San Jose opened their three-game Canadian road trip in Rexall Place against the Edmonton Oilers, falling in a shootout for a by the official score of 2-1. The lineup received a jolt with Scott Parker's return for Team Teal, but the score was knotted at one following 65 minutes and Ryan Smyth scored the shootout winner.
The two clubs exchanged power play opportunities in the first half of the opening period, but neither could convert with the early advantages.
On an ensuing Oilers power play, Evgeni Nabokov face an uncontested slapshot from Marc Andre Bergeron. Nabokov turned the play away and Edmonton never really challenged the Sharks netminder at that point.
Coming out of the penalty box, Milan Michalek created a scoring opportunity. Maneuvering around a defenseman, he skated in toward the Oilers Mike Morrison, but his shot was turned away. Patrick Marleau
had to receive medical attention late in the first when a Jim Fahey clearing attempt clipped the captain in the face. Marleau would not miss any time.
Then with 2:17 left in period one, Scott Hannan was whistled for two minutes, but the penalty killing units were up to the challenge for the third time and the period would end scoreless.
Rob Davison provided a moment of intensity when he ran into former Sharks player Todd Harvey. Harvey attempted to run through Davison, however, the strong blueliner simply absorbed the play and Harvey’s helmet ended up in the San Jose bench.
Five minutes into the second, Michael Peca was forced to hook Marco Sturm and the Sharks went on their second advantage. Working the puck at the point with Brad Stuart, Patrick Marleau
uncorked a bomb from the point. With Sturm in front creating traffic, Morrison had no chance on the rising puck and San Jose had the 1-0 lead.
San Jose received two more advantages, controlling play in the Edmonton zone for 1:40 of the second opportunity, but Edmonton was able to keep their deficit at one.
Edmonton was provided two consecutive power plays as the period wound down. Not without some difficulties, but Team Teal maintained their lead thanks largely to Rob Davison.
Nabokov had come out to challenge a shot and after the puck struck and cracked his mask, it rebounded to Peca who had a wide open net. The puck was all but in the net, but Davison put hit stick in front just in time and saved the tally.
Just before the middle stanza ended, Edmonton would find the equalizer. With a scrum in front of Nabokov, Marty Reasoner was the first to find the lose puck and he beat the down Sharks netminder as the puck bounced off Hannan’s skate.
The first half of the third was a stalemate between the two clubs as they jostled for the pivotal go-ahead tally.
Edmonton had a great opportunity near the 12 minute mark, but Nabokov slid over in time for the stop. On the other end, Morrison was forced to make a nice save on Sturm.
Peca will probably have nightmares of his scoring opportunities that went for nothing. With seven minutes ruminating in the third, he had a point blank from eight feet out, but again, he was denied.
Nabokov fended off a couple strong Oilers chances late, and Bergeron helped keep Morrison from facing a Marcel Goc breakaway as the two clubs skated into overtime.
In the extra five minutes, Nabokov miraculously stopped a two-on-zero rush and Morrison robbed Marleau on the doorstep. As a result, for the second consecutive game, the Sharks were headed for a shootout.
Unfortunately the result was the same. Morrison turned away Niko Dimitrakos and Johnathan Cheechoo before Marco Sturm scored. However, both Hemsky and Smith both scored for Edmonton.