EDMONTON, AB -- Oscar Klefbom got Edmonton into overtime late in the third then David Desharnais played hero, scoring the game-winning goal to give the Oilers a 4-3 overtime victory and a 3-2 series lead.
"Anyone can be a hero, it just takes one shot," said Desharnais post-game.
And Edmonton's trade deadline pickup was just that on Thursday, not merely because of his dramatic game-winner - the Oil's first playoff overtime goal since Fernando Pisani's Game 5 Stanley Cup Final finisher against the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 - but also with his crucial assist to Klefbom on the Oilers game-tying goal.
The Orange & Blue peppered Martin Jones in the overtime period, registering 13 shots on goal before Desharnais received a centering pass in the slot that was on and off his stick in seconds. His quick rip went over Jones' glove and Rogers Place erupted in elation.
"I just jumped in the hole and he (Draisaitl) made a really good pass and I just tried to shoot it as quick as I could," said Desharnais.
Before the overtime heroics, it was Klefbom's slap shot from the point that overthrew the 3-1 deficit the Oilers had been handed in the game. Desharnais curled around behind the Sharks' net, got his head up and fed an open Klefbom. The Swede released a cannon that hit the right post past Jones.
"It's probably the biggest goal of my career so far, especially now that we won in overtime," said Klefbom. "It was just an unbelievable feeling, especially to score here in Rogers and with the crowd going nuts. It's hard to describe."
After the humbling 7-0 loss they were handed in Game 4, the Oilers facilitated the requisite changes they said they needed to make to win Game 5. Edmonton only took a single penalty, went 1-for-3 on the power play, flexed their muscle with 33 hits and won 59 percent of the faceoffs. Cam Talbot also steered aside 27 shots in the win.
"It's a cliché, but we played on our toes tonight," said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. "We were aggressively hunting pucks and we supported the puck much better than we did in San Jose."
The Oilers generated much of the momentum early in the game with a number of scoring opportunities. Milan Lucic entered the offensive zone from the left side and let a wrist shot go that Jones stopped, then Benoit Pouliot stripped Chris Tierney of the puck, took the vacant space in front of him and released a high shot that Jones was able to thwart.
Patrick Maroon opened the scoring up at 5:28 of the first after Matt Benning fired a shot from the point that bounced off Jones' pad. As Big Rig was taking up space in front of the Sharks' netminder, he picked up the loose rebound and deposited it into a yawning cage.
Edmonton sought to pour on the offence and almost did with Darnell Nurse dinging the goalpost on two separate occasions in the first. Talbot also made three spectacular saves on Brent Burns, Patrick Marleau and Tierney to keep the Sharks at bay.
But it didn't last forever, as San Jose scored the next three goals.
Mikkel Boedker - who has 12 career goals against the Oilers, four more than he does against any other NHL team - tied the game up at 10:12 after sharing a passing play with Tierney.
Then, Marleau made it 2-1 at 15:52. Joe Thornton and Marleau approached while the Oilers defence was making a line change. Thornton let go a wrist shot that squeaked through Talbot and Marleau was able to get his stick on the puck as it was trickling towards the goal-line.
David Schlemko added the third goal for San Jose. He sailed a wrist shot from the point that found its way through a maze of bodies.
Down 3-1 and with Rogers Place hesitantly quiet, Oilers Captain Connor McDavid got the crowd and his team back into the game - with a body check. McDavid hit Marcus Sorensen in the neutral zone prompting Oil Country to chant "MVP."
Soon after, the Oilers received two consecutive power plays and capitalized on the second one.
During a Burns delay of game penalty and after some nifty stickhandling near the right side of the Sharks' net, Draisaitl dished a spectacular backhand feed to Letestu on the left side, who scored to get Edmonton within one. It was Draisaitl's first career playoff point and McDavid recorded the secondary helper. With the assist, McDavid has still never gone more than three games in his NHL career without a point.
The Oilers entered the third period trailing 3-2 until Klefbom's goal with only 2:46 left to play. Desharnais curled around the Sharks' net and fed a pass to Klefbom at the left point. He rifled it in to tie the game at 3-3.
"Two years ago we started and we talked about not folding your hand," said McLellan. "In fact, that started in training camp two years ago. It's for these moments. This group believes."
It was all Oilers after that, outshooting the Sharks 14-2 in the overtime period to take the game 4-3 due to Desharnais' winner.
"Tonight we had emotion in our game but a lot of composure," said McLellan.
Game 6 gets under way at 8:30 PM MDT Saturday at SAP Center in San Jose.