EDMONTON – Rogers Place might be the gleaming new home of the Oilers, but on Tuesday it was previously slumping Mikkel Boedker that brought some renewable energy.
Boedker scored three times, doubling his goal output for the season, in a 5-3 Sharks win over Edmonton. San Jose remains in first place in the Pacific Division, increasing its lead over the third place Oilers to three points, with two games in hand.
With the Sharks ahead 2-1 to start the second period, Boedker scored a pair of goals in less than seven minutes to push the lead to 4-1 and complete the hat trick.
At 2:24 of the second period, Melker Karlsson got Cam Talbot to commit to the shot before the puck slid over to Boedker, who easily slammed it into an open net.
Martin Jones made his best saves of the night after that, robbing Patrick Maroon on a two-on-one from Connor McDavid with a sprawling right pad, and later denying McDavid’s prime chance with about 13 minutes to go.
That allowed Boedker to give San Jose a three-goal cushion, when he got the blade of his stick on a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot at 8:55.
Edmonton pushed to start the third, and Matt Benning’s wrist shot cleanly beat Jones just 22 seconds after the faceoff. Then at 3:45, Oscar Klefbom’s boomer from the point made its way through traffic and into the net.
Pete DeBoer used his timeout after that, and the Sharks responded when Logan Couture scored an unconventional breakaway goal. His shot was stopped by Talbot, but ricocheted through the Edmonton goaltender off of Couture’s leg as he fell to the ice at 5:06.
The Sharks improved to 2-0 against Edmonton this season, including a 3-2 overtime win in San Jose on Dec. 23. They meet again at SAP Center on Jan. 26 in the final game before the All-Star break.
Boedker opened the scoring at 1:39, when a rebound deflected to the winger at the side of the net. He waited out Talbot and flipped it home. Drake Caggiula tied it by getting in front of the net and pounding home a Benoit Pouliot pass at 15:53, but Brent Burns restored the Sharks’ lead with a shot from high in the zone just after a San Jose power play expired with 18 seconds left before the first intermission.
The Sharks’ biggest offseason addition, Boedker was a healthy scratch last Thursday against Minnesota. He returned on Saturday, and scored a goal against Detroit.
The Sharks welcomed Vlasic back into the lineup, after the defenseman missed the previous four games from taking a deflected shot to the face. Vlasic left the ice late in the season after he was whacked by Jordan Eberle’s stick, but he returned for the third.
After not scoring five goals in a game at all through their first 39, the Sharks have now done it each of the last two, including a 6-3 win over the Red Wings on Saturday.
San Jose is 15-3-3 in its last 21 games in Edmonton, although this was their first-ever game at the Oilers’ new downtown arena.
The Sharks and Oilers were each 0-for-2 on the power play. San Jose is just 14-for-101 with a man advantage since Nov. 1 (13.8 percent).
Edmonton is 0-for-8 on the power play in its two losses to the Sharks this season.
Named as an All-Star for the first time in his career earlier in the day, Jones improved to 21-13-4 on the season with 33 saves. Jones, who turned 27 on Tuesday, has started 11 of the last 12 games including five in a row. He is 5-1-1 in his career against Edmonton.
Talbot, one of only other two goalies that has played more than Jones this season, took the loss with 23 saves. He’s 1-2-2 career against San Jose.
Dylan DeMelo was forced from the game in the second period with what looked to be a wrist issue from a slash by Zack Kassian.
Mirco Mueller was removed from the lineup to make way for Vlasic. Tim Heed was also a healthy scratch, while David Schlemko (upper body) is not on the two-game road trip.
Micheal Haley drew back into the lineup on the fourth line in Tommy Wingels’ place.
The Sharks remain in Alberta for a game at the Saddledome on Wednesday against the Flames, with whom they are 1-1-0 with this season. San Jose is 4-2-0 in the second half of back-to-backs this season.