Edmonton Oilers vs San Jose Sharks
In a stunning turn of events at Rogers Place, the Oilers roared out to a fairy tale start in their first playoff game since 2006, only to watch short-staffed and beaten up Sharks unleash over 1,000 games of post-season experience in a 3-2 overtime victory.
“They had the puck all night, they played in our zone,” said Oilers captain Connor McDavid, who had one assist in his post-season debut. “When you don’t have the puck you’re not going to get many shots on goal. They did a good job.
“I don’t know whether they raised their game or our game fell off. It’s tough to say. I thought maybe we got a little comfortable, which can’t happen.”
The Sharks were without Joe Thornton, who is doing his best to make it back from a knee injury, and had Logan Couture playing in a full cage after taking a puck in the face late in the season, but they were nobody’s pushover.
They dominated, storming back from down 2-0 to win it on Melker Karlsson’s winner at 3:22 of the extra period to take a 1-0 lead in what looks like is going to be a very interesting series.
“We definitely got off to the start we wanted,” said McDavid “We did a good job starting the game, but we have to finish with a win because we were in a good spot starting the third period. Those are the games you have to win.”
The Sharks were 1-22-1 when trailing after two periods during the regular season and the Oilers were 29-2-1 when leading after two periods, but it didn’t matter a lick in this one.
After pulling off come-from-behind overtime game one victory San Jose Sharks will play game two against the Edmonton Oilers tonight. The game tips-off at 10:00 PM EST in Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
How to watch Sharks vs Oilers Game 2 Online:
Date and Time: April 14th, 2017 10:00 PM EST
Venue: Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada San Jose ran wild on the Oilers, outshooting them 32-9 over the final 40 minutes of regulation and 3:22 of OT.
“The biggest thing is we have to stay out of the box,” said Jordan Eberle, referring to the seven minor penalties that helped turn the tide. “You lose momentum that way. The guys who kill are wasting a lot of energy and the guys who don’t are sitting on the bench. You don’t get a lot of flow in the game and you can’t roll the lines and play the way we know we can play.”
The initial 10 minutes was supposed to be when the Oilers were jittery and overwhelmed by the ground-shaking atmosphere. Instead it was Edmonton that took control, both on the ice, where the Oilers grabbed the early momentum, and in the stands where the sea of orange, sounded like cross between a rock concert and a riot.
Eberle, who waited 507 NHL games for this, started painting his name on the scoresheet early. He slid a nice cross ice pass to a wide open Oscar Klefbom, who sifted one through Sharks goalie Martin Jones 6:44 into the opening period to give the Oilers their first post-season lead in 11 years.
Milan Lucic scored at 17:07 and just like that Edmonton was up 2-0 at the first intermission and looked great doing it.
But the Sharks, as everyone seems to have forgotten, are just one year removed from playing in the Stanley Cup final. They’ve built up a tremendous amount of character and resilience during that run and put it to use in dominating the second and third periods.
They ran wild on the Oilers over the final 40 minutes of regulation, outshooting them 26-7 and tying it on a second period goal from Joel Ward a third period equalizer form Paul Martin at 5:22 of the third.
Oilers goalie Cam Talbot was outstanding. He was Edmonton’s best player, and had to be on a night they were outshot 44-19
“Anytime you give a team like that six or seven power plays,” he said. “The game is not usually going to go your way.”
The Sharks look plenty good even without Jumbo Joe in the lineup.
“He’s a huge piece of this team, he always has been,” said San Jose centre Joe Pavelski. “When we get him back that will be nice but we’ve had a few games to adjust without him and guys have done a good job stepping up.
“We’ve always talked about our depth, it’s good. And the structure of our team, what we want to do, and it doesn’t change whether one player goes in or out.”
If this one taught us anything, it’s that both sides are just getting started.
Playoff hockey is back in Edmonton, but the Oilers didn’t get off to the best start in their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks picked up an overtime victory in Game 1 at Rogers Place thanks to a game-winning goal from Melker Karlsson. The Oilers are hoping Game 2 brings better luck, as an 0-2 series deficit against the defending Western Conference champions would be cause for concern. Here’s how you can watch Sharks vs. Oilers online. When: Friday, April 14 at 10:30 p.m. ET Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra Thumbnail photo via Perry Nelson/USA TODAY Sports Images