The Edmonton Oilers came into tonight’s game as the only team to beat the San Jose Sharks in their last eight—that was Edmonton’s only win in the last 17 games. So this Western Conference matchup seemed like as good an opportunity as any for the Oilers to stop their five game losing streak from snowballing any further.
1:30 Ference makes a bad play at his own blue line. Joe Thornton and Tomas Hertl go in on a 2-on-1. Thornton can’t take the pass from Hertl.
3:15 Petry with a good stick check on Marleau to stop the 3-on-2 rush.
6:15 Really creative passing from the Oilers’ top line to maintain pressure in the Sharks’ zone. RNH ends the shift with a nice effort back-checking to break up a Shark’s odd-man chance.
10:30 Oilers defence is looking a little sloppy with their checks.
11:45 Nugent-Hopkins makes a sublime stick check right inside the SJ line to maintain the zone.
14:00 Draisaitl finds Pitlick in the slot but he can’t beat Niemi. Best shift of the night so far for that line.
14:43 Boyd Gordon picks up the loose puck at the bottom of the circle and tricks Niemi with a backhand. Oilers take that elusive first period lead.
18:00 A nice shift from Oscar Klefbom, who made a nice pass up to a streaking Yakupov and a good play to prevent a controlled zone entry.
18:22 Nail Yakupov heading off for a retaliatory interference penalty.
19:30 RNH makes a nice stick check at his own blue to create a partial shorthanded breakaway for himself.
1:00 Sharks all over the Oilers to start the second.
2:30 Arcobello nearly puts away a Jeff Petry rebound off an offensive zone face-off win.
2:53 Tierney to the box for holding. Oilers to the PP.
5:51 Sheppard puts a nice feed into the slot to beat Ben Scrivens and tie the game. The pass made it through both Klefbom and Hall.
7:36 Couture takes advantage of some sloppy coverage at the Oilers blue line by Pitlick and Yakupov and puts it top cheese on Scrivens. Sharks go up by one.
8:23 The Oilers fourth line bangs away at the loose puck in front of Niemi to tie the game. A timely response by that unit. Hendricks was digging, and Pinizzotto put it away.
9:59 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is made of stardust. Eberle works into the slot, gets a shot off and RNH puts away the loose rebound. Dare I say, the Oilers are up again.
14:26 It’s been all Sharks since Nuge scored, and as a result the Oilers are going shorthanded. Klefbom to the box for high sticking.
17:30 Curiously enough, the Oilers don’t have a centre on the ice as Eberle heads off and Pitlick comes on to play with Hall and Perron.
4:30 Justin Schultz walks in from the point and gets a quality chance on net. The third period has been fairly uneventful thus far.
7:07 David Perron heads off as he mucks it up with Wingels by the Sharks bench. I don’t like that play from Perron while his team has the lead. Sharks to the PP.
8:29 Matt Tennyson makes the Oilers pay and ties the game at three on the PP.
9:03 Goodrow is sent in on a breakaway behind Justin Schultz. Schultz catches him but can’t take the puck away and Goodrow finishes the play with a sharp backhand. The Sharks go up 4-3. So very Oilers.
10:30 The Sharks are getting plenty of opportunities to increase their lead here in the third.
15:30 Taylor Hall getting bullish trying to tie this one up.
18:30 Ben Scrivens heads to the bench for the extra skater. Oilers, for the most part, haven't played like a team trailing since the Sharks took the lead.
19:30 Niemi with a game-saver on David Perron as he gets the pad down and out.
There was a lot to like about the Oilers’ game tonight against San Jose. They got the lead early, and despite losing it for a brief moment in the second period, they came back with two quick goals and held it until part way through the third when a questionable penalty from David Perron put the Sharks up a man.
Furthermore, Justin Schultz looks to be more comfortable under Todd Nelson, though the sample has been small thus far, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins continues to impress this season as a star coming into his own.
The part that Oilers fans won’t like, and have seen so many times before, is the thirty second section of the third period during which the team completely collapsed, giving up two goals to let the Sharks take the lead.
As an Oilers fan, I don't have any better way of saying this. C'est la vie.
On a final note, we’d like to thank everyone who submitted an application to our call for writers. We’ll be going over all your applications over the next week, and will be in touch soon.