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Oilers don't want to rely on penalty kill in Game 3

Even after two shorthanded goals, Edmonton hopes to stay out of box against Sharks

by Derek Van Diest / Correspondent

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers want to maintain a physical advantage against the San Jose Sharks in Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round series at SAP Center in San Jose on Sunday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports) without spending an abundance of time in the penalty box.

Edmonton outhit San Jose 41-21 in a 2-0 win Friday in Game 2, tying the best-of-7 series 1-1, and took six minor penalties.

"We want to continue to play physical, we think that's part of our game," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said Saturday. "We want to play between the whistles and eliminate some of the obvious penalties, the ones you can think about and eliminate. Some of them are reaction, hooks, holds, that type of stuff that happen in a game. But I think we can cut our penalties down by 50 percent. Their power play isn't going to be what it was [Friday]. They'll get it fixed and it will become lethal, and if we continue on the path that we are, it will cost us."

Edmonton's two Game 2 goals were scored while shorthanded. The Sharks went 0-for-6 on the power play, and the Oilers were 0-for-5.

Forward Zack Kassian scored 42 seconds into the second period, had a game-high six hits, and took a roughing penalty in the first period.

Video: SJS@EDM, Gm2: Kassian nets SHG on breakaway

"We want to be physical, but I think we can still be a little bit smarter," Kassian said. "I think there were a couple of plays that we're playing with fire, putting them on the power play six or seven times a game."

San Jose is 1-for-12 on the power play in the series. The Sharks won Game 1 3-2 in overtime on Wednesday.

"You have to be physical, and I thought our physical presence did a really good job last night," Oilers forward Patrick Maroon said. "I think just after the whistle was what kind of bit us a little bit. We have to nip that in the bud and I think we'll be OK. I think it's just an emotional thing, sometimes emotions take over and you get a little carried away. Sometimes it's OK to have one of those kind of moments, but you can't have two, three or four of them."

Maroon was in the penalty box for cross-checking when Kassian scored his shorthanded goal. Milan Lucic was in the penalty box for high sticking when Connor McDavid scored shorthanded at 10:31 of the third period to put the Oilers ahead 2-0.

"We have to keep our aggressiveness up, we can't lose our pursuit on the forecheck and our physicality," Lucic said. "But we had way too many stick infractions, myself being guilty of two of them. Fortunately for us, our [penalty kill] was awesome last night, even being able to step up and score the only two goals. But at the end of the day, you don't want to live on the PK, because [San Jose] has more than enough weapons to hurt you on it."

Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom, who blocked a shot midway through the third period Friday and left the game, will play in Game 3, McLellan said.

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