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Oilers defeat Sharks, break tie for second in Pacific

Milan Lucic scores hat trick in third period

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- The Edmonton Oilers took over second place in the Pacific Division with a 4-2 victory against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Thursday.

Milan Lucic scored a hat trick in the third period, and defenseman Oscar Klefbom had four assists for Edmonton (45-26-9), which trails the first-place Anaheim Ducks by four points and leads San Jose (45-29-7) by two. The Oilers have two games remaining, and the Ducks, who defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0, and Sharks each have one.

"Everyone knows once the playoffs start everything is a fresh sheet and everything starts over again," Lucic said of a likely Western Conference First Round series against the Sharks. "You know they aren't going to be intimidated."

 

WATCH: All Oilers vs. Sharks highlights

 

Lucic scored all three goals in the third period to help the Oilers rally from down 2-1.

"I didn't think we started well," Edmonton coach Todd McLellan said. "Penalty problems right off the bat. They're a tenacious team, and when they release pucks, they do a good job of getting it back right away. There were some shifts where they had us pinned in our end, but we didn't give up a lot of shots that got through to the net. I thought we did a good job in lanes and then worked our way back into the game. We felt going into the third we were in a good spot and prepared to push."

Video: EDM@SJS: McDavid pots rebound for 30th goal of season

Connor McDavid scored his 30th goal in the second period and had an assist to increase his NHL-leading point total to 97, nine more than Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks.

Cam Talbot made 13 saves for his 41st win, passing Grant Fuhr (1987-88) for the most in a season by an Oilers goalie.

Joel Ward and Brent Burns scored for the Sharks, who had a season-low 15 shots and allowed 32. Martin Jones made 28 saves.

"It's frustrating we let a game get away from us, one we felt we had pretty good control," San Jose captain Joe Pavelski said. "It was right there. It felt good all night, even with the shot total. It just didn't feel like that."

Video: EDM@SJS: Lucic notches a natural hat trick in the 3rd

The Sharks played without injured centers Joe Thornton (left knee) and Logan Couture (teeth).

Lucic tied it 2-2 at 4:26 of the third period when he tipped in Klefbom's point shot for a power-play goal. Lucic put Edmonton ahead 3-2 at 7:57 on a goal from close range. Klefbom got his own rebound below the goal line and sent a pass in front to Lucic, who beat Jones with a wrist shot.

Lucic scored again at 16:31 to make it 4-2, knocking in a loose puck from close range. Klefbom's point shot banked off Oilers forward Mark Letestu to Lucic.

"The last three games, pucks just find me in the right place and I'm able to pounce on it," Lucic said.

Video: EDM@SJS: Burns buries long-range shot through traffic

Ward gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead at 6:08 of the first period when he scored his 10th goal, second in as many games.

McDavid scored on a rebound from close range at 4:40 of the second period to tie it 1-1.

San Jose moved ahead 2-1 on Burns' 29th goal at 12:30 of the second.

 

Goal of the game

Planted in front to the crease, Ward tipped Schlemko's shot backward between his legs to beat Talbot through the five-hole.

Video: EDM@SJS: Ward deflects puck five-hole to open scoring

 
Save of the game

Sharks forward Marcus Sorensen had a penalty shot at 2:19 of the third period, but Talbot made a glove save to keep the Oilers within one. "A goal there changes the game," Talbot said. "If he scores there, we might not come back and win the game. A big save there gave us confidence going forward."

Video: EDM@SJS: Talbot uses glove on Sorensen's penalty shot

 
Unsung performance of the game

Defenseman Kris Russell had nine of Edmonton's 28 blocked shots to lead the Oilers and had three shots on goal in 22:55.

 

Highlight of the game

Lucic used his size to establish position near the crease, where he took a pass from Klefbom and scored the game-winner on a wrist shot from 4 feet.

Video: EDM@SJS: Lucic buries Klefbom's feed for second goal

 
They said it

"Just the calmness. Somebody that's been there before, a calming influence in the locker room. [Milan Lucic has] been able to voice his thoughts to his teammates and now he's really producing around that, so he becomes even more impactful. But his play tonight was tremendous. You throw the three goals out, even. His physicality, his ability to keep plays alive, power-play execution. We're lucky to have him at this time of the year. That's exactly what we brought him in for." -- Oilers coach Todd McLellan

 

"The season starts now and this is forgotten. We can't really use if for anything. It was a good way to see what they're about, but we already knew what they're about. Now the real work begins. We're still confident." -- Sharks forward Jannik Hansen

 

Need to know

Oilers forward Patrick Maroon played his 300th NHL game. ... Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic got his 200th NHL assist in the first period on Ward's goal.

 

What's next

Oilers: At the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; CBC, NHL.TV)

Sharks: Host the Calgary Flames on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, NBCS CA+, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Lucic records natural hat trick in Oilers' 4-2 win

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