SAN JOSE – It’s now a best-of-three, and if there’s any such thing as momentum in a playoff series, it’s all in the Sharks’ corner.
Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture each scored twice, and Brent Burns notched three assists in a 7-0 San Jose romp that evened its first round series with the Oilers at two games apiece. Martin Jones stopped all 23 shots he faced in net.
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 scoring just three goals in the series through three games – all in Game 1 – they tied the franchise record for most goals ever scored in a playoff game.
It took just 15 seconds for the Sharks to end a scoreless drought of exactly 120 minutes. Pavelski got the blade of his stick on a Justin Braun floater after an offensive zone faceoff win, and the puck bounced through Cam Talbot.
The floodgates opened from there, thanks in large part to the power play.
Couture increased the Sharks’ lead to 2-0 with a man advantage at 11:02, whipping in a seam pass from Pavelski that was deflected in the slot by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins before Couture pulled it in. Talbot misplayed the shot.
San Jose added four more in the middle frame.
Patrick Marleau’s goal came after Pavelski was stopped in the slot, again on a Sharks power play, upping the lead to 3-0 at 2:02.
A pair of even strength goals a little more than three minutes apart put the game out of reach. 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.
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.
David Schlemko’s power play goal at 6:45 of the third period capped the scoring.
The game got chippy in the second with the Sharks holding their commanding lead. Leon Draisaitl was issued a five-minute major and game misconduct at 13:44, pitchforking Chris Tierney in the groin as the two battled in the corner. Later, Patrick Maroon cross-checked Pavelski from behind at 19:23, and Pavelski made it known to the big forward that he didn’t like the dangerous hit.
The previous fastest goal in a playoff game was by Dany Heatley, who scored 28 seconds into a game against the Kings on April 14, 2011.
San Jose ended a three-game home losing streak in the playoffs, including games four and six of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.
The Sharks are 6-9 all-time when a series is tied at two games apiece.
The Sharks were just 1-for-14 on the power play before Game 4. They finished the night 4-for-8, making them 5-for-22 in the series.
Edmonton went 0-for-4, and is just 1-for-12 in the series.
Jones’ shutout was the fourth of his playoff career. He is 16-12 all-time in the postseason.
Talbot, who recorded the shutout in games two and three, allowed five goals on 24 shots before leaving. Broissoit saw eight shots, surrendering two goals.
Mikkel Boedker was a healthy scratch for the second straight game, as the Sharks made no lineup changes from Game 3.
The series goes back to Edmonton for Game 5 on Thursday at Rogers Place, where the teams split the first two games of the series.
The winner of the Sharks-Oilers series will face the winner of Ducks-Flames in the second round. Anaheim has won the first three games of that series.