Joe Pavelski scores fastest playoff goal in Sharks history

A win tonight would give the Oilers a 3-1 advantage in the series with the following game coming in Edmonton.

Without production from McDavid, the Oilers are in trouble because they don't have the depth to keep up with the Sharks four lines if Thornton and Couture return to form.

The Sharks continued to show signs of addressing their biggest shortcomings in games two and three, as the power-play woes also showed signs of life and finally punished the overly aggressive Edmonton fore-check. The series continues with Game 4 Tuesday night in San Jose.

"I don't think it's a secret that as our key guys are getting healthier and feeling better we're starting to look better in that area", head coach Pete DeBoer said. "Everyone was ready. We've been there". "They went to the Stanley Cup (Finals) past year". Joe Pavelski made a deft tip of a Justin Braun point shot to make it 1-0 just 15 seconds into the game. Game 4 is Tuesday night in San Jose.

"We know we need to win this one going into the next game on the road", center Chris Tierney said. "You want to try and take away their momentum whenever you can and tonight I wasn't able to do that". The Edmonton Oilers are a young team finding themselves in the playoffs for the first time in a decade, riding the hopes of their frenzied fanbase on their shoulders for a pivotal game that will put the victor within a win of advancing to the next round. The slap shot provided a bit of redemption for Schlemko, who gave up Game 3's only goal after an errant pass near the Sharks goal.

"We've been saying we have confidence in it", Joe Thornton said.

One of the league's hottest teams, the Sharks lost eight of nine games to end March and limped into the playoffs under a cloud of concerns. We haven't played like that all year.

At times, Larsson and Klefbom have drawn the challenge of covering San Jose captain Joe Pavelski, the Sharks' top-scoring forward in the regular season with 29 goals and 68 points. It's why the Sharks have had such trouble scoring, outside of Cam Talbot.

"This is an intimidating building to play in, and it is even more when you've got a lead early", Couture said. Thornton, who hadn't played since suffering a leg injury against Vancouver on April 2, came out with fresh legs and the Sharks benefitted in a fast and furious first period. Couture struggled the first two games as he's recovered after losing several teeth when he took a puck to the face last month. He wore a cage to protect his mouth in the first two games before going back to a half-visor for Game 3. Sorensen knocked in a rebound midway through the period and Couture ended Talbot's night with a wrister from the circle.

"(Experience is) only good if you use it in the right way", Marleau said.

The Sharks' first power play in the period was cut short as Ward, 72 seconds after Benoit Pouliot was called for roughing at the 16:43 mark, was given a tripping penalty.

"We're not playing against a team that has just appeared in the playoffs". There was just no keeping him out (of the lineup).

NOTES: The Rangers beat Atlanta 7-0 on April 17, 2007. They allowed four power-play goals, and their margin of defeat was the worst in franchise history for a playoff game.

  • Julie Sanders