Sharks blow late lead, are outclassed in overtime loss to Oilers

Sharks blow late lead, are outclassed in overtime loss to Oilers

EDMONTON – The first storm came early, and it was expected. It was the second storm developed out of nowhere and blew the Sharks’ house over.

After withstanding Edmonton’s first period push and even taking a lead before the opening frame was over, the Sharks were thoroughly pummeled in overtime of Game 5 of their first-round series. The Oilers’ David Desharnais scored at 18:15 of the overtime period to give his team a 4-3 win, in a result that seemed inevitable as the extra session progressed.

Leading 3-2 to start the third, the Sharks decided about midway through the frame that they’d start trying to run out the clock. It’s a strategy that’s not uncommon, especially on the road in an unfriendly environment.

They were doing it well, too, until Oscar Klefbom unleashed a powerful one-timer that beat Martin Jones to the far side with less than three minutes to go. That tied the score at 3-3.

Despite a full intermission after the third period to regroup, the Sharks still skated in overtime as if they were stunned. They were outshot 14-2, and the only reason it lasted as long as it did was the San Jose goalie.

“We started to defend with about 10 minutes left in the third, we got in that mindset, and when they tied it up and went to overtime we couldn’t get back on our toes again and reestablish our forecheck,” coach Pete DeBoer said.

Jones denied Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Connor McDavid on prime chances, doing everything he could to buy the Sharks enough time to find their legs. It never happened.

“We weren’t really going and [Jones] allowed us…to get going. We just never really got going,” Joe Pavelski said.

Instead, Draisaitl deftly set up Desharnais in the slot, and the diminutive forward whizzed a shot past Jones to put the Oilers just one win away from the second round.

“Just happens quick,” Jones said. “[Draisaitl] threw the puck from the corner, I just lost it for a second and saw it go by my shoulder.”

The Sharks seemed to have the game under control midway through the second period when David Schlemko’s seeing-eye point shot put them ahead, 3-1. It was the Sharks’ third straight goal after Patrick Maroon had given the Oilers an early lead that the Sharks erased on goals by Patrick Marleau and Mikkel Boedker.

Late in the second, though, Mark Letestu’s power play goal with just 1:27 to go with Brent Burns off on a delay of game penalty put the game within reach in the third for Edmonton. They just needed one little opening, and they got it when Desharnais skated behind the net before setting up the Klef-bomb that tied it.

“I think we battled hard tonight and we did some good things that made us [go] up 3-1, and unfortunately we couldn’t battle it out,” Boedker said.

The Sharks wouldn’t have changed anything they did in the third period, which DeBoer said he “really liked.” They were, after all, just two minutes and 46 seconds away from taking the series lead back.

“I thought we did a good job limiting their chances. They had one good shot they buried,” Schlemko said.

Overtime, though, was baffling. The Sharks never had a chance, and now their season is one loss away from being over.

“It would have been nice to at least have an attempt to cash in there,” Pavelski said.

Sharks start training camp with familiar face elsewhere: ‘It’s kind of strange’


Sharks start training camp with familiar face elsewhere: ‘It’s kind of strange’

SAN JOSE — There was something familiar missing in San Jose when the Sharks opened training camp.

For the first time since 1996, the Sharks took the ice for their first training camp practice without Patrick Marleau on the team as the franchise's career leader in games and scoring left as a free agent for Toronto this summer.

"I've spent a lot of years with him. It is kind of strange," said Joe Thornton, who came to San Jose in 2005. "It's his birthday today too. It's a little weird, but he's going to do great up in Toronto."

Marleau had been with San Jose since being picked second overall in 1997 but left the Sharks to sign an $18.75 million, three-year deal with the Maple Leafs in July.

Marleau has 508 goals and 574 assists for 1,082 points. He had 46 points in playing all 82 games last season as he rebounded from a disappointing 2015-16 season by scoring 27 goals, including the 500th of his career. He ranks first in San Jose in career goals, games and points.

Only six players in NHL history have played more games with one team than Marleau's 1,493 in San Jose. The Sharks haven't played a game without him on the ice since April 7, 2009.

"Obviously Patty has meant so much to this organization and this group," captain Joe Pavelski said. "Everyone in this room has pretty much played with him and Patty has done something to help them out. He'll be missed. ... Just by committee somebody will step in and fill that kind of hole. That's what we'll need."

The Sharks made no major additions this offseason so will need to replace Marleau's 27 goals by getting development from younger players like Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc and Danny O'Regan, as well as bounce-back seasons from veterans like Thornton, Mikkel Boedker and Joonas Donskoi.

Only Pavelski, Logan Couture and Brent Burns are back after scoring more than 12 goals last season.

"When I look back at last year we had key people either have down years or miss significant time with injuries or coming off injuries," coach Peter DeBoer said. "I think if we can stay healthy I think we've got a large group of guys that can really take a step this year and I expect a step out of them."

While the Sharks lost Marleau in free agency, they did manage to keep Thornton by giving him a one-year, $8 million contract despite dwindling production last season and offseason knee surgery.

He scored just seven goals — his fewest in an 82-game season since his rookie year in 1997-98 — and was a key part of a power-play unit that uncharacteristically struggled last season. But he still managed 43 assists, teaming with captain Joe Pavelski on San Jose's top line.

Thornton missed the final week of the regular season and the first two playoff games with a left knee injury before returning for the final four games of a first-round loss to Edmonton. Thornton then underwent surgery to repair his MCL and ACL after the season but was back skating in August and started ramping it up for training camp two weeks ago. Thornton believes the lower-body work he did in rehab this offseason will pay dividends on the ice.

"They feel real strong," he said of his legs. "I feel a lot of pop out there. They're probably as strong as they've ever been just because I had to rehab that knee so much."

Sharks Media Day highlights: Beards, smiles & cup checks


Sharks Media Day highlights: Beards, smiles & cup checks

The boys were back together in San Jose on Thursday for Sharks Media Day, with plenty of smiles and moments of levity. Check out the highlights...

Hey Jumbo, you dropped something. 👖🤷‍♂️

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Martin Jones is pretty good at photobombs 📸💣

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🤳 Media Day #SJSharks

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New season. New commercials. 🕉🚌📺 #ComingSoon #SharksForLife

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