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Sharks hang on to beat Oilers 4-3

by Robin Brownlee
EDMONTON -- Red-hot Dany Heatley was good, and a little bit lucky, scoring twice and adding an assist to lead San Jose to a 4-3 victory against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place on Saturday, snapping the Sharks' six-game winless streak on the road.

Heatley's goals -- the first on a one-timer from the slot and the second on a pass from behind the net that deflected in off the skate of Edmonton goaltender Devan Dubnyk -- were his third and fourth in the last three games. He now has 11 for the season.

"I did get lucky," Heatley said of his second goal. "You just throw it in front, but we'll take that one. I've tried that a couple of times this year and it hasn't worked, but that one worked for us.

"I tried to hit him (Dubnyk)," Heatley said. "He thought I was going to go behind the net for sure. He's a big guy. He's got big feet and I hit one of them tonight."

Heatley topped of his night with an assist on Joe Pavelski's goal at 9:02 of the third period -- a goal that proved to be the game-winner when Shawn Horcoff and Jim Vandermeer scored 57 seconds apart, making it a one-goal game with 6:24 to play.

But Antero Niittymaki was perfect the rest of the way and finished with 22 saves as the Oilers continued to struggle at home -- they've won just one of their last eight games at Rexall Place.

"Especially after last night (a 6-1 loss at Vancouver), to come out with this kind of effort tonight … it was a good team effort and a good way to end the road trip," Heatley said.

Heatley put the Sharks up 2-1 at 2:06 of the second period with his first of the game. He took a pass from Joe Thornton and blew a high shot past Dubnyk on the glove side for a power-play goal.
His second came 17:04 into the second period as his pass attempt from behind the net deflected off Dubnyk's skate and over the goal line for a 3-1 lead. While it was a lucky bounce, the Sharks likely deserved one as they outshot the Oilers 14-3 in the period.

"It's certainly not one you want to give up," Dubnyk said. "It happened quick. I was down and saw him going behind the net, so I tried to pop back up. He just rifled if off my skate."

It didn't take San Jose long to get to Dubnyk, as Benn Ferriero put the Sharks up 1-0 just 70 seconds into the game when he backhanded the rebound of Justin Braun's point shot into the net. But Sam Gagner got that back on a power play at 3:55, cutting to the net on his backhand, then banging his own rebound behind Niittymaki. Gagner's power-play goal was the Oilers' first in 19 attempts against San Jose in the last six meetings of the teams dating back to the start of last season.

When the Sharks came out for the second, they did so without Niclas Wallin and Kent Huskins, who were both injured in the first period. That left San Jose with just four defensemen for the final 40 minutes.

"It was a big effort by us," Heatley said. "Going down to four defencemen like we did and rallying around that, I think that's a big night for us."

The Oilers came up a goal short, but took some solace from their refusal to concede after falling behind by three goals.

"That's the difference this year," Horcoff said. "We don't feel like we're out of it. We know we have the offense to do it, but we need wins and we have to focus on that."
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