Highlights: Sharks take care of business against Oilers
The San Jose Sharks improved to 3-0-1 on its five-game road trip that concludes on Sunday in Chicago. (USATSI)
EDMONTON – Joe Thornton assisted on each of the Sharks’ three goals in leading San Jose to a third straight win, 3-1 win over the bumbling Edmonton Oilers on Friday night at Rexall Place.
Joe Pavelski, Tomas Hertl and Patrick Marleau were the goal scorers, while Alex Stalock recorded his third win in as many starts with 30 saves.
San Jose improved to 3-0-1 on its five-game road trip that concludes on Sunday in Chicago.
The Sharks controlled play for most of the first period in taking a 2-0 lead. A Pavelski power play goal at 15:44 got San Jose on the board, as the Wisconsin native deposited the rebound of a backhand by Marleau for his seventh goal.
Less than two minutes later, Hertl increased the Sharks’ lead. After some good board work by Tommy Wingels, Thornton gathered in the puck and found Hertl in front of the net for a tap-in at 17:44.
Thornton recorded his third assist early in the second in extending the San Jose lead. A bad turnover by Luke Gazdic to Thornton in the Oilers’ offensive zone sprung the Sharks on a three-on-two the other way. The captain shoveled the puck to Jason Demers in the slot, and Demers found Marleau for a quick snap shot that beat Devan Dubnyk at 3:45.
Edmonton’s recent scoring woes were on full display later in the second. Ryan Smyth had Alex Stalock beat on a wraparound attempt, but clanged it off of the far post with 12 minutes to go. David Perron rang another one off of the post on the ensuing faceoff, and moments later, Marc-Edouard Vlasic broke up a three-on-one with some good stick work.
The Oilers finally ended their home scoreless drought at 214 minutes and 52 seconds when Nail Yakupov’s blast got through Stalock on an Edmonton power play at 12:48.
Stalock, starting for the second time in three games, made his best stops to preserve the two-goal cushion at the second intermission. He denied Yakupov with 3:17 to go when the second-year Russian broke in alone, and later stoned Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ power move to the crease with about a minute to go.
Sharks forward Marty Havlat, who is scoreless in six of his seven games this season, was a healthy scratch after taking warmups. Mike Brown returned to face the team that dealt him to San Jose for a fourth round pick on Oct. 21.
Thornton has a seven-game point streak, with a goal and nine assists over that span.
The Sharks and Oilers play four more time this season, with the next meeting on Jan. 2 at SAP Center.
San Jose was 1-for-6 on the power play, and Edmonton finished 1-for-3.
Leading 3-1, the Sharks had a chance to put the game away when Yakupov was issued a double-minor for high sticking Andrew Desjardins at 13:04 of the third period. Instead of increasing the lead, penalties to Marleau and Scott Hannan nullified most of the advantage. Edmonton had a brief advantage at the tail end of Hannan’s holding minor.
Stalock was starting for the second time in the last three games, and remains unbeaten in four appearances. It was his first career appearance against Edmonton.
Devan Dubnyk stopped 34 Sharks shots and fell to 4-5-2 career against San Jose.
Havlat out, the Sharks’ forward lines had a different look against Edmonton. Thornton, Hertl and Wingels stayed together, while James Sheppard was on the wing of Marleau and Logan Couture. Pavelski, John McCarthy and Tyler Kennedy were the third line, and Desjardins, Matt Nieto and Mike Brown comprised the fourth line.
The Sharks’ have a day off in Chicago on Saturday before playing the Blackhawks on Sunday at 4 p.m. PST. They host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Nov. 21 to kick off a five-game homestand that includes games against New Jersey, Los Angeles, St. Louis and Anaheim.