It was ugly. The seven-goal margin of defeat was the worst playoff loss in Oilers franchise history. C Micheal Haley, RW Kevin Labanc, D Dylan DeMelo and LW Mikkel Boedker were San Jose's healthy scratches. Zack Kassian scored his second consecutive game winning goal on Martin Jones, and his goal was the only goal the Oilers would need. But in Game 4, the Sharks ended Talbot's night at 12:52 of the second period after he gave up five goals on 24 shots.
Sharks coach Pete DeBoer juggled his lines for the game, moving Marleau to the top line with Pavelski and Joe Thornton. Defensively, the Edmonton Oilers are allowing 2.5 goals per game and are killing 80.7 percent of their opponents power plays. Instead, they're just turning the volume up as the series goes on. While Kassian has been an unexpected surprise, Talbot might be the Oilers' most valuable player in this series. "You can't say enough about him right now", Talbot said. "It doesn't change no matter what the series is at".
They tuned in to a TV broadcast to see the Oilers tie up the series in Game 2, then hit the road again Saturday.
"I think in the playoffs there are little lessons that are learned along the way", Todd McLellan, the Edmonton coach, said.
In a series with some real offensive firepower, it's quite something that this series between the Sharks and Oilers has been the lowest-scoring of the first round. "They have a hard push right off the bat and they're determined". They will also look to increase Alex Ovechkin's ice time tonight, so watch for him to get double shifted and try and get away from the defensive coverage the Leafs have done well with so far. They'll rely on that.
"It's just about getting inside, winning that one-on-one battle, and when you get the chance, stick it in the net", Pavelski said at practice yesterday. Now they'll have a lot tougher team to dispatch in a long series. In fact, WE'RE that team. "They're experienced. There's never any panic on their behalf".
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The Sharks' power play and its top offensive threats, after being all but silenced for the first three games of the series, led the way. The Sharks Power Play also finally found it's game, which had some missing over a majority of the season, scoring at and impressive 50% clip (4/8).
And it was off to the races. The Oilers have five goals and have shutout the Sharks in back-to-back games.
"The games have been close".
"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.
Talbot departed at that point, but Pavelski's power play goal at 16:46 on Laurent Broissoit - on another patented deflection by the captain - upped the lead to 6-0 at the second intermission.
One of those Oilers fans is Kyla Lane, who recently underwent knee surgery and realized she wouldn't be able to fly to San Jose.
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