NHL Gameday: Oilers look to take fewer penalties against Sharks

NHL Gameday: Oilers look to take fewer penalties against Sharks

Programming note – Sharks-Oilers coverage starts today at 7:00 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on NBC Sports California


Game 1: Sharks 3, Oilers 2 (OT)
Game 2: Friday, April 14, Sharks @ Oilers (7:30 p.m.)
Game 3: Sunday, April 16, Oilers @ Sharks (7 p.m.)
Game 4: Tuesday, April 18, Oilers @ Sharks (7 p.m.)
*Game 5: Thursday, April 20, Sharks @ Oilers (TBD)
*Game 6: Saturday, April 22, Oilers @ Sharks (TBD)
*Game 7: Monday, April 24, Sharks @ Oilers (TBD)

* - if necessary


***In its first playoff game in 11 years, Edmonton jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead in Game 1 on Wednesday only to see the Sharks dominate from the second period on, concluding with Melker Karlsson’s first career playoff overtime goal. The Sharks outshot Edmonton 34-9 after the first intermission.

The Sharks will look to take a two-games-to-none lead on the road in the first round for the second straight season. Last year, they beat the Kings in five games after winning the first two at Staples Center.

***One aspect of the Oilers’ game they’d like to clean up is staying out of the penalty box. On Thursday, Todd McLellan made mention of Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski seeing extended minutes on the power play (they had a whopping 9:36 and 8:42, respectively), while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins spent 6:20 killing penalties.

The Sharks generated 13 shots on goal on the power play in six opportunities, including Joel Ward’s early second period goal.

“There’s some good stuff. I thought we created some chances,” DeBoer said of his power play. “I don’t think it’s where we want it to be yet, but there were some good signs and some good opportunities.”

The Sharks had more than three power plays just three times in their final 14 games of the season.

“I felt like we controlled the play most of the second and third periods, so they took more penalties because we had the puck and they were chasing us,” Logan Couture said. “You’re drawing penalties, it means you’re playing pretty well."

***The Sharks lineup will likely be unchanged from Game 1, as indications are that Joe Thornton will remain out. Edmonton appears to be making at least one change, inserting Matt Benning for Eric Gryba on defense. Gryba was caught out of position on Karlsson's game-winner, and took an elbowing penalty on Couture in the second.


Sharks: Tomas Hertl. The Sharks center posted seven shots on goal, most among forwards, and played his most effective game in months while assisting on Paul Martin’s goal. In his last seven playoff games going back to last season, Hertl has three goals and three assists for six points and a plus-three rating. 

Oilers: Milan Lucic. The big forward factored in on both goals in Game 1, with one goal and one assist. He also took an undisciplined slashing minor in the third period, retaliating on a check from Timo Meier, and was credited with a game-high four giveaways.


Melker Karlsson – Logan Couture – Joe Pavelski
Jannik Hansen – Tomas Hertl – Mikkel Boedker
Joonas Donskoi – Patrick Marleau – Joel Ward
Marcus Sorensen – Chris Tierney – Timo Meier

Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Martin Jones (starter)
Aaron Dell

Patrick Maroon – Connor McDavid – Leon Draisaitl
Milan Lucic – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jordan Eberle
Drake Caggiula – Mark Letestu – Zack Kassian
Benoit Pouliot – David Desharnais – Iiro Pakarinen

Oscar Klefbom – Adam Larsson
Andrej Sekera – Kris Russell
Darnell Nurse – Matt Benning

Cam Talbot (starter)
Laurent Brossoit


Sharks: Joe Thornton (left knee) is doubtful.

Oilers: Tyler Pitlick (torn ACL) is out.


The Sharks are 8-2 all-time when leading a series 2-0, and 9-5 all-time when a series is tied 1-1.

The Sharks have an all-time Game 2 record of 16-19, including 7-12 on the road.


“What we've done all year is just believe in the process and just stay with it, believe in one another and try to make plays. It’s a long game. May not win it in the next couple minutes, but if you just stay with it and stay positive, [we’ll] give ourselves some chances.” – Joel Ward

The anatomy of Jannik Hansen's recently-broken scoring drought after nearly one year


The anatomy of Jannik Hansen's recently-broken scoring drought after nearly one year

Jannik Hansen's game-winning goal against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday marked the first time he scored in 355 days. 

