After the first four games of the series, the San Jose Sharks and Edmonton Oilers sit with two wins apiece. Let’s take a quick look at Games Three & Four, and what to expect for Game Five.
Sunday night in San Jose saw a 0-0 game for the first 50 minutes until Zack Kassian put one past Martin Jones. Behind the net, Sharks Defenseman David Schlemko turned the puck over to Kassian for an easy goal. Jones had no chance. That turned out to be the only goal of the game. Jones and Cam Talbot had an old fashioned goaltending duel. Perhaps the only good thing to come from the night for the Sharks was the energy the fans at the Shark Tank were putting out. The arena was buzzing all night.
San Jose had been shutout for 120 minutes prior to the game. That streak would only last for 15 seconds into Game 4, as Joe Pavelski scored off a Justin Braun shot from the blueline. They would go on to score six more goals in the game for a 7-0 win.
Pavelski scored twice, and Logan Couture, who threw his face-cage away after Game Two, also scored twice. Leon Draisaitl of the Oilers speared Chris Tierney in the groin and received a five minute major penalty and a game misconduct. He had a hearing with the NHL Wednesday and was fined the maximum $2,569.44, but received no suspension.
Sharks’ Path to Victory
San Jose needs to keep the pedal to the metal. Scoring seven goals in one game adds momentum. Scoring four, yes FOUR, power play goals will shoot the morale through the roof. For a special teams unit that has struggled all season, the goal explosion was surely a welcome sight. To be able to close the series at home in Game Six, they need to continue scoring on the man-advantage. Jones is starting to look like the goaltender who took San Jose to the Stanley Cup Final last year. If he gets on that roll this postseason, he can carry this team deep into the playoffs again.
Oilers’ Path to Victory
Edmonton gave up eight power plays. Undisciplined play is preventing the Oilers from getting into a flow during a game. They will need to stay out of the penalty box, but still keep pressure on San Jose with their physicality. There have been some hard hits this series, and most of those hits have come from the Oilers. They also need to get their young phenom going. Connor McDavid is falling victim to the Sharks D-men, keeping him off the score sheet for the most part this series. McDavid has not scored a 5-on-5 goal this series. If the best player on the team does not score, it will be hard for that team to win four games.
This series has been filled with heavy hits from Edmonton, and two different San Jose squads. Now, it is a best-of-three series, with the next game tonight in Edmonton at 7:30 P.M pacific time. If San Jose can keep their top skaters scoring, and keep Edmonton’s top skater from scoring, this series could be over when these two teams come back to SAP Center Saturday night. However, Edmonton could hit their way to the conference semis by keeping the pressure on the Sharks. Tune in tomorrow night to see which team will take one step closer to the next round. For now, check out our other series’ recaps here on the Armchair All-Americans.
Speaking of loud…— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) April 19, 2017
Douglas Murray and Scott Hannan just got this place PUMPED UP. pic.twitter.com/1dHdxivnGv
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