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game recap

Cam Talbot boosts Oilers past Sharks

Makes 32 saves to help Edmonton into tie for first in Pacific Division

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- Defenseman Andrej Sekera scored two goals, and goaltender Cam Talbot made 32 saves to help the Edmonton Oilers to a 4-1 win against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Thursday.

Drake Caggiula and Connor McDavid also scored for the Oilers (25-15-8), who are tied for first in the Pacific Division with the Sharks (31-17-2). Each team has 64 points, but San Jose has a game in hand.

Edmonton is 7-0-1 in its past eight games and defeated the Sharks one night after Talbot made 26 saves in a 4-0 victory against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center.

 

WATCH: All Oilers vs. Sharks highlights

 

"I think it's a feather in the cap of the players," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said of being tied for first place. "They bought into a system, they bought into each other, they care about each other. To scratch and claw and win on the road in these last two games in very tough buildings is something we should be proud of and we should be confident with, but it's also only the All-Star break."

Logan Couture scored in the first period for the Sharks, and Martin Jones made 17 saves. The loss ended a season-high six-game winning streak for San Jose.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game," Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said. "We didn't take them lightly. We had a good start. We would have liked to build on it. We didn't."

Couture gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead at 4:05 of the first period when he scored his 17th goal on a 3-on-2 rush, beating Talbot from the slot.

Video: EDM@SJS: Sekera ricochets one-timer past Jones in 1st

The Oilers tied it 1-1 with 5.6 seconds left in the period when Sekera's slap shot from the slot deflected off Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic and past Jones. McDavid got his NHL-leading 42nd assist.

Sekera gave Edmonton a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal with 2:51 left in the second period. Leon Draisaitl had the assist to extend his point streak to six games.

"I think we're growing as a team," Sekera said. "I think we're starting to understand how tough it will be down the stretch."

Caggiula scored an unassisted goal on a breakaway at 11:31 of the third to put Edmonton ahead 3-1, and McDavid scored into an empty net for his 17th goal to make it to make it 4-1 with 1:52 left.

It was the last game for each team prior to the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend.

"I think we're ready for a break," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "It's been a tough month. We've put ourselves in position for a final push."

Video: EDM@SJS: Caggiula forces turnover, finds twine in 3rd

 

Goal of the game

Sekera took a pass from Draisaitl near the blue line above the left circle and sent a slap shot through traffic that beat Jones to the far side for his second goal of the night.

Video: EDM@SJS: Sekera puts Oilers ahead with point blast

 

Save of the game

Talbot stopped Timo Meier's backhand from close range with his left pad at 5:25 of the third period to keep Edmonton ahead 2-1.

Video: EDM@SJS: Talbot robs big chances from Ward, Meier

 

Unsung performance of the game

Early in the second period, Sharks center Ryan Carpenter received a pass from Meier and had a good scoring chance from close range. But Oilers forward Anton Slepyshev got back to disrupt Carpenter, whose shot went wide to the left of the net.

 

Highlight of the game

Sharks forward Patrick Marleau had the puck on an odd-man rush in the first period and appeared ready to shoot from close range, but he sent the puck back to Mikkel Boedker in the right circle. Boedker passed to Couture, who was streaking through the middle of the zone, and he beat Talbot with a wrist shot.

Video: EDM@SJS: Couture finishes a tic-tac-toe passing play

 

They said it

"Coming into (the second game of) a back-to-back, we didn't have our legs early on, and they were kind of taking it to us. We were being a little bit sloppy, but I think that goal late in the (first) period kind of injected some momentum our way. Came out in the second period a lot better, and from there it kind of kept rolling. It just goes to show how mentally strong our team is to keep pushing even when things aren't going our way." -- Oilers forward Drake Caggiula

 

"Obviously, they're young with a lot of speed and skill. They added some pieces in the offseason, a little more grit on the wings, back end got a little bit better." -- Sharks forward Patrick Marleau on the Oilers

 

Need to know

It was Doug Wilson's 1,000th game as Sharks general manager. He is the fourth person in NHL history with 1,000 games as a GM and as a player, joining Bobby Clarke, Bob Gainey and Bob Pulford. ... Tomas Hertl returned to the San Jose lineup after missing 32 games with a sprained right knee and skated at left wing on the top line. He had four hits but no shots on goal in 17:22.

 

What's next

Oilers: Host the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-WI, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

Sharks: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday (10:30 p.m. ET; CSN-CH, CSN-CA, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Sekera leads Oilers to 4-1 win against Sharks

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