Skip to main content

Sharks-Oilers Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: San Jose Sharks at Edmonton Oilers.

PLAYOFF SERIES: Western Conference semifinals; Sharks lead 2-0.

TIME: Wednesday, 10 p.m. EDT.

The San Jose Sharks lost their first game of the playoffs. Nearly three weeks later, they're looking for their seventh consecutive victory as they try to push the Edmonton Oilers to the brink of elimination in their West semifinal series.

The Sharks are 14-2 since losing in overtime to Phoenix on April 1, dropping only their regular-season finale to Los Angeles and their playoff opener against Nashville. The 16-game run includes a 7-1 mark on the road as San Jose heads into Game 3 at Edmonton.

Joe Thornton scored the winner at 17:29 of the second period Monday night to give the Sharks their second straight 2-1 win over the Oilers. The goal came moments after the Sharks killed off a 5-on-3 disadvantage that lasted 1:42, preventing Edmonton from scoring even though Scott Hannan and Mark Smith played at least 35 seconds of the penalty kill without sticks after theirs had broken.

"That's one of the most amazing things I've ever seen on the ice," said San Jose's Vesa Toskala, who made 24 saves.

Efforts like that penalty kill and Toskala's continued strong play have the Oilers searching for answers after they averaged 3.2 goals per game in knocking off top-seeded Detroit in the first round.

"We played a lot better and we can take a lot of positives out of the game," Edmonton center Shawn Horcoff said. "We paid the price a lot more and we were way more physical. We created a lot of chances but we just couldn't get that goal to put us ahead."

The Oilers were outshot 38-25 on Monday. Fernando Pisani, who led the Oilers with five goals against the Red Wings, was held pointless for the second straight game.

Along with finding ways to generate more offense, Edmonton will have to devise a way to slow down San Jose's Patrick Marleau. The center continued to spark San Jose's playoff run with an assist on Thornton's goal that pushed his point streak to six games.

Marleau's five-game goal streak came to an end, but he increased his team-leading totals to eight goals and 11 points in the postseason.

"We're paying the price and producing the effort to win," Thornton said. "I knew it was just a matter of time before I put one of my scoring chances in, but that penalty-kill was a big factor in this game."

Edmonton's Sergei Samsonov tied the game at 15:23 of the second period after Tom Preissing gave the Sharks the lead at 4:26 of the first, but Thornton's goal came just 2:06 later.

"By no means do we think we're out of it," Horcoff said. "We thought we played a game that was deserving of a win. We felt like the tide turned a little bit."

Edmonton played Monday without forward Radek Dvorak, who apparently injured his right knee when he ran into the boards late in Game 1. Coach Craig MacTavish said Dvorak could miss most of the series.

Game 4 is Friday night at Rexall Place.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Sharks - 5th seed; beat Nashville Predators 4-1, West quarterfinals. Oilers - 8th seed; beat Detroit Red Wings 4-2, West quarterfinals.

PLAYOFF TEAM LEADERS: Sharks - Marleau, 8 goals and 11 points; Preissing, 6 assists; Ville Nieminen, 20 PIM. Oilers - Pisani, 5 goals; Horcoff, 7 assists, Horcoff and Samsonov, 8 points; Marc-Andre Bergeron, Dwayne Roloson and Jaroslav Spacek, 10 PIM.

PLAYOFF SPECIAL TEAMS: Sharks - Power play: 20.8 percent (10 for 48). Penalty killing: 82.0 percent (32 for 39). Oilers - Power play: 20.4 percent (9 for 44). Penalty killing: 82.4 percent (42 for 51).

GOALTENDERS: Sharks - Toskala (6-1, 1 SO, 1.72 GAA); Evgeni Nabokov (no appearances). Oilers - Roloson (4-4, 2.40); Jussi Markkanen (no appearances).

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.