The Runner Sports

Edmonton Oilers Blank San Jose Sharks Again

The Sharks haven’t scored in last two games

The Edmonton Oilers, and more personally Zack Kassian, seem to have the San Jose Sharks figured out. For the second straight game, Kassian had the winning goal to surge the Edmonton Oilers ahead of the slumping Sharks two games to one. In the initial period the Sharks came out hitting like the Oilers did in-game 2. They had an unbelievable 32 hits in just the opening period to show the Oilers that they can play physical. The Sharks got a boost from their star veteran Joe Thornton returning to the lineup from a knee injury. Thornton, 37 has yet to raise the Cup in his NHL career. Thornton’s return meant former Coyote Mikkel Boedker was benched. Let’s just say Boedker had a terrible season, with just 10 goals and 26 points – the same point total he tallied in the shortened 2012-13 season playing in 48 games. The Sharks have got to be wondering if Boedker was worth the four-year $16 million contract they tendered him.

Linemate Joe Pavelski seemed rejuvenated by Thornton’s return, but not enough for him or any Shark player to solve Cam Talbot’s ability to keep the puck out of the net. He now has two straight shutouts against the hapless San Jose Sharks.

The way the two teams have scored, special teams are vital to victory. Only three of the total eight goals scored by both team have come in 5 v 5 conditions.

Tight play means little scoring

Both teams were playing tight hockey, and looking for a turnover, or something to give them the lead. That didn’t happen until midway through the third period when Kassian again was the Oilers’ hero. He was playing his usual game of timely hits, and just getting in the way whenever he could. It paid off for him at 10:45 when another former Coyote, David Schlemko, passed from the right corner of his zone. The pesky Kassian intercepted his pass and buried a deceptive backhander through Matt Jones’ five hole.

Conor McDavid also had an excellent chance to score, but Jones was able to stop him. The Oilers now take a 2-1 advantage into game 4 on Tuesday night. The statistic in the Edmonton Oilers favor is that when a NHL playoffs series is tied 1-1, the winner of game 3 has a 68% chance of winning the series. Right now, it seems that the San Jose Sharks can’t score to save their lives. The usual loud and boisterous Shark fans were silenced by a tight game where neither team was dominating play.

Game 4 a must win for Sharks

Trailing 2-1 going into game 4, the San Jose Sharks need a win badly. They have the players needed to take game 4 from the surging Edmonton Oilers, but so far have come up short. If the Sharks lose this next game, the Oilers will be in a great position to go home and finish off their foe in five games. The winner of this series will go on to play the winner of the Calgary-Anaheim series. The Anaheim Ducks have a 2-0 lead in that series.

One player who had led the Sharks all season has been silenced. Brent Burns had eight shots on goal in the first 3-2 win by the Sharks, but has been held to just five shots in the last two games.