EDMONTON, AB - David Perron gave the Oilers the lead in the third period and they held on to win 2-1 against the visiting San Jose Sharks.
The win snapped an 11-game losing streak and marked the Oilers first of the season against a Western Conference opponent.
“Getting rid of that (streak) is huge,” Oilers Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “It’s the, whatever you want to call it, monkey off your back, elephant, large gorilla. It feels good for everybody, but most importantly our players and our fans.”
The Oilers managed six straight shots on goal to open the game before San Jose registered their first. By the end of the first period, the Oilers led in shots 11-2 and were getting some pressure on Alex Stalock and the Sharks net.
The Oilers nearly took the lead in the opening minutes of the second period when Steve Pinizzotto and Luke Gazdic had a 2-on-1 rush. Pinizzotto’s shot went wide to the left of the net.
Also in the second period, Oilers defenceman Keith Aulie answered the bell after a hit on Barclay Goodrow. Aulie dropped the gloves and fought James Sheppard. Aulie got the boarding minor and Sheppard took a roughing penalty.
Brenden Dillon got whistled for holding at 7:36 of the second, which gave the Oilers their first man advantage of the game.
At 7:45 of the middle frame, Stalock got caught way outside of the crease, and underneath a teammate, as Nail Yakupov buried the puck from the slot for his fourth of the season. The power play goal was assisted by Jordan Eberle and Jeff Petry. The goal was Yakupov’s first since November 11, against Nashville.
Ben Scrivens made a nice save on the Oilers end in the moments that followed that goal, stopping the Sharks from negating the momentum.
The Sharks evened things up at 9:51 as Patrick Marleau backhanded a pass out in front for the trailing Tye McGinn. Brent Burns recorded the second assist.
The Oilers killed off two penalties taken in the first six minutes of the third period. Boyd Gordon’s high-sticking call and Pinizzotto’s roughing penalty were erased by the Oilers penalty kill units.
“Those were huge,” Oilers winger Taylor Hall said. “That’s a power play that loves to get shots and seems to hem you in there pretty well. For us to kill those off, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we got a goal right after that.”
“We have to work for our bounces and I feel like the last few games we’ve done that,” Perron said. “It was good to get rewarded.”
The win was nice for the Oilers, but it’s back to business with a short turnaround and a rematch looming on Tuesday in San Jose.
“Does it allow you to enjoy your night and part of your day tomorrow? Absolutely, but we’re not going to have a parade over this,” Eakins said. “We’re going to get right back to business and go play this same team, which is an extremely hard team to play. They’re well coached, they’re organized and they’ve got such a veteran core there that they’re hard to beat.”