The night couldn’t have started much better for San Jose with Los Angeles and Anaheim losing early and the Sharks jumping out to a 2-0 lead against last-place Edmonton.
Then came the final two periods.
Patrick Maroon scored the go-ahead goal and assisted on another in Edmonton’s four-goal second period that carried the Oilers to a 6-3 victory over the Sharks on Thursday night.
“If the game had ended after 20 minutes I would have been pretty happy, unfortunately you can’t play 20 minutes in this league and expect to win,” coach Peter DeBoer said. “For whatever reason from that point on we stopped playing.”
Lauri Korpikoski, Taylor Hall and Adam Clendening also scored in the big second that made sure Oilers coach Todd McLellan wouldn’t have to watch his old team clinch a playoff berth.
“I challenged them and they came out in the second and responded well,” McLellan said. “We’ve been angry a few times, but our group has to learn how bring it every night and we have to bring it every night in order to have a chance. They woke themselves up.”
Jordan Eberle added an insurance goal in the third and Hall added an empty-netter as Edmonton earned its first regulation win in San Jose since Jan. 13, 2011. Cam Talbot made 22 saves.
Tommy Wingels, Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau scored for the Sharks, who failed to hold a two-goal lead after the first period and missed a chance to clinch the playoffs for a second straight game. More importantly, San Jose again failed to take advantage of losses by Anaheim and Los Angeles and remains one point behind the Ducks and five behind the Kings in the Pacific Division.
“We got that 2-0 lead, it has to be game over and they got back in it,” Pavelski said. “At the end of the night we have to find a way to win that game.”
After a dominant first period by the Sharks, the Oilers took the game over in the first 10 minutes of the second, scoring three goals and holding San Jose to just one shot.
The barrage started when Korpikoski deflected a point shot past Reimer early in the period. The Oilers then scored twice in 45 seconds midway through the period to take a 3-2 lead. A turnover by Marleau set up Hall’s wrister from the faceoff circle that tied it and Clendening scored through a screen from the point to put Edmonton ahead.
“We didn’t get off to the start we wanted,” Clendening said. “I thought in the second and third we kept the game simple, played them on the open ice and we established a forecheck.”
But Marleau tied the game when he put in his own rebound on the power play later in the second and San Jose held Edmonton to just one shot in the final 10 minutes. Fortunately for the Oilers, that shot went in when Connor McDavid set up Maroon on a 2-on-1 to make it 4-3 after two.
“Maybe we thought it was going to be easy and we were going to score a couple more goals, and we didn’t, then they tied the game,” Sharks defenceman Roman Polak said. “After that, it was just too many turnovers at the blue line. Just can’t play the game like that. They have good speed up front, good skill guys, and they took it to us.”
There was a fight early in the first period as the Sharks sought retribution for a game earlier this month when Darnell Nurse jumped Polak late in the game and started throwing punches before Polak even got his gloves off. Polak broke his nose and had a bruised left eye socket in the fight that earned Nurse a three-game suspension.
San Jose dressed bruiser Michael Haley in place of Dainius Zubrus and Haley fought Nurse. Just 36 seconds later, Polak’s point shot deflected off Wingels and went past Talbot for an even better form of revenge.
Pavelski’s power-play goal made it 2-0.Report Typo/Error