That is probably why their redemption will have to wait for
The Oilers lost their third in a row Tuesday, with Sharks center Joe
Pavelski scoring a hat trick to lead his team to a 5-2 victory.
"On back-to-back nights your special teams have to be good and they
were tonight," said Pavelski, who scored two of his goals on the
power play. "In the last few games we've created a little bit of
momentum on it."
San Jose scored three goals in the second period to pull away for
good in improving its record to 47-18-9 on the season.
The Sharks, in a dog fight with St. Louis for first place and home
ice through the Western Conference playoffs, began the day with 101
points, two points back of the Blues.
But they let a handful of these "gimmes" get away from them this
year, losing to cellar dwellars Edmonton, Calgary, Buffalo and
Florida in the last 20 games alone. They were determined not to let
any more points slip away.
"The numbers aren't that important, it's when they come and how they
come," said Sharks coach Todd McLellan. "We've had nights like this
and it just hasn't gone in. You panic over it outside the room, but
not inside the room. We finally got a reward for playing basically
the same way that we have been."
The Oilers, meanwhile, dearly needed something good to happen after
being out-scored 11-2 in their last two home games.
"It's just one of those efforts where you have to take whatever you
can from it," said left winger Taylor Hall. "There was so much
negativity swirling around outside our club that tonight would have
been a huge night to get a convincing win but that's not the way it
"So we're kind of stuck in the middle now — we have to take what we
can from it and try and stay as positive as we can. Make sure we
keep building and building until we get back to where we were."
The Oilers started well enough, taking a 1-0 lead into the first
intermission on left winger David Perron's 26th of the season 4:11
into the first period. With the shots 11-10 and the balance of play
pretty even, it looked like it might be a good night for the home
It was not.
San Jose flexed its muscle in the second period, scoring three
straight goals to put the contest in a stranglehold.
"I thought we were a little bit rusty to start with trying to find
our legs early," said McLellan. "We knew they would have a pretty
strong push after their last game here. We settled in did some good
things and managed the puck a little better. Everybody contributed.
We got an opportunity to play all four lines. It was good to see
guys dig in and find a way to win."
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Pavelski tied it at 1 on a power play at 6:28 and center Patrick
Marleau made it 2-1 on another power play at 9:52, giving the Sharks
two goals before the Oilers had two shots in the period.
"That was important, that we came out and played a decent period,"
said Pavelski. "Their goalie's been hot against us but we knew we
could get to him, we just had to stay with it."
Edmonton looked like it would get out of the second period down by
just one goal, but defenseman Jeff Petry overskated the puck at his
own blueline, enabling right winger Martin Havlat to score a
back-breaking 3-1 goal at 19:29.
Pavelski scored two more goals in the third period, one on a power
play in the first two minutes and another to complete the hat-trick
with seven minutes to play.
"We had a ton of chances in the first and I thought we out-played
them," Oilers center Sam Gagner said. "Then their power play was
able to take over. It was a tough loss. It's definitely frustrating,
especially the way things have gone. That's a good team over there.
I thought it could have gone a different way. Tough ending."
Hall scored late for the Oilers to make it 5-2.
NOTES: Oilers G Viktor Fasth is out with a neck injury after being
accidentally run over in practice by teammate Anton Lander, so they
recalled G Laurent Brossoit from Oklahoma City of the AHL. ... RW
Nail Yakupov, who's missed the last four Oilers game with an ankle
injury, is expected to start skating in a couple of days. ... San
Jose C Logan Couture missed the Edmonton game after blocking a shot
the night before in Calgary. ... The Sharks clinched a playoff berth
for the 10th consecutive season. This is the seventh time in the
last nine years they reached 100 points. ... Tuesday marked just the
21st time in 74 games that the Sharks trailed after the first
period. ... San Jose RW Adam Burish took a slap shot on the wrist in
the second period and left the game immediately with a broken
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