SAN JOSE, CA - San Jose scored early and scored often with Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski each scoring twice to lead the home team to a 7-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers, evening up the best-of-seven Western Conference Quarterfinal series at two games apiece.
After not scoring in either of the last two games, it only took the Sharks 15 seconds to dent the twine in this one. A wrist shot from the point by Justin Braun was redirected by Joe Pavelski on its way to the net, skipping past Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot and in.
Less than four minutes into the game, shots on goal were already 8-1 for the home team and by the midway point of the opening frame, shots were 13-4.
With Kris Russell in the box for a hooking penalty, San Jose scored again with 8:58 to go in the period. Logan Couture's wrist shot from the right circle beat Talbot high for the goal to make it 2-0.
"We talked about that 10-minute game and starting out on the right foot and we didn't do that. We gave them all the momentum they needed to carry themselves for the rest of the game," said Oilers netminder Cam Talbot, who was pulled after five goals on 24 shots.
"That's not our team. That's not our game," said Oilers captain Connor McDavid. "We kept giving them power plays and they kept capitalizing and that's going to happen."
Talbot was asked about the mentality in the room after such a big loss and he was quick to point out that it was just one game.
"It doesn't matter if it's 1-0 or 7-0, the series is 2-2 and we're heading home and going to play in front of our fans now."
Bouncing back from tough losses has been a characteristic of this Oilers team all season long.
"We have that mentality right now, we came in here Game 3 and established home ice. We're going to go home and it's the best two-out-of-three series from now on and we've just gotta win the games at home."
Oilers head coach Todd McLellan added that tonight's big loss was another learning experience for his young squad.
"In the playoffs, there are little lessons learned along the way. Tonight was a big lesson. That just proves to our group that teams can take it to another level," McLellan began. "We wrapped it all up into one night. Hopefully we learned some lessons. I'd like them to think about it and think about some of the things they can do better but we will park the game."
The bench boss wasn't happy with the team's start, particularly giving up a goal early on after shutting down this Sharks club in each of the previous two games.
"We didn't do a good job recovering from the win, maybe we'll do better recovering from the loss."
The Sharks opened the second much the same way as the first thanks to a late first-period penalty by Zack Kassian and one to Connor McDavid a minute into the middle frame to set up a two-man advantage.
With 50 seconds to go in the McDavid penalty, Patrick Marleau ripped a wrist shot from the top of the left circle past Talbot to make it a 3-0 game in favour of the home team. Then midway through the second, San Jose extended their lead to 4-0 after Marcus Sorensen picked up a David Schlemko rebound in front of the net and put it by Talbot. Couture then scored to make it 5-0 three minutes later and Talbot was replaced in goal by Laurent Brossoit.
A minute after the Sharks scored their fifth, Leon Draisaitl let his frustration show and speared Chris Tierney. Draisiatl received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for his actions.
"It's frustrating for him," McLellan stated. "Frustrating for us because we put our penalty kill back on the ice for another five minutes. Not necessary but we'll fix it."
Pavelski scored three minutes into the major to give San Jose a sixth goal on the night.
In the third period, the Sharks scored again to extend their lead to seven. 57 seconds into a power play, the Sharks converted on a slap shot from the point by Schlemko, beating a screened Brossoit.