After being lost at sea, the San Jose Sharks found their offence on Tuesday night and thrashed the Oilers 7-0, tying their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series at two games each.
On Sunday night in San Jose there was no letdown.
The Sharks kept McDavid, who entered the series with a 14-game point streak, off the board for a second-consecutive game Tuesday.
If the first three games of the series (3-2, 2-0 and 1-0) were a coin toss, this was taking a roll of Loonies, putting it in a sock and beating Edmonton senseless with it. But two players who had breakout seasons – Leon Draisaitl (29 goals, 48 assists) and Patrick Maroon (27 goals) – have failed to record a point. He hadn’t scored any game-winners since March 9, 2015, while with the Vancouver Canucks.
“Every playoff game in my mind is a must win”, said Couture. We knew this already coming into the series, but Game 3 put it into perspective. “We’ll need to find a way to get our offence up and running as well”. More importantly, he was winning battles along the boards on both sides of the puck, an indication that his tenacious two-way game is rounding back into form.
Earlier, Connor McDavid was called for interference for hogtying Pavelski, an infraction that led to a goal by Patrick Marleau. Unless the Hawks can stop the Preds and find a way through the best D in the National Hockey League, this one ends tonight. “The whole team’s play went up a little bit when we did that”. But just like a disappointing loss, they’ll have to quickly move on for the all-important Game 5 back at Rogers Place on Thursday. We haven’t been like that all year so I think it was a one-off.
The Sharks set three notable franchise playoff records in the win: the seven-goal margin of victory was their largest ever, their four power play goals was the most they’ve ever scored in a game, and Pavelski’s goal just 15 seconds in was the fastest in team history.
Despite what the coach said, Connor McDavid, who can not shed the blanket being tossed on him in the neutral zone, said the team will be inclined to forget that one right away.
“(Experience is) only good if you use it in the right way”, Marleau said.
“We’ve got a big orange sign, we’ve got flags, we’ve got insane hair, and so far we’ve gotten four-and-a-half honks, and we’ve gotten a few of those gestures that sometimes you get in traffic if you don’t behave”, said Scheetz. “We have to score to win, so offensively that’s what we’ve got to concentrate on”. Though not a workhorse effort, he has yet to cave to the exertion of playing 73 regular season games. Four of San Jose’s seven goals happened with a man advantage, including the most important score of the night.
Two scoreless period of play led to a Zack Kassian goal by the Oilers in the third period. Couture punched his first playoff goal past Talbot at 11:02 on a feed from Pavelski 1:03 into Kris Russell’s hook of Sharks rookie Timo Meier. Including the postseason, the Sharks have played 2,192 games.
“I had knee surgery over two weeks ago, so that’s why I couldn’t fly – just because of blood clots – and I didn’t think I could have my knee bent for that long”, said Lane. Game 5 is scheduled for Thursday in Edmonton.