photo from nydailynews.com: The San Jose Sharks Eric Fehr (16), Joakim Ryan (47) and Brendon Dylan celebrate a third period goal against the Edmonton Oilers Wednesday night at Edmonton
By Mary Walsh
The San Jose Sharks started a three-game road trip with a 4-3 overtime win in Edmonton. Two Sharks goals came from Tomas Hertl, including the overtime game winner. Logan Couture scored a power play goal in the second period and Brenden Dillon scored the tying goal in the third. Oilers goals came from Drake Cagguila, Oscar Klefbom and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Sharks goaltender Martin Jones made 25 saves, while Al Montoya made 36 saves for the Oilers.
Joonas Donskoi left the midway through the third period after an awkward hit from Ethan Bear. Donskoi has been playing very well with Joe Pavelski and Evander Kane. Evander Kane also left the game briefly but returned to play. After the game, Sharks Head Coach Pete DeBoer was unwilling to speculate on the severity of the injuries. Of the game, he said:
It was a gutsy effort, it was a grind out there. We had a lot of things going on, we had some chances we didn’t cash in on and they got a stick on a couple tips and we had the goalie interference one go against us. And we lost a couple guys to injury at different points but we kept battling and found a way and, you know, that’s kind of been the story of our group all year.
The Sharks came back three times in the game, after trailing by a goal. Sharks forward Logan Couture described the team’s approach to coming back like that: “I think we always know on the bench that we got a chance to come back. They took three one-goal leads and the bench doesn’t deflate. Guys stay positive and keep the pressure on, play in their end and we were able to respond each time.”
The Sharks power play scored, a good sign that they have cured what ailed them during the long drought that ended a few games ago. Their faceoff percentage also improved to 52% for this game, perhaps a sign that they are addressing what has been a shortcoming lately.
Drake Cagguila scored just 2:39 into the first period to give the Oilers their first lead. He caught Zack Kassian’s pass from behind the net and put it away with a lighting quick flick of the wrist. Assists went to Kassian and Jujhar Khaira.
Tomas Hertl tied it up at 8:03. Mikkel Boedker intercepted a Leon Draisaitl pass in the Sharks’ zone and sent the Sharks the other way at speed. Boedker gave the puck to Logan Couture, who went in two n one with Tomas Hertl. Hertk went to the net and caught Couture’s pass to score. Couture and Boedker got the assists.
Midway through the second period, Oscar Klefbom took a shot from the blue line off a pass from Connor McDavid to give the Oilers their secon lead. The shot went off the left post and in. The Sharks challenged the goal due. From one camera angle, you could see that Pontus Aberg clipped Jones’ skate and stick, pulling him right just before Klefbom’s shot went left. The goal was upheld. Assists went to McDavid and Aberg.
Drake Cagguila was called for high-sticking Donskoi and drawing blood at 9:43 of the second. The Sharks did not need the four minutes to score. Logan Couture scored 18 seconds into the penalty off a pass from Brent Burns. Assists went to Burns and Pavelski.
Before the second penalty expired, Timo Meier was called for high-sticking Klefbom, and the power play ended early.
The Sharks ended the second period on another power play that carried over into the third period. Moments after it expired in the third, Klefbom shot again from the blue line. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins deflected in and it went off the post, this time the right one. Assists went to Klefbom and McDavid.
Midway through the period, Tomas Hertl passed the puck to Brenden Dillon at the Oilers blue line. Dillon took the shot but it was blocked. The puck went right to Boedker, who gave right back to Dillon. Dillon shot again and this time it went in.
Almost three minutes into overtime, Tomas Hertl fought the puck away from Leon Draisaitl in the way into the Oilers’ zone. He left the puck off for Logan Couture to pick up and then got to the slot where he caught Logan Couture’s pass and put it away with a one-timer.
The win puts the Sharks three points ahead of third-place Los Angeles and fourth place Anaheim in the Pacific Division, and two and three points ahead of the current wild cards Dallas and Minnesota. The Sharks next play on Friday at 6:00 pm PT against the Flames in Calgary.