EDMONTON – The Sharks erased a two-goal deficit in the third period in coming from behind to beat the Edmonton Oilers in a shootout on Wednesday night at Rexall Place, 4-3.
The Sharks won for just the fifth time on the road, and second time in the last nine road games (2-6-1). They have not won in regulation in that span, though, with both wins coming in a shootout.
Logan Couture and Dan Boyle scored in the shootout, while Antti Niemi stopped two of three Edmonton attempts.
The Oilers jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the third period, but the Sharks responded on goals from Couture and Tommy Wingels to tie it up.
Couture’s one timer on a power play from Boyle brought the Sharks back to within a goal at 6:50, after Couture was able to dig the loose puck out from in front of the net. It was his second goal of the game and 14th this season.
Two minutes and 25 seconds later, Wingels found a soft spot in the Oilers’ zone and fired in a shot from 30 feet out to make it 3-3. It was Wingels’ second goal, and first since Feb. 5 vs. Chicago.
The Oilers led 2-1 at the second intermission, and increased that lead at 4:07 of the third. Ryan Jones stripped the puck from Matt Irwin behind the Sharks’ net and caught Antti Niemi sleeping on a wraparound goal.
Edmonton took a 2-1 lead with the only goal in the second period, on a series of unfortunate events for San Jose. After Couture hit the outside of the post on a power play, Edmonton’s Nick Schultz, who was serving an interference penalty, stepped out of the box. He rushed ahead with Shawn Horcoff driving the net and only Irwin defending, and Schultz managed to get the pass through Irwin’s stick for Horcoff to knock in at 12:07.
The game was only tied at that point thanks to a key penalty kill earlier in the second. Marty Havlat was called for a questionable interference penalty on Taylor Hall at 2:36, and given an extra minor and 10-minute misconduct for arguing it. San Jose managed to hold the Oilers’ power play to just two shots in four minutes to keep it at 1-1.
The Oilers opened the scoring with a power play goal. Sam Gagner’s blast from the faceoff circle beat Niemi, who may have been screened on the shot, inside the far post at 10:47 of the first period.
Couture’s first goal evened things up. Havlat feathered a pass to him in front of the net, and Couture’s shot bounced in off of the skate of defenseman Mark Fistric at 14:19.
Couture’s nine career goals against the Oilers in 11 games are the most he has against any opponent.
Gagner hit the crossbar with a shot with three minutes left in regulation.
The Sharks swept the season series with three wins over Edmonton, including two in a shootout. The Oilers fell to 3-1-1 in their last five.
Couture’s second goal was just the Sharks’ fifth power play goal in the last 14 road games (5-for-56, 8.9 percent). The Sharks are, however, 8-for-31 on the power play in the last 10 games overall (25.8 percent.)
Niemi, just 1-3-1 in his last six starts entering the game, made 24 saves. He's 6-0-1 in his career against the Oilers, including a 3-0-0 mark at Rexall Place.
Devan Dubnyk was playing in his 11th straight game, and stopped 31 Sharks shots.
Michal Handzus was a healthy scratch for the first time this season, while James Sheppard returned to the lineup after a one-game benching. Ryane Clowe (shoulder) missed his second straight game.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic played in his 500th career game, all with the Sharks, becoming just the fourth Sharks defenseman to reach that mark.
The Oilers’ Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was a late scratch due to illness.
The Sharks will fly to Minnesota on Thursday morning, and face the Wild on Saturday at 11 a.m. PST. Minnesota has won six of its last seven.
A return to Anaheim on Monday closes out the five-game trip. The Sharks return home to open a seven-game homestand against the Ducks on Wednesday, March 27.
The Sharks swept the season series with three wins over Edmonton, including two in a shootout. The Oilers fell to 3-1-1 in their last five. (USA TODAY IMAGES)