It was a difficult ending to the Sharks season long homestand Thursday night as they fell 3-2 to the Edmonton Oilers.
“It’s a game we have to win and needed to win,” said Mike Grier. “It’s disappointing. We didn’t have enough guys play at the top of their game.”
“It was definitely frustrating,” said Joe Pavelski
. “We wanted the two points and didn’t start the way we wanted. We weren’t able to get the goals in.”
It’s not that Team Teal has been especially poor at home, it’s just that they are not dominating home ice as they have in the past.
“We played pretty good hockey, but didn’t get too many points,” said Pavelski.
San Jose did improve their efforts over the second portion of the game.
“The second half, we took over and started to get things to the net,” said Grier.
Pavelski attempted to get San Jose going by scoring the club’s first goal, closing the gap to 2-1. On the effort, he picked up a rebound and put it over the line.
“It was just a broken play and that’s how a lot of goals are scored,” said Pavelski. “It’s hockey. There are no real set plays.”
A group that played well for San Jose all night was the penalty killers as they began the game by stopping two full minutes being down two men.
“The penalty killers were great tonight,” said Pavelski. “They killed a five-on-three for a full two minutes.”
“It (the five-on-three) was pretty tough,” said Grier. “They’ve got some skill guys, but we did a good job of battling. They did a good job of blocking shots and Nabby was good as well.”
They also scored a goal when Craig Rivet pushed a puck up to Grier for a breakaway.
“We were able to get good pressure on the blueline,” said Grier. “He got it out of there.”
On the flip side, the Sharks power play came up empty on eight attempts, including almost two minutes of their own five-on-three time.
“In the first period, the power play didn’t get the job done,” said Wilson. “They didn’t bring the passion they needed. The five-on-three penalty kill should have given us a boost of energy. We were not even able to get the puck in the zone.”
“The power play needed more urgency,” said Pavelski.
Edmonton scored the game-winning tally when a puck hopped the stick of a pinching McLaren, sending Fernando Pisani in on a breakaway.
“I was just trying to keep it in front, and it went right over my stick,” said McLaren. “It was an unfortunate bounce.”
Fortunately the NHL’s best road show will get to head away from home on an eight game trip where they have the NHL’s best mark.
“It’s not what we wanted, but now we have to go and get the job done on the road,” said Wilson.
Both Marc-Edouard Vlasic
(0-4-4) and Milan Michalek (2-3-5) extended their point streaks to three games.
OILERS, HEAD COACH CRAIG MacTAVISH
“It was a wild first period. It was just one of those games where everyone is just shell shocked with the amount of penalties. There were a couple five-on-threes during the course of the game, but we rallied in the second. And we did what we needed to get the win.”
“Typical Oiler win, six-on-three down to the last second, we had to grind. It was quite incredible. Great job by (Jarret) Stoll on (Joe) Thornton all night.”
“The penalty kill was good, in particular on the five-on-three. We got a couple bounces go our way near the blue line.”
The Sharks will visit the New York Rangers on Sunday at 10 a.m. PST and the game will be available on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.