Shorthand Goals are Downfall of Sharks, Oilers Tie Series

Melker Karlsson's wrist shot-goal at 3:22 of overtime gave the Sharks a 3-2 win over the Oilers in Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round series. Most guys going top speed wouldn't be able to snipe a flawless shot like this.

Klefbom scored the Oilers first playoff goal since 2006 when he took a cross-ice pass in the high slot from Jordan Eberle and fired the puck low between the pads of Sharks goalie Martin Jones at 6:44.

Kassian's shorthanded breakaway goal was the only scoring through two periods. Defensively, the San Jose Sharks are allowing 2.4 goals per game and are killing 80.7 percent of their opponents power plays.

Eight of Jones' saves on the penalty kill, another one of the few bright spots for the Sharks as they killed all four Oilers power play chances.

It was the first playoff game in the Oilers' new downtown arena and the team's first postseason game in nearly 11 years.

"Now we know that when we get a lead we can lock it down and we know what it takes to play that way", said Talbot, who was named second star behind Kassian, who was a one-man wrecking crew in this one.

League-wide, defending teams usually win about 55% of puck battles in their own zone, and while the Oilers' forecheck was better than average in game one, they didn't end up outpacing the Sharks in their own zone.

"We were confident we could go out and turn things around (after the first period)", said Couture. Kassian scored early in the second period and McDavid doubled the lead midway through the third period.

A 20-year-old oilfield worker won $348,534 at an Eskimos game in 2014. But tonight everyone just felt calm, ready to go. "I thought we got pucks in deep, got good cycles", Tierney said.

"Guys might have been nervous the first game". They got off to a great start, but couldn't adjust to the Sharks once they got going.

Oilers enter the postseason with an astonishing record of 12-2-0 in their last 14 games. "We're just thinking about ourselves and how we're going to prepare for the game, so I'm not going to shorten my routine for something". The Oilers ended up losing 3-2 in overtime but Gretzky says he's happy to see playoff hockey back in Edmonton. The Sharks entered the series Monday under a cloud of uncertainty, with injuries to top players Joe Thornton and Logan Couture as well as a string of lackluster performances to close out the regular season. After getting 10 shots on net in the first, Edmonton managed just nine more through the next three periods. Joe Pavelski leads San Jose with 29 goals, Brent Burns has 47 assists and Patrick Marleau has 190 shots on goal.

"Whether you get a team hemmed in for 10 minutes or not and you don't score or you do score you've got to be prepared to do it again the next shift", said Pavelski. "We will be better next time". In his last seven playoff games going back to last season, Hertl has three goals and three assists for six points and a plus-three rating.

"It's a pretty special place and a wonderful environment come playoff time in Edmonton", said Wayne Gretzky.

  • Julie Sanders