Skip to Main Content
NHL Insider

Sharks ride momentum from early goal to big Game 4 win

Joe Pavelski scores 15 seconds in to end drought, help even series against Oilers

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / Staff Writer

SAN JOSE -- The floodgates opened wide for the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Tuesday.

It was as shocking as it was dramatic and can all be traced back to one thing -- a deflection goal by captain Joe Pavelski 15 seconds into Game 4.

Six more goals later, the Sharks had a 7-0 victory against the Edmonton Oilers to tie their best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series at 2-2.


RELATED: Complete Sharks vs. Oilers series coverage


Game 5 is in Edmonton on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports, NBCSCA).

"It got us feeling good and that bled into the other parts of our game," San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said of Pavelski's early goal.

The Sharks were in desperate need of some of that after being shut out in Games 2 and 3.

In losing two of the first three games, they had not led for any playing time. They came back from down 2-0 in Game 1 and won when Melker Karlsson scored in overtime.

San Jose banked 59:45 of lead time in Game 4 and packed plenty of positives into the one-sided win.

After going 1-for-14 on the power play in the first three games, the Sharks unloaded on the Oilers for four goals in eight chances.

Video: EDM@SJS, Gm4: Sharks tie franchise record in 7-0 win

Adding to the good news, Pavelski, Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau hit the scoreboard for the first time in the series. Pavelski and Couture each had two goals.

Defenseman Brent Burns, who led NHL defensemen with 76 points during the regular season but had been held without a point in the first three games, had three assists and led the Sharks with five shots on goal.

Veteran center Joe Thornton, playing his second game of the series after missing the first two because of a left-knee injury, also contributed with an assist, his first point of the series, and looked sharper than he did in Game 3.

"We were just ready," Pavelski said. "Everyone was ready. We've been there. The games have been tight, not much either way. We just got inside and made a few plays, and the power play responded with a little momentum, for sure ...

"There weren't really any lapses in our game."

The big rise in Couture's performance was expected, DeBoer said.

"I think I said in Game 1 or 2, he's got a lot of courage for what he's gone through the last two or three weeks, and every time out there and every day that passes, he's getting better and looks like his old self again," DeBoer said.

Video: EDM@SJS, Gm4: Pavelski scores 15 seconds in

Couture missed the final seven games of the regular season after he took a deflected puck to the face March 25 against the Nashville Predators. He has a mouth full of wire and plastic holding teeth in place.

"I don't know if there was that much (of a change)," said Couture, who beat Oilers goalie Cam Talbot with two hard shots. "We were able to create more on our power play, some Grade A chances. I was able to score that one on the power play, and [Jannik] Hansen made a great play on that second one."

The start, with Pavelski's deflection of a Justin Braun point shot, was as huge as it gets, Couture said.

"This is an intimidating building to play in, and it is even more when you've got a lead early," he said. "[Pavelski] made a great tip on that one, the building got into it, and we rode that momentum."

The Sharks were able to skate all over the ice in Game 4, a stark contrast to Game 3 when each team buckled down and didn't give an inch defensively.

Video: EDM@SJS, Gm4: Couture nets 30th career playoff goal

The Oilers won Game 3 1-0 on Zack Kassian's goal midway through the third period.

So where did all that open ice come from Tuesday?

"I can't tell you the answer to that one," Braun said. "It felt like a completely different game. A lot looser. We had a little more time in the offensive zone than we did the other night and we seemed to be making plays. The next game could be 1-0 again.

"Tonight, it went well. We have to build on it."

Braun and his regular defense partner Marc-Edouard Vlasic have done an effective job against Oilers captain Connor McDavid in the series so far. The NHL scoring champion has one goal and one assist in four games.

In Game 4, the defense-first Braun played a big role on the key early goal.

Video: EDM@SJS, Gm4: Marleau wires in PPG to extend lead

"I didn't even know [Pavelski] would be able to get his stick around to that one," said Braun, who had nine assists in 81 regular-season games. "He is that good at it. It's impressive. You just have to get it close to him and usually he does the rest."

The play signaled that at least for one night, the Sharks had figured out their offensive challenges of the series.

Will that many goals mean momentum for the Sharks moving forward in a series that's been highly unpredictable?

"I don't know," DeBoer said. "It's [down to which team wins two out of three]. I think pressure's on us to follow up tonight's effort with another effort like tonight. I'm sure they are going to have some pressure to make sure they hold serve at home."

View More

The NHL has updated its Privacy Policy effective January 16, 2020. We encourage you to review it carefully.

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.