The San Jose Sharks, winners of their last four, traveled to Edmonton Friday night to take on the struggling Oilers. Goals from Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky were enough to defeat the Sharks, 3-2.
Vesa Toskala was sent to the net for the fifth consecutive game, looking to hand the Oilers their fifth consecutive loss. The Sharks looked to avenge their two shootout losses they received at the hands of Edmonton in their first two meetings with the club this season. Opposing Toskala between the pipes was Ty Conklin.
Milan Michalek had the first quality shot on net when Steve Bernier made a perfect lead pass to the winger. Michalek’s backhand attempt sailed over the crossbar and the game remained scoreless five minutes in.
The Sharks headed on to the power play for the first time 10 minutes into the game. In the final seconds of the advantage, Bernier rang a shot off the post and the remainder of the penalty expired.
Dick Tarnstrom held Bernier when he was wrapping around the net and the Sharks went back on the power play with six minutes left in the first. It was Edmonton, however, that kept the puck in San Jose’s end for the majority of the two minutes.
With 17 seconds left, Nils Ekman was called for interference. The final seconds ticked off the clock and the teams headed to the lockeroom scoreless.
When play resumed, Team Teal was able to kill off the 1:43 that was left on Ekman’s penalty and the game returned to five-a-side.
Mark Smith was penalized for boarding when he rammed Radek Dvorak into the sideboards six minutes into the second frame. Conklin fired a pass all the way down the ice that hit Ryan Smyth right on the tape. Smyth approached Toskala on a breakaway, but the red hot netminder turned the shot away. Smith’s penalty expired and the game remained scoreless.
Ethan Moreau took offense to a Rob Davison hit on Horcoff and dropped the gloves in an attempt for revenge. The brief scrap resulted in roughing penalties for both players. Just seconds later Marleau was called for hooking and the Oilers had a four-on-three advantage, but they couldn’t cash in on the opportunity.
Smith and Steve Staios dropped the gloves just minutes later after that. Smith was hit with a two minute roughing penalty while Staios’ was a four minute roughing penalty. San Jose kept pressure on Conklin for virtually the whole advantage, but couldn’t solve the netminder.
Seconds after, Toskala was whistled on a close call for playing the puck outside the trapezoid, but once again San Jose’s penalty kill was up to the task and killed off the advantage.
Within a one minute span towards the end of the period, San Jose fired three shots on Conklin, but the veteran wouldn’t budge.
The game remained scoreless heading into the second intermission, with both team only managing 16 shots on goal.
3:28 into the third, Raffi Torres gave the Oilers the lead when he fired a shot off the post and behind Toskala.
Just 19 seconds later, however, Patrick Marleau
tied the game up. Bernier wrapped around the net and hit the captain with a pass in front. Marleau wristed it on net and the puck trickled past Conklin. The score was now 1-1.
The game remained back and fourth for the next 10 minutes, with multiple shots being fired on both goalies.
The momentum shifted heavily in San Jose’s favor with just four minutes left in the game. Cheechoo fed Joe Thornton
with a perfect pass in front of the net in which the nifty centerman deked and had a wide open net to backhand the puck in to. The Sharks now lead 2-1.
With 3:23 left in the third, Toskala lost his stick in a scramble in front of the net. Horcoff took full advantage of that, wristing a shot past the defenseless netminder, tying the game at two.
Hemsky gave the Oilers the lead with just over one minute left when he made a great move on Josh Gorges and backhanded a shot five-hole past Toskala.
The Sharks pulled Toskala in favor of the extra attacker, but the Sharks couldn’t get the puck deep in Edmonton’s zone, and the game ended with the Oilers defeating the Sharks 3-2.
San Jose will travel to Calgary to take on the Flames Saturday night at 7 p.m. The game can be seen on FSN Bay Area and heard on the Sharks Radio Network and sjsharks.com.
DREW ON HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA
Tomorrow night, Drew Remenda will be a special guest on Hockey Night In Canada with the legendary Don Cherry. This will mark the second time this season Remenda will be a guest on the show.