Sharks Win 5-2 in Edmonton, Thornton Ties Howe

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks defeated the Oilers 5-2 win in Edmonton Saturday while adding a couple of milestones. Joe Thornton earned his 1,048th and 1,049th assists to tie Gordie Howe for ninth in the NHL. That last point came on Kevin Labanc’s third goal of the game for his first NHL hat trick. Two more Sharks goals came from Evander Kane and Tomas Hertl. Sharks goaltender Aaron Dell made 21 saves on 23 shots. Edmonton got goals from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zack Kassian, while goaltender Cam Talbot made 26 saves on 31 shots.

Of their success in Edmonton this season, and of Labanc’s hat trick, Sharks Captain Joe Pavelski said:

Yeah, first one, that’s awesome, they were nice goals too. He shot the puck really well tonight, you know, quick, accurate, hard. He made some good plays out there. It was big for us. That’s what I was talking about, up and down the lineup, when we’ve come in here we’ve had guys step up and have big nights and, you know, Kevin had a good one for us tonight.

Kevin Labanc gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead 10:39 into the first. Catching a pass from Joe Thornton as he came into the zone at a good clip, Labanc took a quick shot that went off of an Edmonton skate and into the net. Assists went to Thornton and Marcus Sorensen.

Evander Kane added to that lead at 12:15. Tomas Hertl carried the puck over the blue line, then made a backwards pass to Joonas Donskoi who had just entered the zone behind him. Donskoi found Kane as he arrived in front of the net, undefended. Kane did not hesitate and put the puck by Talbot on the near side. Assists went to Donskoi and Hertl.

The teams skated four-on-four after Barclasy Goodrow and Leon Draisaitl exchanged penalties, crossing-checking for Goodrow and interference for Draisaitl. Neither team scored.

At the end of the first period, the Sharks led 2-0 and 12-5 in shots.

The Sharks had an early power play in the second period, when Zack Kassian went to the box for tripping Evander Kane. With 22 seconds left in that penalty, Adam Larsson was called for delay of game after the puck went out of play.

The two man advantage had expired before the Sharks scored again. Evander Kane moved as if to carry the puck behind the net but instead sent the puck to the front. Timo Meier was there but he could not get his stick on it. The puck went off of his skate and out to Labanc who was at the edge of the faceoff circle. He dragged the puck closer to the slot, encouraging the goalie to move off the post. As Talbot started to move across, Labanc took the shot. Assists went to Meier and Kane.

The Sharks got another chance at 9:06 with Oscar Klefbom in the box for interference against Tomas Hertl, but that was cut short by half a minute when Timo Meier was called for tripping Brandon Manning. The Sharks penalty had 28 seconds left in it when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored for Edmonton. Aaron Dell had fought off a couple of shots and was down when the puck popped out to Nugent-Hopkins away from the net crowd. Nugent-Hopkins took the shot and it went through traffic and in at 12:00 of the second. An assist went to Alex Chiasson.

At the end of the second period, the Sharks led 3-1. Despite the power play time for San Jose, Edmonton still had 13 shots to the Sharks’ 7 for the period. Whatever accounted for that imbalance, it did not go unnoticed by the Sharks during intermission. They came out with renewed energy to start the third period.

Kevin Labanc completed his hat trick just 1:36 into the final frame. Much like his first goal of the game, he took a pass from Joe Thornton off the rush and his shot went through traffic. This time, it did not hit anything and went into the net clean as a whistle. Assists went to Thornton and Brenden Dillon.

Tomas Hertl made it 5-1 at 4:24 of the third. He carried the puck into the zone, looked away like he was going to pass across the ice, snatched the puck away from an Edmonton stick, then shot it through the short side. Talbot was unable to predict that.

Zack Kassian got one back for Edmonton at 4:03 of the third. His shot from the blue line bounced off of a skate and went up in their over Dell before landing across the line. Adam Larsson got an assist.

In the end, the Sharks got one power play goal in five chances, and the Oilers scored on their only power play of the game. The Sharks won 60% of the faceoffs.

At 4:57 of the first period, San Jose’s Melker Karlsson carried the puck into the zone and attempted to protect it against Milan Lucic and Kevin Gravel behind the Edmonton net. Gravel pushed Karlsson into the boards and he started to loose his footing. As he started to fall, Gravel pushed him again and Karlsson went down with what appeared to be a shoulder injury. Karlsson left the game.

In the final seconds of the first period, Edmonton’s Ty Rattie blocked a Tim Heed shot with his ankle and he left the ice with assistance. He did not return.

The Sharks next play on Monday in Vancouver against the Canucks at 7:00 PM PT.

Sharks give up lead to Oilers, but storm back to win 6-4

Photo credit:

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks took a three-goal lead, gave it up and fell behind and then came back to beat the Edmonton Oilers 6-4 at the SAP Center on Saturday night.

