Sharks vs. Oilers: NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Odds and Prediction

Joel Ward converted on the Sharks lone Power Play goal (1/6) and Paul Martin netted the equalizer after a herculean forecheck from Thomas Hertl at 5:22 of the 3rd period. Pumped yet? Yeah, me neither. It was a dominant performance by the Oilers and particularly by Kassian, a fourth-line winger who drove the net effectively and delivered bone-jarring hits on the Sharks' Brenden Dillon and Logan Couture.

Motivation is abundant for the current Sharks after coming up short last season in the Stanley Cup Final. Why would they be? That's a playoff mystery, but certainly works to the Oilers' advantage. These two teams have some history. Some of the Sports Channels they have access to include Fox Sport 1 and 2, NBCSN. Yes, a Carolina/Edmonton Cup Final once happened.

They will be available at Game 2 on Friday at the north LRT entrance on a first-come first-serve basis, two hours before puck drop.

"We've got to let this one go", he said. However, having won three of the five regular season games against the Sharks and entering the postseason on a tear, pulling off the upset will nearly certainly be a hard task for San Jose. Seems pretty clear to me. Defensively, the Edmonton Oilers are allowing 2.5 goals per game and are killing 80.7 percent of their opponents power plays.

If they can, the Sharks could very well find themselves in the driver's seat as this series shifts back to Edmonton. San Jose outshot Edmonton 18-3 in the third and 6-2 in overtime, and knew exactly when to turn it on against the inexperienced Oilers. My heart wants to hope for the best but my head says to expect the worst. The longer the Sharks are in the series, it's a win for business and the City of San Jose.

"Nothing changes", defenseman Justin Braun said. Despite dropping nine of the last thirteen games of the season, the Sharks will try to right the ship and make another deep run in the playoffs. He knows the Sharks will need to recapture that form against the Oilers.

Sharks: Joe Thornton (left knee) is doubtful.

The concern for San Jose, as well as Edmonton, is that the even nature of this series is not a product of both games being close, but from both clubs putting forth inconsistent efforts. The Sharks have a decent penalty kill and may have to pull up some the slack left by the powerless play. While future glory is nearly pre-ordained for a player as talented as McDavid, he's likely going to get his nose bloodied this year: either figuratively, literally, or both.

"You don't get many shots from your the neutral zone or your end, so it's as simple as that", McLellan said.

Most importantly, the goaltending battle between Martin Jones and Cam Talbot could ultimately tilt the series in one team's favor. The Sharks scorers can not let him get inside their head.

Kassian scored 42 seconds into the second frame when Sharks forward Joe Pavelski lost control of the puck at the Oilers blue line. With Thornton and Couture mending, San Jose will need gritty goals early on and Ward could be the guy to rain on Edmonton's parade plans. That is magnified by the possibility of life without playoff heroes Couture and Thornton. Last season, the road began in Los Angeles with San Jose winning both games.

  • Julie Sanders