Thornton chased down the puck and passed it to Dan Boyle in the high slot. Boyle waited for the traffic to clear for a few seconds before going top shelf for the go-ahead goal.
Another face-off win for the Sharks in the Oilers zone led to their two-goal lead less than three minutes into the second period. Off the draw, Justin Braun passed the puck across the ice to Brad Stuart. Stuart hammered a shot, it deflected off of Scrivens’ shoulder and behind the goalie for an easy tap-in goal for Tommy Wingels at 2:45 of the middle frame.
The goal came one second after a hooking penalty to Oilers defenceman Mark Fraser expired.
The Oilers would rally after the mid-point of the second period, courtesy of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
38 seconds later, Eberle carried the puck over the line and attempted a centring pass to Nugent-Hopkins who crashed the crease. The puck would find its way in with Eberle later being credited with the score after Nugent-Hopkins was originally awarded the point. The goal tied the game at 3-3 and Oscar Klefbom and Nugent-Hopkins had the helpers.
The game entered the third period knotted up at three.
Nugent-Hopkins struck again for the Oilers to give them the lead, this time at 6:16 of the final period of regulation. Eberle and Hall had the assists on Nugent-Hopkins’ 18th goal of the season.
“I thought we showed a lot of fight and it’s obviously tough not at least pushing it to overtime,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “But I thought we battle really hard. I think just a few penalties killed us but I think for the most part we played a pretty solid game.”
With 9:23 remaining in the third, Brent Burns tied the game for the Sharks at 10:35. Thornton and Joe Pavelski had the assists.
The Sharks continued to swarm when Patrick Marleau swatted the puck in backdoor on the power play at 12:31. The goal gave San Jose the 5-4 lead with Burns and Boyle getting the assists.
The loss was the Oilers' second straight.