In a topsy-turvy contest, Sharks captain Joe Pavelski earned four points, while defenseman Joakim Ryan scored his first two NHL goals, including the game-winner late in the third period. Tomas Hertl and Barclay Goodrow rounded out the Sharks goal-scoring and goalie Aaron Dell made 27 saves for the win.

Zack Kassian scored two goals for the Oilers. The other two coming from Leon Draisaitl and Brandon Davidson. Goalie Al Montoya made 24 saves.

Ryan had waited some time for those goals.

“It took me about 45 games to get a goal so definitely nice to get that first one and then getting that second one is even better,” Ryan said after the game.

Of Ryan, Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer said:

I was really happy for him. He shows up every day, doesn’t say much, just works hard. You know, we’ve been asking our defensemen all year all of them to get up in the play and help us create offense. You know, playing with Burnzie it’s easy to kind of sit there and just watch him go. It was nice to see Jok take advantage of that. I mean Todd and that staff know Burnzie, you know they really key on him when we play them and tonight Jok recognized that and jumped into a few holes at the right moment and showed a lot of maturity.

The Sharks had an impressive first period. They outshot the Oilers 14-9. Despite taking one penalty, they outdid their opponent in every respect from hits to takeaways.

Joakim Ryan opened the scoring with his first NHL goal just 1:15 in. Joonas Donskoi, deep in the offensive zone, turned quickly and made a pass back to Ryan on the blue line. Ryan’s quick wrist shot was partially screened by Oilers defenders moving in front of their goalie. Assists went to Donskoi and Pavelski.

Pavelski added another at 7:21. Pavelski’s goal was listed as unassisted, but it did get a little help from an official. E88’s pass to E25 seemed to deflect off the official’s skate, making 25 reach to catch it. Then when 25 tried to pass it back to 88, the puck again changed direction in the vicinity of the official’s skate, causing it to go into the side of the net, where Pavelski picked it up and put it in the net.

The Sharks also started the second period well. Jannik Hansen forced a turnover near the Sharks blue line, which allowed Barclay Goodrow to pick up the puck in the neutral zone. He skated into the Oilers’ zone and took his shot from the top of the faceoff circle at 2:30 of the second. It was Goodrow’s fifth goal of the season. Hansen got the lone assist.

At 11:11 of the second period, Chris Tierney and Mikkel Boedker flubbed a two-on-one in the Edmonton zone. The puck ended up in neutral ice and was picked up by Zack Kassian for a breakaway. His goal was unassisted.

After the game, Boedker said: “I tried to make aplay up towards our bench for the guys jumping on. And I missed and unfortunately it ended up in our net. The same with Tierns, he was trying to make a play. Those things happen but we’ve got to limit those mistakes.”

The Sharks got their only power play of the game at 9:46. The Edmonton penalty kill was effective, just like it has always been on the road so far this season.

Aaron Dell faced a Connor McDavid breakaway a couple of minutes after that penalty expired, as he escaped the Sharks in the neutral zone and was almost at the Sharks’ net before anyone caught up to him. Dell was able to get in front of the shot and the rebound was picked up by his defenseman.

The Sharks goaltender was less successful when faced with another breakaway at 14:20. Kassian broke away during a poorly executed change on defense and scored a second goal. Assists went to Yohann Auvitu and Kris Russell.

By 18:02 of the period, the Sharks’ game seemed to be coming entirely unraveled. They had only taken four shots by the time Leon Draisaitl scored Edmonton’s third goal. An assist went to Oscar Klefbom.

The Sharks ended up getting credit for five shots in the second period, while the Oilers had nine, just like they did in the first period.

Just 1:21 into the third period, a Draisaitl pass across the goal mouth found defenseman Brandon Davidson and his shot gave the Oilers their first lead of the game. Assists went to Draisaitl and Michael Cammalleri.

Tomas Hertl responded at 3:41. He scored his 15th of the season with a backhand shot that tied the game. Assists went to Logan Couture and Kevin Labanc.

The Oilers had another chance on the power play at x, when Couture was called for goaltender interference. They had almost killed that off when Brent Burns lost part of his stick and did not seem to realize it. He was called for playing with a broken stick, giving the Oilers a seven second five-on-three.

By the time the Sharks killed those penalties off, there was just under four minutes left in regulation.

With under three minutes left, Ryan scored again. He skated down the slot and took a shot. That one did not go in, but it generated a perfect rebound for his to put home. Assists went to Pavelski and Timo Meier.

At 18:48, Pavelski put the puck in the empty net to give the Sharks a 6-4 lead. Assists went to Tierney and Melker Karlsson.

Jannik Hansen, after sitting out for seven games, drew into the lineup after Joel Ward was sidelined in Thursday’s game against the Las Vegas Golden Knights. Ward’s injury is described as day-to-day and, from the look of the hit, is in the shoulder region.

Up Next: The Sharks next play on Sunday in Anaheim against the Ducks at 5:00 pm PT.