By Mary Walsh
Joe Pavelski has found the trick to three-goal games. Tuesday in Edmonton, he scored his third hat trick, after starting the season without even one hat trick in his NHL career. His three goals boosted the San Jose Sharks to a 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers.
Patrick Marleau scored the first Sharks goal of the game, and Martin Havlat scored the game winner in the second period. The Sharks scored three goals on the power play (two were Pavelski’s). Edmonton goals came from David Perron and Taylor Hall. Antti Niemi made 28 saves for the win, Ben Scrivens made 29 saves for the Oilers.
It took the Sharks a full period to find their legs in the second part of back to back games in Alberta. The Oilers, rested after an embarrassing loss to Calgary, came out fast against the Sharks. They opened the scoring when David Perron brought the puck in while his teammates drove the Sharks’ defense back. Perron skated around Tyler Kennedy and shot around Brad Stuart to score at 4:11 of the first period. Assists went to Taylor Hall and Jeff Petry.
The Sharks’ fourth line responded well to that goal, gaining the zone and earning an excellent scoring chance, but Mike Brown lost the puck on a wrap-around try. In the same shift, a shot from Sharks’ defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic caught the Oilers’ Ryan Jones in the knee and sent him limping off the ice.
The rest of the first was marked by some good luck for the Sharks that defended them against several attacks from the Oilers. The period ended with the shots 11-10 Sharks.
The second period began with the Sharks outshooting the Oilers 6-1 in the first five minutes. The first penalty of the game was called against the Oilers when Ryan Smyth went to the box for holding. It only took the Sharks 37 seconds on the power play to tie the game. Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens stopped a shot from Patrick Marleau but Joe Pavelski was in position to pick up the rebound and put it in to an open net. The assists went to Marleau and Joe Thornton.
A few minutes later, a good chance for the Sharks’ third line drew another penalty against the Oilers. Andrew Ference went off for holding James Sheppard. It took the Sharks considerably longer to score on this second power play, but the Sharks’ top power play unit of Thornton, Marleau, Burns, Pavelski and Boyle held the zone and fired a flurry of shots without losing possession. Finally a shot from Marleau went in, with assists going to Pavelski and Burns.
The Sharks took their first penalty at 11:43 of the second period, when Brad Stuart went to the box for hooking. The Sharks killed it off but shortly thereafter, Adam Burish blocked a shot and left the ice with what looked like a serious hand injury.
The Sharks had a few close calls later in the period, but with just 39 seconds left, the third line caught a break and Martin Havlat skated into the Oilers’ zone with Tommy Wingels two on one. Despite taking a slash to his stick, Havlat put a hard shot past Scrivens to give the Sharks a two goal lead.
Through the period, the Sharks had 17 shots to the Oilers’ 7.
Matt Nieto drew a penalty from Taylor Hall to start the third period. The second power play unit did not get a chance to play, as Pavelski scored just 46 seconds in, bouncing a shot off the inside of Scrivens’ skate. Assists went to Dan Boyle and Brent Burns.
Several minutes later, Pavelski made it 5-1 for the hat trick after the Sharks kept the Oilers trapped in their zone for too long. Assists went to Joe Thornton and Brad Stuart.
The Oilers got one back with just over five minutes left in the game. Some hard work on the boards sent the puck in front of Niemi, where a diving Taylor Hall was able to scoop in into the net. A hooking call against Matt Nieto gave the Oilers a second chance on the power play with less than a minute left in the third period, but they could not change the score from 5-2.
Tommy Wingels got credit for 12 hits, leading all skaters in the game in that statistic. Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski each had four shots. David Perron lead the Oilers in shots with six.
The three stars of the game were Joe Pavelski, Patrick Marleau and Taylor Hall.
The Sharks next play in San Jose on Thursday at 7:30 pm. They will host the Winnipeg Jets.