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game recap

Cam Talbot, Oilers blank Sharks in Game 3

Goalie makes 23 saves for second straight shutout, Zack Kassian scores lone goal

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- For the second straight game, Cam Talbot earned a shutout and Zack Kassian scored the winning goal for the Edmonton Oilers.

Talbot made 23 saves, and Kassian scored at 10:45 of the third period to lift the Oilers to a 1-0 win against the San Jose Sharks in Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round at SAP Center on Sunday.

Kassian intercepted Sharks defenseman David Schlemko's errant pass from below the goal line and beat goalie Martin Jones from the slot.

Edmonton leads the best-of-7 series 2-1 with Game 4 here Tuesday.


[WATCH: All Oilers vs. Sharks highlights | RELATED: Complete Edmonton vs. San Jose series coverage]


Kassian scored a shorthanded goal in the second period of Edmonton's 2-0 win in Game 2 on Friday.

"It's cool," he said of scoring back-to-back playoff game-winners. "But we know in here there's a lot of hockey to be played. Obviously, Edmonton Oilers fans are great. They acknowledge people that play hard and compete on a night-to-night basis. That's a fun experience to be a part of. But we know there's a lot of big games left and a lot of work to be done."

The Sharks pulled Jones with 1:47 remaining, but they had only one shot on goal with the extra attacker.

"We knew they were going to come out hard," said Talbot, who made 16 saves in Game 2. "The crowd was going to be a factor tonight. I thought we did a really good job of not giving them any secondary chances in the first and not letting them feed off that."

Video: EDM@SJS, Gm3: Talbot records back-to-back shutouts

San Jose's Joe Thornton was in the lineup for the first time since injuring his left knee April 2 against the Vancouver Canucks. He played center on the top line between Joe Pavelski and Melker Karlsson.

Thornton had two shots on goal in the first period, when the Sharks outshot the Oilers 13-6 and outhit them 32-14.

"Early on, we had some pep," Thornton said. "One-goal game that could go [either] way. We have another level to go to the next game."

Edmonton controlled play for much of the second period, outshooting San Jose 12-4 and outhitting them 17-13.

Early in the second, Oilers coach Todd McLellan, looking for a spark, shuffled his lines, moving Anton Slepyshev from the fourth line to the top line, in place of Leon Draisaitl, to skate with Connor McDavid and Patrick Maroon. Draisaitl dropped to the third line with Kassian and Drake Caggiula. McDavid had his first two shots on goal, both good chances, late in the second.

"We started the night a certain way, and I didn't think it was working in our favor, so we moved a few things around, and it was not a demotion by any means for Leon," McLellan said.


Goal of the game

Schlemko tried to hit forward Tomas Hertl with a breakout pass, but Kassian picked it off in the right faceoff circle and beat Jones with a backhand through the five-hole. "I saw he was looking for a long pass and I just tried to get in the way," Kassian said.

Video: EDM@SJS, Gm3: Kassian shovels a backhand five-hole


Save of the game

Talbot made a right-pad save on rookie forward Timo Meier's wrist shot through traffic from above the right circle with 3:10 remaining.


Unsung performance of the game

Meier had a game-high nine hits and three shots on goal in 12:10.


Highlight of the game

McDavid was held without a point for the first time in 17 games dating to the regular season, but he brought some excitement when he skated past San Jose defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, zipped behind the net, and tried to score on a wraparound at 15:49 of the second period.


They said it

"We didn't generate enough Grade A chances. We had the puck in their zone, but we got stuck in corners and they swarmed pretty good. They block shots. We've got to find a way to create more offense." -- Sharks center Logan Couture


"He stepped up to the plate and he's delivered for three games straight, obviously scoring big goals but doing a lot of other things. The penalty kill, the forecheck, the momentum has been tremendous for us." -- Oilers coach Todd McLellan on forward Zack Kassian


Need to know

Sharks forward Mikkel Boedker was scratched to make room for Thornton in the lineup. ... Couture wore his regular visor Sunday after using a full cage the first two games of the series to protect an injury he sustained March 25 when hit by a puck in his mouth against the Nashville Predators. ... Defenseman Oscar Klefbom, who sustained a bone bruise in his left foot blocking a Brent Burns shot late in Game 2, played an Oilers-high 24:44.


What's next

Game 4 of Western Conference First Round at SAP Center on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports, NBCS CA)


Video: Talbot, Kassian guide Oilers to 1-0 win in Game 3

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