SAN JOSE, CA - Joe Pavelski scored a pair of goals as the San Jose Sharks sunk their teeth into some revenge on the Oilers with a 5-2 decision on Tuesday night at SAP Center.
Just two nights after the Oilers edged the Sharks 2-1 at Rexall Place, the teams travelled to the Bay Area for the second half of their home-and-home Pacific Division series. The Sharks built a 2-0 lead early the first, but the Oilers battled back for a pair before the frame ended, only to give up two more in the second and one in the third to complete the San Jose victory.
The Oilers outshot the Sharks 27-24 on the night, but the difference came down to capitalizing on scoring chances, Head Coach Dallas Eakins said post-game. San Jose made the most of their opportunities, and Edmonton did not.
"We need to finish right now," Eakins said. "We need to put ourselves in better spots to finish. We can't continue to out-chance teams and lose like that. We're getting enough chances to score three goals, and it's a 3-2 league. But if you're going to continue to score two, it's not going to go well for you."
After only putting up two shots worth of offence in the opening frame on Sunday in Edmonton, the Sharks got off to a hot start with two goals in the opening five and a half minutes back on home ice. Pavelski got things going with his 13th of the season at 4:33 and rookie Barclay Goodrow picked up his first NHL goal just 56 seconds later.
Justin Braun made an effective pinch to keep the puck in the Oilers zone and Joe Thornton set up his namesake Pavelski for a spin-o-rama backhand that eluded Ben Scrivens high blocker side. On the second goal, Scrivens denied rookie Melker Karlsson's initial shot, but fellow freshman Goodrow was there to bang in the rebound for his first in the big show.
The Oilers cut the lead in half 12:08 in the first, however, as Leon Draisaitl got the puck behind the Sharks net and made a precision pass to Jordan Eberle in front. The right-winger had nothing but time to deke out Alex Stalock and tally his sixth goal and team-leading 18th point of the season. The pretty pass from the German rookie gave him the seventh point of his young NHL career.
"We didn't have the best start, obviously," Draisaitl said post-game. "We were sloppy in our D zone and got down two goals early, and then it's hard to come back. We did it, which was good, but not giving up those two goals is definitely key. We have to be sharper right from the start."
Shortly after Eberle rang a backhand off the crossbar on spin-o-rama similar to Pavelski's, Teddy Purcell stole the puck from Brenden Dillon in the Sharks zone and set up David Perron for a wrist-shot goal to tie the game at 2-2 with 3:45 on the clock. The equalizer was Perron's fifth of the year and 15th point, while Purcell picked up his 13th point on the feed.
The Sharks regained the lead 6:14 into the middle frame as the Oilers couldn't clear the zone; Scott Hannan knocked the puck down at the blueline, put it on net and Logan Couture deflected it past Scrivens to make it 3-2. Then, just 1:21 later, the Sharks executed a perfect power-play tic-tac-toe, as Thornton fed Patrick Marleau who set up Pavelski on the doorstep for his 14th.
"We made a mistake down low, and it was an honest mistake," Eakins said of the PPG. "Their power play has been excellent for years now. They've got great experience on there. They got one on the power play, and we didn't."
San Jose added one more insurance marker with 5:29 remaining in the game as Brent Burns cut off an Oilers clearing attempt and sent a blistering slap-shot off the crossbar and in. Stalock finished the game with 25 saves to secure the W for the Sharks.
No rest for the Oilers as they'll head south to Orange Country for a Wednesday night matchup against the Anaheim Ducks, who lead the League with an 18-6-5 record and 41 points. It's the first of four meetings between the Oilers and Ducks this season, and first of two this week alone, as the teams will head to Oil Country for a rematch on Friday night at Rexall Place.