Skip to main content

Rookies help Sharks rally past Oilers

by Eric Gilmore

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks started slowly but finished with a flourish Thursday against the Edmonton Oilers.

The Sharks trailed by a goal after two periods, but rookies Matt Tennyson and Barclay Goodrow scored in a 34-second span midway through the third to give San Jose a 4-3 victory at SAP Center.

"I think that guys are excited for them," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "You can feel it on the bench. They're happy because the team is winning but they're also happy that those young guys are growing right in front of them. A lot of the older players think back to that time frame for them and how important it was to get the moral support and the pat on the back from the veterans. Right now it's a good mix for our team."

Tennyson, a defenseman, scored his first career NHL goal at 8:29 on the power play. Edmonton's David Perron was in the penalty box for a hit to the head of San Jose's Patrick Marleau, although on video replays it appeared that Perron delivered a shoulder-to-shoulder hit. Tennyson took a pass from Tommy Wingels along the right boards and beat Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens with a shot to the far side from the right circle.

"Always good to get that out of the way," said Tennyson, who played four games for San Jose in 2012-13 but none last season. "It was a goal that tied it up for us so that makes it even better."

Goodrow put the Sharks ahead when he scored on a breakaway. Goodrow took a long pass from defenseman Brent Burns, kept himself ahead of defenseman Justin Schultz and scored from close range.

"I didn't have any speed when I got the puck so I figured one guy would end up catching me," Goodrow said. "I just tried to fend him off as best I could and the goalie slid over a bit so I thought I'd have a bit of room on the far side. I'm lucky it went in."

Third-line center James Sheppard and Logan Couture also scored for the Sharks (18-11-4), who won their seventh straight home game. San Jose is 8-1-0 in its past nine games.

The third line of Sheppard, Goodrow and rookie Melker Karlsson, who had two assists, accounted for five of the Sharks' 11 points. Goodrow had his first multiple-point game with a goal and an assist.

Boyd Gordon, Steven Pinizzotto and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored for Edmonton (7-20-6), which is 0-1-1 under interim coach Todd Nelson and has lost 17 of its past 18 games.

"I thought we played pretty hard," Nelson said. "I thought we competed hard. I thought we scored goals the way we have to. It's a start, and we're moving in the right direction."

Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi made 25 saves. Scrivens made 26 saves for the Oilers.

The Sharks had gone four days without a game, and McLellan feared it might take his team a while to get going. That's exactly what happened.

Gordon gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead at 14:43 of the first period by scoring his fifth goal of the season. Perron and Jordan Eberle battled Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic along the boards in the right corner, and the puck popped out to Gordon in the slot. Gordon didn't get much zip on his backhand, but he somehow snuck the puck under Niemi's left pad. Niemi blanked the Nashville Predators in his previous start, but his bid for back-to-back shutouts ended on a shot he'd typically have no problem stopping.

"It took us a while. It certainly did," McLellan said. "After two periods I didn't think we were assertive at all. They were winning the puck to the net and the battle in the blue paint game quite easily to tell you the truth. We weren't very happy with that. We had to pick it up in that area. Fortunately in the third to get a couple goals and reestablish that type of game."

Gordon had missed the previous five games because of a back injury he sustained Dec. 7 during a 2-1 victory against San Jose, the Oilers' most recent win.

"Close isn't good enough," Gordon said. "We're struggling to win games the whole season, and tonight was a prime example of that. We gave up two goals, gave up the lead, but there were opportunities, maybe, to get one back. We find ways to lose those games, and until we find a way to hold onto them, we're going to continue losing them."

Sheppard and Couture scored goals in a span of 1:45 early in the second period to give San Jose a 2-1 lead.

The Sharks pulled even at 5:51 when Sheppard scored from the slot, snapping his 17-game goalless streak. Goodrow took a pass behind the net from Karlsson and fed a pass through traffic in front to Sheppard, who scored his fourth goal of the season.

"I'm just trying to play my game right now," Goodrow said. "I've gotten a lot more comfortable over the last couple games and the home stand here. I thought I played a lot better. As a line we're looking to get better every game and I think the chemistry is building and we're able to help the team even more."

Couture gave the Sharks their first lead at 7:36, finishing off a give-and-go with defenseman Brenden Dillon. Couture, who had three shots in the first period, elevated a wrist shot from the right circle over Scrivens' right shoulder for his 13th goal of the season.

"You always feel good when you're shooting the puck early, and the puck seems to follow you around," Couture said. "I just had a feeling I was going to get one tonight."

Edmonton roared back to grab a 3-2 lead on goals 96 seconds apart by Pinizzotto and Nugent-Hopkins, who made Niemi pay for his inability to control rebounds.

Pinizzotto hammered home a rebound from close range at 8:23 for his second goal of the season. Niemi stopped Schultz's shot from the point but couldn't control the rebound. Matt Hendricks fired a shot off Niemi's pads from the low slot, and Pinizzotto buried that rebound.

Nugent-Hopkins put the Oilers back in front at 9:59 when he sent a rebound from the blue paint past Niemi, who couldn't control the puck after stopping Eberle's shot from the left circle. Nugent-Hopkins took advantage, scoring his team-high ninth goal.

But in the end, the Oilers were left with another disappointing defeat.

"We're right there, chomping at the bit," Pinizzotto said. "We're not getting blown out and the boys are starting to come together now. Everyone is playing well. Now we have to figure out a way to get on the other side of that."

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.