Hansen last scored on Mar. 30, 2017 against the Edmonton Oilers, his second goal with the Sharks following an in-season trade. His scoring drought, in all, lasted 44 regular season games, 50 if you include the postseason. 

How exactly does a goal-scoring drought last nearly a year? The right (wrong?) circumstances all need to come together, and that was certainly the case for Hansen for much of the last year.

For one, the Danish forward was in and out of the lineup. San Jose played 83 regular season and postseason games between Hansen's second and third goals, and he did not play in 33 of those games. Plenty of players have had rough 50-game stretches, and that's often without not playing for weeks at a time, as Hansen has done a couple of times this season. 

When Hansen did draw into the lineup this year, however, he wasn't generating offense at the same rate he had in the past. This season, Hansen's five-on-five shot rate (6.19 shots per 60 minutes), shot attempt rate (10.53 individual corsi per 60), and unblocked shot attempt rate (8.95 individual fenwick per 60) were all down from his career averages, according to Corsica Hockey. 

That decline is natural, considering Hansen turned 32 just six days ago. Those rates were not down enough, however, to expect him to fail to score in his first 39 appearances this season. Naturally, a long run of bad luck played a big role in Hansen's dry spell.

Hansen went 0-for-66 in shots over the 50 consecutive regular season and playoff games in which he did not score. He's a career 11-percent shooter, and had he shot at his career average, he would have scored seven goals during that time. That feels about right for a bottom-six forward. 

In many ways, all of these factors fed into one another. Hansen wasn't generating shots or scoring, then was scratched, then couldn't find the back of the net when he returned and was scratched again. All the while, fellow fourth-liners Marcus Sorensen (26.7 percent shooting percentage this season), Joel Ward (14.3 percent) and Barclay Goodrow (13.2 percent) were converting on their chances, forcing Peter DeBoer's hand. 

His possession play has been solid all season (50.74 percent corsi-for, per Natural Stat Trick), but the offense hasn't followed. When it does, as was the case Tuesday night, he can be an effective fourth-line forward, and the goal on Tuesday bought him more time to prove it. 

Sharks blow out Devils for season-high fifth straight win

Sharks blow out Devils for season-high fifth straight win


SAN JOSE -- Jannik Hansen scored his first goal of the season and fellow fourth-liners Eric Fehr and Barclay Goodrow also scored to help the San Jose Sharks win their season-high fifth straight game, 6-2 over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.

Logan Couture added his 30th goal of the season, and Joe Pavelski and Mikkel Boedker also scored to give the Sharks a four-point lead over third-place Los Angeles in the Pacific Division with one game in hand.

Brent Burns added three assists and Martin Jones made 26 saves.

The scoring barrage by San Jose spoiled Cory Schneider's return to net for the Devils. Schneider allowed four goals on 14 shots before getting pulled midway through the second period of his first start since March 8. Schneider has lost 11 starts in a row since his last win for the Devils on Dec. 27.

Taylor Hall scored his 32nd goal of the season and Blake Coleman also scored for the Devils, who lead Florida by just one point in the race for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Panthers have two games in hand.

After Hansen and Fehr scored in the first period, Goodrow chipped one in midway through the second period on a surprising night of scoring from the fourth line when he beat Schneider on a 2-on-1.

Couture then scored 40 seconds later on San Jose's first shot against Keith Kinkaid for his third career 30-goal season. Boedker added San Jose's second power-play goal of the night late in the second and the rout was on.

The Sharks got off to a fast start in their first game back from a 3-0 Canadian road trip, scoring three goals in the first period and killing 1:20 of a two-man advantage for New Jersey.

The teams traded goals to start with Fehr beating Schneider over the shoulder from a bad angle and Hall answering when he stole a bouncing puck from Justin Braunand beat Jones with a quick shot.

San Jose then scored twice in a span of less than three minutes to take the lead. Pavelski tipped in a shot from Kevin Labanc on the power play to give the Sharks the lead.

Then after Jones denied Damon Severson from in close at one end, Dylan DeMelo sent a long pass that Hansen chased down and then beat Schneider on a breakaway for his first goal since March 30, 2017.

NOTES: DeMelo has 10 assists this month. ... San Jose D Brenden Dillon has a five-game point streak. ... Devils F Miles Wood (upper body) was scratched and Jesper Bratt played in his place.


Devils: Visit Pittsburgh on Friday.

Sharks: Host Vegas on Thursday.