SAN JOSE – Joe Thornton made his return to the lineup, but it didn’t help the Sharks offense in a 1-0 loss to the Oilers in Game 3 of their first round series on Sunday night at SAP Center.
The Oilers have won the last two games after San Jose claimed the opener.
The only goal came with 9:15 to go in the third period. David Schlemko turned the puck over to Zack Kassian, who pushed a backhand from the slot through Martin Jones to break the scoreless tie.
It was the second straight game that Kassian found the scoresheet, including a shorthanded goal in Edmonton’s Game 2 win on Friday.
The Sharks have not scored since Melker Karlsson’s overtime winner in Game 1.
The Sharks are 3-10 when trailing a series two-games-to-one in their history. In NHL history, when teams are tied 1-1 in a series, the winner of Game 3 wins the series 67.6 percent of the time (202-97 record).
In their first home game of the series, the Sharks came out hitting everything in sight after losing the physicality battle in games one and two. They also dominated territorially, but Joe Pavelski missed an open net on a backhand from the slot less than five minutes in, and Chris Tierney fired high on a partial breakaway with six-and-a-half minutes to go.
Play evened out to start the second before Edmonton started to press. Connor McDavid generated a pair of chances with about four minutes to go, but his wraparound try was thwarted by Jones, and Patrick Maroon couldn’t find a handle on the loose puck.
Jones swallowed up a McDavid one-time shortly after that, keeping it scoreless with 3:38 to go before the second intermission.
The Sharks outshot the Oilers 13-6 in the first period, but Edmonton registered 12 of the 16 total shots in the middle frame. The Sharks outshot the Oilers for the game, 23-22.
After getting six power plays in each of the first two games, the Sharks went 0-for-2 in Game 3. They didn’t register a single shot on goal, and are just 1-for-14 in the series along with two shorthanded goals-against. Thornton returned to the top unit in his regular place.
Edmonton had just one power play, late in the first period, and did not score. The Oilers are 1-for-8 in the series.
Talbot notched his second straight shutout with 23 saves, as he continues his first career playoff run as a number one starter. His biggest stop came on Joel Ward with 6:20 to go in regulation.
Jones played admirably, but fell to 15-12 career in the postseason with one goal allowed on 22 shots.
Mikkel Boedker was a healthy scratch to make way for Thornton.
Edmonton defenseman Oscar Klefbom was able to play despite missing the final few minutes of Game 2 after blocking a Brent Burns shot.
Game 4 remains in San Jose on Tuesday, before the teams go back to Edmonton for Game 5 on Thursday.
The winner of the Sharks-Oilers series will face the winner of Ducks-Flames in the second round. Anaheim leads that series, two games to none, winning the first two at Honda Center.