The Oilers. Panic sets into the San Jose area as Talbot comes up with another dandy of a game to send the series to Edmonton with the Sharks facing elimination.
The Sharks typically make a strong push at home in the first period, and that’s what happened in Game 3.
Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Thornton and Patrick Marleau were the Sharks five leading scorers in the regular season. Previously, the Sharks had never won a playoff game by more than five goals. If the Sharks can pick up a win Thursday night, San Jose will have an opportunity to close out the series in Game 6 in San Jose Saturday.
“That’s how you really get revenge or payback, by putting pucks in the net”, said Couture. “Everyone was ready. We’ve been there”. But outside of the SAP Center, where the Sharks skate and where they hosted the Stanley Cup Finals a year ago, the team isn’t exactly making headlines.
The Sharks, who haven’t scored since Melker Karlsson’s overtime victor in Game 1, managed only one shot in the final 1:47 with Jones pulled for an extra attacker. Now they will try to carry that over into Game 5 in Edmonton on Thursday night.
“Eventually, our big guys are going to step up and win us a game”. “We’ve been playing these games for a couple of weeks heading into the playoffs, which I think was a good stepping stone for us”, Talbot added. Marcus Sorensen potted a David Schlemko rebound at 9:46 for his first career playoff goal, and Couture got another at 12:52, converting on a wrist shot after a brilliant backhanded feed from the end wall by Jannik Hansen.
“We had a bad night, obviously”. It shows you that a team can take their game to a different level. We haven’t been like that all year. Pavelski fully extended his stick to deflect down a wrist shot by defenseman Justin Braun from the right point, a puck that bounced past Talbot.
Pavelski said: “We got a split there, they got one here”.
The rediscovery of the power play was a big change for the Sharks, who had gone 2-of-15 with the man advantage in the series.
With the Oilers having a two-games-to-one lead, the Sharks clearly needed to find a way to get their top offensive stars going in Game 4, or risk having Tuesday’s game be their last at SAP Center this season.
As bad as things were for the Oilers in the first period, the second was far worse. Can the Oilers take two straight in San Jose? Over the last two games, Talbot has saved 39 shots.
“I think he’s getting more confident as this series goes on”, Thornton said. Laurent Brossoit replaced Talbot – and gave up a second goal to Pavelski, again on a power play, less than four minutes later.
That prompted chants of “We want seven!” from the delirious crowd and it came when Schlemko scored on the power play in the third. “It feels great but, I mean, the job’s not done yet”, Talbot said.
“It was kind of like a goosebumps moment where you’re just like, ‘Oh my God, ‘ like this is intense … we’re in the playoffs, like this is actually happening”.