Wednesday, April 02, 2014
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Sharks Rally To Top Oilers

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[April 02, 2014]  SAN JOSE, Calif.  The San Jose Sharks may not be playoff ready quite yet, but they were good enough to rally against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.

Left winger Patrick Marleau's tiebreaking, backhand goal at 12:31 capped the Sharks' third-period comeback and lifted San Jose to a 5-4 win over Edmonton at SAP Center.

"We're happy with the two (points), but we've got to tighten up for the postseason," Sharks center Joe Thornton said. "We've got five games here to do that."

San Jose pulled within one point of Pacific Division-leading Anaheim, but the Ducks have played two fewer games. Anaheim, which was idle Tuesday, plays host to Edmonton on Wednesday.

"We've got five left and you want to be playing well before the postseason," Thornton added. "Our goal is to win all five and see where it goes."

The Sharks were 0-for-5 on the power play before Oilers right winger David Perron tripped defenseman Justin Braun in the San Jose end at 12:23 of the third. San Jose quickly took advantage, with Marleau collecting his 32nd goal of the season by beating a diving Matt Hendricks to the loose puck.

"I was coming down that backside looking for any scraps," Marleau said.

Edmonton center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins collected his second goal and fourth point of the game at 6:16 of the final period to break a 3-3 tie. His 18th goal beat Sharks goalie Antti Niemi short-side after Edmonton right winger Jordan Eberle made a nice spin move to create space.

Edmonton's top liners gave San Jose fits all night and combined for 10 points.

"They were not only good offensively, they were getting the job done defensively ... they played a real complete game," Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins said.

"We try not to give Dallas any reason to split us up," Nugent-Hopkins added.

A seemingly comfortable 3-1 lead had turned into a 4-3 deficit for the Sharks.

"The intensity probably dropped a little bit. We're up 3-1 on a team that's not in the playoffs," Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle said. "Sometimes you take your foot off the gas a little bit."

The hosts rallied at 10:35 when Thornton found right winger Brent Burns on the weak side. Burns fed his 22nd goal through the pads of Edmonton goalie Ben Scrivens to tie the score at 4.

"We fought hard to battle back," Boyle added.

The Sharks looked to be in a good shape when right winger Tommy Wingels snapped a 10-game scoreless drought with his 16th goal at 2:45 of the second period. He put back his own shot that was redirected off defenseman Brad Stuart's stick, giving the hosts a 3-1 lead.

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However, Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle struck on consecutive shots in a 38-second span later in the period, enabling the visitors to pull into a 3-3 tie after 40 minutes.

Nugent-Hopkins found a soft spot in the right circle to beat Niemi for this 17th goal at 13:04 following an impressive Edmonton cycle and display of one-touch passing.

At 13:42, Eberle was credited with his 25th goal on an attempted centering feed that went through Nugent-Hopkins, who beat San Jose left winger Joe Pavelski, and caromed off the skate of Braun past Niemi.

The Sharks escaped a lackluster first period with a 2-1 lead. San Jose center Andrew Desjardins (No. 3) and Boyle (No. 11) scored on either side of a goal by Edmonton left winger Taylor Hall (No. 26).

NOTES: San Jose continues to play without LW Raffi Torres, who appeared in five of six games Feb. 27-March 8 following preseason knee surgery. He missed his 12th consecutive game Tuesday. Sharks RW Adam Burish (hand) and LW Tomas Hertl (knee) remain out for at least the rest of the regular season. ... D Scott Hannan was San Jose's lone healthy scratch. ... Edmonton G Richard Bachman (groin), LW Jesse Joensuu (ankle), RW Ryan Jones (knee), LW Luke Gadzic (shoulder), RW Nail Yakupov (ankle) and D Andrew Ference (chest) remain out. ... The Sharks' homestand continues with games against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday and the Nashville Predators on Saturday. ... Edmonton's trip continues in Anaheim on Tuesday and at Phoenix on Thursday, a run of three road games in four nights.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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