Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Sharks beat Oilers 3-2 in overtime in Game 1

Tracy Craig | 20 April, 2017, 09:36

Karlsson wired a shot past Cam Talbot's glove to win it. The Sharks were 1 for 6 with the man advantage while Edmonton was 1 for 3. As of Wednesday morning, the most low-cost tickets for Game 1 on resale site, StubHub, were going for $245 US each.

If Game 1 was a best-case scenario and Game 2 was a worst-case scenario, where does that leave the Sharks going forward? Jones won 19 of 33 games with a 2.16 GAA and.916 save percentage in his own barn during the regular season. They were even worse in the neutral zone, where the Sharks controlled almost 62% of loose pucks, an area that is usually close to equal. There were chances for the Oilers to stretch the lead - Connor McDavid snuck behind the defense for two Grade-A chances - but in the end, it looked and felt like the Sharks were more comfortable with the amped-up intensity of the playoff environment.

The veteran San Jose Sharks gave the upstart Edmonton Oilers a lesson in playoff intensity, spotting them two early goals then roaring back to win in overtime in National Hockey League playoff action Wednesday.

Nevertheless, the home team was sharp early on.

The Oilers didn't get their first shot until the 5:26 mark of the first, and the Sharks had some things to build on once they began the second period.

Lucic made it 2-0 with less than three minutes to go in the period on the power play. Sensing a blowout, the partisan gathering began taunting Jones, but that was the last time the Oilers were heard from.

The Sharks had a first period to forget but found a rhythm in the second period, with Joel Ward's power play goal helping to change the momentum.

And they did so in a dramatic way, outshooting the Oilers 34-9 after the first period.

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Puck management, shift lengths and discipline were all hot topics for the Oilers on Thursday, all mistakes they feel are easily correctable. McDavid had ended the season on a 14-game scoring streak.

Milan Lucic and Oscar Klefbom scored for the Oilers.

Because McDavid is so great, it can be tempting to just roll him out there no matter the matchup and hope to win it (and most times you will), but gift-wrapping the matchup your opponent wants, on home ice, is a mistake.

Joe Pavelski and Marc-Edouard Vlasic had assists on Karlsson's goal 3 minutes 22 seconds into overtime. He also recognized the importance of the performance of players like Donskoi and Ward, as well Tomas Hertl and Karlsson.

It was a sad ending on a thrilling night for Edmonton's playoff-starved fans.

It was the first playoff game in the Oilers' new downtown arena and the team's first postseason game in nearly 11 years.

"MVP, MVP, MVP", 18,000 fans, a sea of orange, shouted in unison. Their experience from last season's Stanley Cup run gave them the confidence necessary to face the 2-0 deficit in an energetic arena.

One fellow in the crowd stood gripping a sign. Edmonton can tie the series with a victory Friday.

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