EDMONTON Its debatable which is more deflating that the Sharks lost to the lowly Edmonton Oilers in a shootout on Monday night, 2-1, or that defenseman Brent Burns may be out for an extended period after what looked to be a potentially serious right knee injury.
Either way, the Sharks fell for the fourth time in five games against a team that has been among the NHLs worst in the last three months.
San Jose poured 45 shots on net compared with just 18 for Edmonton through regulation and overtime. It was a quiet 45, though, as the Sharks controlled play in the Edmonton zone for long stretches but didnt challenge goaltender Devan Dubnyk as much as the shot total would suggest.
Joe Pavelski explained.
We got the shots, and I guess sometimes it felt dangerous, but there wasnt a whole lot of desperation or second or third opportunities where Dubnyk is really scrambling. With 45 shots, you think he would be," he said.
Its a game weve got to win, and find a way to be better.
Burns left at 5:37 of the third period after a knee-on-knee collision with Ales Hemsky, and was unable to put any weight on his right leg as he left the ice. He was limping badly in the dressing room when he met with reporters, and his immediate status is unknown.
I dont know, its still pretty early, said Burns, regarding the extent of his injury.
KURZ: Burns thought he was going to 'throw up'
The Sharks went to the power play because of the hit, though, on a five-minute major for kneeing to Hemsky, who also received a game misconduct. Logan Coutures deflection of a low Dan Boyle pass tied the game at 1-1 less than a minute into the power play.
From there, San Jose managed to hit a post on another deflection, but didnt really sustain any pressure during a golden opportunity to take its first lead in the game. In fact, the Sharks had trouble even entering the zone, and were whistled for numerous offsides infractions despite Todd McLellan using his timeout with about two minutes to go in order to get his top line on the ice.
Timing wasnt good. Entering the zone wasnt good. Decisions at the blue line obviously werent very good, Couture said. On our goal, Joe Thornton made a great pass on the entry to Boyler and he found me back door. We maybe had one more good entry, but we didnt get any chances in the zone because we didnt enter well enough.
Overtime came and went without any markers, and the Oilers took the extra point in the standings when Sam Gagner and Taylor Hall converted on two of four chances against Thomas Greiss, while Pavelski was the only one to get it by Dubnyk for the Sharks.
For the last place Oilers, it was just their second win in the last 10 games.
San Jose has one game remaining before the NHL All-Star break, on Tuesday night in Calgary.
The Sharks had some decent scoring chances in the first period, taking advantage of 10 Oilers turnovers and outshooting Edmonton 13-5 in the process. An open Burns one-timer from the slot was blocked, and Dubnyk swallowed up a turnaround wrist shot from Pavelski, skating around from behind the net.
After a Shawn Horcoff turnover in the offensive zone, Torrey Mitchell found Jamie McGinn for a blast from the faceoff circle that hit the post with 8:30 remaining.
I liked the way our team played the first period, McLellan said. I thought we were very quick on changes, we kept our shifts short, we didnt give up many odd-numbered rushes, if any. We created the bulk of the scoring chances. I liked the way our group responded.
The Oilers broke through with the games first goal in the second period. Jeff Petrys shot bounced off of Douglas Murray to an open Jordan Eberle on the other side of the ice, and the Edmonton All-Star slid in his 18th goal of the year at 6:50.
I picked it up too late, Greiss said. It bounced off of the skate right to Eberle, and until I saw it, it was already coming to me.
Murray said: Theres not much you can do about it. Things happen, bounces.
That was all the Sharks surrendered, though, as the puck was at the other end for most of the night.
We cleaned up our defensive play, thought we controlled the puck and had it most of the night, a lot of zone time, McLellan said. Felt good about our game, yet we only leave with one point. Thats the disappointing thing.
Greiss, who fell to 2-1 in his career in shootouts, said: I think we played great defensively today. Tough for me, not playing much and not getting many shots, but it was great defense and I didnt have many odd man rushes or anything like that. That helped a lot.
Not enough to beat one of the lowliest clubs in the NHL, though.
Odds and ends: The reserved crowd, which at times was virtually silent, got a rare jolt late in the second when Andy Sutton flattened Jamie McGinn with a clean hit in the neutral zone with 5:30 to go. Dan Boyles nine shots were a season high for the Sharks. Thomas Greiss has allowed just one goal in each of his last three starts. Logan Coutures third period goal was his 100th career NHL point. The Sharks won 52 percent of the games faceoffs. The Sharks had 20 missed shots and had 12 blocked, for a total of 77 attempts at the net.