San Jose Sharks celebrate one of their six goals on Thursday night in Edmonton against the Oilers (globegazette.com photo)
~ By Pearl Allison Lo
~ It was a replay scorewise of the first time San Jose and the Oilers met this season, as the Sharks won again 6-3.
That date was on November 12. Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl scored then, but not this time, as the NHL’s leading point getter was shut out. San Jose used three two-period goals to achieve victory behind netminder Aaron Dell, who faced at least 31 shots in his third straight game.
The Sharks kept the trend going with a fifth straight road victory when in Edmonton.
San Jose’s Timo Meier nearly had his second career hat trick, but instead settled for a game-high two goals and one assist. The last time he had a three-point night was when he had his first career hat trick, on December 28.
13 different Sharks had points on the night.
One game removed from their NHL debut, San Jose’s Maxim Letunov had his first goal and teammate Alexander True earned his first assist.
The Oilers had a Constant push in the Sharks’ zone, which led to their first goal. Dell was able to stop McDavid’s first attempt less than a minute earlier. Regarding the scoring play, while fishing the puck from the boards, Radim Simek sent the puck to Edmonton’s Ethan Bear at the blue line, who passed it to McDavid. McDavid then swung the puck towards Dell again, from far away, who sent the puck to Darnell Nurse. The puck then somehow found Sam Gagner, who had been seated in the slot, and he converted at 4:04.
Not too long after, the second player in NHL points this season, unthwarted by earlier, managed to score his 30th goal. He did it in his McDavid fashion, taking a pass from Nurse, located in the Oilers’ zone in the neutral area, and then using his speed to singlehandedly fly by two skaters en route to the net at 5:20.
Nurse received a penalty at 8:15 for throwing his stick to replace goalie Mikko Koskinen’s.
The game stayed 2-0 until Meier tipped Brent Burn’s shot at 11:01 to halve Edmonton’s lead.
San Jose killed off a penalty to Burns at 13:21 and then the Sharks got their second and third power play at once as Oscar Klefbom got a double minor for high-sticking Melker Karlsson at 16:33. With Burns initially credited for the goal, the credit shifted to Evander Kane who was up in front. The play came about due to well timed puck movement. Joe Thornton made the cross-ice pass to Burns, who shot from the top of the left faceoff circle. The goal was also significant in that the timely conversion gave the Sharks their first with the man advantage in their last 12 tries.
The second period featured more of the newer Sharks, as they went ahead and then upped their lead even more with another two-goal period.
Letunov replied with a smile after he netted the rebound off Erik Karlsson’s shot three seconds before 7:07. The rookie fought and spun around with two defenders in front of him.
After the puck went high up in the air behind the net, True recovered it. He found Stefan Noesen camped near the net and fed him for a quick wraparound goal at 12:31.
Meier struck again at 5:05 of the third to make it 5-2. Kevin Labanc attracted three players to him, sent the puck off the boards and then took down one of the three players earlier. That opened the shot for Meier, who aimed from the left faceoff circle.
Bear then broke San Jose’s five-goal streak at 6:33, in a similar spot to Meier, but from the other faceoff circle, pushing the score to 5-3.
To cap the scoring, Meier threw the puck behind the net to Thornton, who in turn patiently fed him. Meier initially had a hat trick, but the scoring switched again, this time to Labanc, who was jostling up front.
Up Next: With a perfect road trip, the Sharks will now return home for a single game, as they see the Calgary Flames for the second time in three at 7:30pm Monday.