Sharks Pass Another Test, Win 4th Straight Over Division Leading Oilers 6-3

mercurynews.com photo: San Jose Sharks’ Barclay Goodrow (23) fights against Edmonton Oilers’ Brandon Manning (26) in the second period at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019

By Jerry Feitelberg

If you’re looking for a definitive statement that the San Jose Sharks have officially hit their stride after an abysmal start, Tuesday night was perfect proof. The Sharks manhandled the Pacific Division leading Edmonton Oilers 6-3. 13 different Sharks had a point, with  goals coming from six different players. Martin Jones made 21 saves, but was beaten by Western Conference scoring leader Leon Draisaitl, linemate Zack Kassian and Sam Gagner. Connor McDavid was held to just one assist. Barclay Goodrow had a Gordie Howe hat trick for San Jose. 

The Sharks started the year 4-10-1 through 15 games, but have won four-straight. Each win in the Streak has been an improvement on the last,with the Sharks beating a Blackhawks team that had an equally difficult start, then barely hung on to win 6-5 against a bad Minnesota Wild squad. The shootout win against Nashville Saturday was impressive, with the Preds firmly in playoff position but the win Tuesday solidified the Sharks as being able to beat good teams handedly, a calling card of past successful iterations of the team teal.

Brent Burns opened the scoring after his shot rang around the inside of the crossbar 4:01 into play, then Evander Kane tapped a rebound home from a Logan Couture shot for his team-leading 11th goal 7:27 in.

Patrick Marleau buzzed by goalie Mike Smith, tipping a Tim Heed shot past the goalie for a 3-0 lead and his first goal of the season not against the Chicago Blackhawks (fourth overall) at the 11:12 mark.

Barclay Goodrow got the toughest leg of the Gordie Howe, scoring his fifth goal of the year 1:26 into the second period. Draisaitl broke up the shutout just under halfway through the game, but the real excitement came later in the middle period.

With a little over five minutes left in the second,Tomas Hertl collided with Oilers wunderkind Connor McDavid, causing the wires to cross in linemate Zack Kassian. Kassian went after Hertl, a scrum ensued and in the aftermath Goodrow wound up dropping the mitts with Matt Benning. Benning also received a game misconduct for not having his fight strap tethered down and Hertl and Kassian got a penalty each.

When Hertl exited the box, he struck gold though. Erik Karlsson found him rushing to the Oilers net front and fired a perfect pass diagonally to Hertl at the goal mouth. While Hertl didn’t get all of the puck, he did get enough of it to slip it through Smith for a 5-1 Sharks lead 17:34 into the period.

Kassian and Sam Gagner scored goals in garbage time in the third, but sandwiched in between Timo Meier scored his fifth goal of the year. Goodrow picked up the secondary assist, netting him his Gordie Howe. 

San Jose hits the road to face the Anaheim Ducks. After that, they’ll return to face the Detroit Red Wings Saturday night at home.

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