Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks
By Mary Walsh
The San Jose Sharks defeated the Edmonton Oilers 7-4 at the Rogers Place Saturday. Sharks goals came from Joonas Donskoi, Tomas Hertl, Logan Couture (2), Erik Karlsson and Melker Karlsson (2). Erik Karlsson, returning from his two game suspension, garnered four points in Saturday’s game. San Jose’s Martin Jones made 22 saves for the win. For the Oilers, goals came from Connor McDavid (2), Caleb Jones and Leon Draisaitl. Cam Talbot made 33 saves for Edmonton.
After the game, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said: “It was a good game for us, I think we took advantage of a team with some depth issues on defense and some young guys playing in key spots there. But, to our credit, we showed up and took advantage of what we needed to take advantage of. I thought we did a good job of playing in their end and putting some pressure on them.”
The Oilers scored first in Saturday’s game. It was a strange play, involving an early signal from the official, a review by the NHL, and a goal that came after the official had signaled a goal. At 6:26 of the first period, Ty Rattie took a shot that Martin Jones just barely stopped. While the official was waving a goal there and the goal horn was blaring, Connor McDavid knocked the puck in around Jones. The NHL reviewed the first shot to determine that it was not a goal but said nothing about the official’s gesturing before the whistle. Assists went to Ty Rattie and Leon Draisaitl. Time of the goal was 6:28.
Down 1-0, the Sharks carried on to score at 6:44. Joonas Donskoi went into the Oilers zone three on one with Erik Karlsson and Tomas Hertl. The three exchanges passes until Donskoi was almost at the goal line, when he took the shot and beat Cam Talbot over the pad. Assists went to Karlsson and Hertl.
The Sharks took the lead at 10:13 with a goal from Tomas Hertl. Hertl caught the pass from Burns, spun around in front of the net, looking like he might backhand it and drawing Talbot to the left side of the net. Instead, he kept turning and shot into the other side. Assists went to Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson.
The Sharks added to the lead at 6:39 of the third period. Logan Couture pulled the puck off the boards away from McDavid, who was tangled up with a prone and sliding Joe Pavelski. He found Joe Thornton behind the net with a pass. Thornton held the puck there until Couture was in a good shooting position above the goal line. Couture’s shot slipped under Talbot and trickled over the line after a short delay. Assists went to Thornton and Pavelski.
Erik Karlsson added another goal and his third point of the game at 18:45 of the second. The Sharks had just completed a distinctly lackluster power play and the Sharks were having a heck of a time holding the zone. They pulled themselves back together after disorderly spell. Joonas Donskoi was in the offensive zone with Barclay Goodrow and Marcus Sorensen. The trio caused some havoc around the net and Goodrow got the puck to Karlsson at the point. Donskoi was battling with Caleb Jones in front of the goalie, creating a good screen for Karlsson’s shot. Assists went to Goodrow and Donskoi.
Melker Karlsson scored the Sharks’ fifth goal at 2:41 of the third period. He tipped a Brent Burns shot from the point, with Goodrow creating a screen in front of Talbot. Assists went to Burns and Kevin Labanc.
Couture added a sixth goal, this one short-handed, at 8:25. Timo Meier was in the box for high-sticking. Evander Kane beat the Oilers defense to the puck and took it away from the goalie, who was up at the half-boards. Kane carried the puck around behind the net (tended by Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse) and found Couture coming to the net. Couture’s shot went under Talbot as he was getting back into position.
The Oilers got one back as Caleb Jones scored his first NHL goal at 10:40. Ty Rattie made a pass around a sliding Brenden Dillon to get the puck in front of the net, where Jones was ready to take the shot. He put the puck past Martin Jones as he slid across to follow the pass. Assists went to Rattie and Drake Caggiula.
Melker Karlsson scored a second time at 14:09. Erik Karlsson took the puck off the faceoff and carried it at high speed behind the net. Instead of going around the net, he made a last-second pass to the front of the net, where Melker Karlsson was waiting to knock it in. Assists went to Karlsson and Goodrow.
Leon Draisaitl scored the Oilers’ third goal at 16:53. Draisaitl carried the puck through the neutral zone, skating around Justin Braun and beating Martin Jones over the shoulder. An assist went to Milan Lucic.
Connor McDavid added a fourth goal for the Oilers at 19:54. McDavid tipped a shot from Chris Wideman and it bounced up in a high arc over Martin Jones. Assists went to Wideman and Rattie.
During the second period, Marcus Sorensen took a high hit that went unnoticed by the officials, even though he was pushed into one official in the process. He left the game for a time but did return. He sat during the final five minutes of the game as well, for precautionary reasons per Coach DeBoer.
The Sharks will next play on Monday, New Year’s Eve, in Calgary against the Flames at 6:00 PM PT.
In Division ranking, the Sharks are currently tied at 49 points with first-place Calgary, but the Flames have two games in hand. Those 49 points are good for third in the Western Conference right now, behind Calgary and Winnipeg.