Last night’s back and forth excitement resulted in the San Jose Sharks triumphing over the Edmonton Oilers with a 5-4 lead. The intensity of the game was a great preview of what the playoffs have in store for everyone involved.
This win ended a two-game losing streak and brought the Sharks within one point of the Anaheim Ducks and the Pacific Division lead. Unfortunately the Sharks have played two more games than the Ducks; however the title is still very much up for grabs.
“You’re happy with the two, but we’ve got to tighten up a lot before the postseason,” said captain Joe Thornton. “We have five games to do that. We’ll take the points, but we’ve got to play a lot better than that.”
The Sharks managed to blow a 3-1 lead with goals scored by Dan Boyle, Andrew Desjardins and Tommy when the Oilers managed to score two in a 37-second span.
Going into the third period it was 3-3 score until Nugent-Hopkins recorded his second goal of the night. The Sharks have been all too familiar with blowing leads as of late.
Fortunately Brent Burns was able to tie the game off of an amazing play by Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton. Pavs made a no-look pass off his skate, kicking it to Thornton who then found Burns just outside the crease.
“It was great,” Thornton said in regards to Pavelski’s pass. “I was just saying, we play soccer before the game; and a nice little play by Pav.”
Patrick Marleau was then able to score on a power play which had not proven successful so far in the game. After being 0 for 5, Marleau poked the puck into the net which brought the Sharks in the lead yet again.
Coach Todd McLellan said it was “a bittersweet win. It was nice to see us come back and score five and the power play contributed. Those types of things are nice, but I’m going to leave the rink a little more frustrated than excited. I’m sure some of our players will leave that way, too.”
McLellan added that “I still think our team looks lethargic. Not as much physically but mentally. Some of the coverage’s that we’re supposed to have, the face-off execution, picking up the right people. We’re there but we’re not really getting it done.”
The Sharks must step up their game this close to the playoffs, especially going up against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. With the standings in the league as of date, the Sharks would face the Kings in the first round of the playoffs. A win here would be amazing for morale, especially looking at the Sharks terrible record of playing the Kings in post-season.
The “lethargic” play must end here.