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Under the Scope: Oilers vs. Sharks

by Ryan Frankson / Edmonton Oilers

The San Jose Sharks attacked the Oilers with six goals in the first period en route to a 6-3 double-up win on Tuesday night at Rexall Place, spoiling Edmonton's first home game of the year. The Oilers got first-career NHL goals from rookies Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz, as well as Taylor Hall's first goal of the year, but they simply couldn't overcome the early deficit.

Take a closer look at the game as we go Under The Scope:

Just 1:37 after Nail Yakupov scored on the power play for his first-career NHL goal to cut San Jose's lead to 2-1, Patrick Marleau scored his first of two goals with 9:58 left in the first period to re-establish the Sharks' two-goal cushion. The goal swayed the momentum right back in San Jose's favour and spurred their six-goal onslaught.

4 Oilers rookies to score their first NHL goals during the last three home openers (Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins, Yakupov. Schultz).
11 Saves Devan Dubnyk made during the first period. Unfortunately for the Oilers goalie, he faced 17 shots.
3 Power-play goals the Sharks scored during the first period, tallied by Dan Boyle, Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau
5 Shots on goal by Jordan Eberle to lead all Oilers players.
23 Minutes (plus 41 seconds) Justin Schultz spent on the ice against the Sharks, the most of any Oilers skater

Patrick Marleau
G A P +/- Shots
2 1 3 +1 5

Logan Couture
G A P +/- Shots
2 1 3 +1 2

Justin Schultz
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 4

Antti Niemi
29 26 3 60:00 .897

Devan Dubnyk
17 11 6 20:00 .647

  Justin Schultz- D

23:41 - 1 PTS, E rating

  Dan Boyle- D

22:19 - 1 PTS, E rating

Nail Yakupov's first NHL goal came in fantastic fashion on a sensational tic-tac-toe play on the Oilers first power play of the night. Ales Hemsky slid the puck down to Sam Gagner who zipped a cross-crease pass to Yakupov for the bad-angle one-timer up high past Sharks goalie Antti Niemi.

Patrick Marleau was virtually unstoppable for the Sharks in the first period, scoring a pair of goals and adding an assist to propel the visitors to their commanding lead. Marleau's goals came 65 seconds apart midway through the opening frame.

Yann Danis quietly put together a solid 40 minutes of work between the Oilers pipes after he took over for Devan Dubnyk following San Jose's six-goal opening frame. Danis, who was called up from the AHL's Oklahoma City Barons last week, stopped all 14 shots he faced during the second and third periods.

Oilers first-round draft picks have now scored their first NHL goals in three consecutive home openers. Jordan Eberle tallied his inaugural marker against Calgary in 2010, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored against Pittsburgh last year and both Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz found the back of the net on Tuesday.

"Pain is going to make us a better team. And that's a lot of pain. In that period as a whole, we lost our discipline not only with the penalties, but our whole defensive structure disappeared."

-- Oilers Head Coach Ralph Krueger on the opening frame.

Thursday, January 24 vs. Los Angeles
  7:30pm MST (TSN / 630 CHED)

As will be the case throughout the condensed 48-game season, the Oilers only have one day to practice in between games. Edmonton hosts another California squad, the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings, on Thursday at 7:30pm at Rexall Place. TSN and 630 CHED will have the broadcast.

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