Sharks

Instant Replay: Sharks come alive, crush Oilers to even series

Instant Replay: Sharks come alive, crush Oilers to even series

BOX SCORE

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.

Special teams

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.

In goal

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.

Lineup

Mikkel Boedker was a healthy scratch for the second straight game, as the Sharks made no lineup changes from Game 3.

Up next

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.

Sharks' Timo Meier off to hot start and finding early chemistry with linemates

Sharks' Timo Meier off to hot start and finding early chemistry with linemates

In the first month of the NHL season, it’s fairly typical for offensive lines to get jumbled up as teams try to find chemistry. But Sharks forward Timo Meier has already found it with linemates Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl, and it's already leading to goals. 

“We’ve been strong defensively, which helps us to set up our o-zone game,” the winger explained the day after his line opened up the scoring in San Jose’s 4-1 victory over the New York Islanders. “Those are two guys who can make a really nice play. I think we put all of our strengths on the ice together.”

One of Meier’s strengths is how well he can compliment his veteran linemates. It was almost a year ago that bench boss Peter DeBoer made the 22-year-old forward a healthy scratch in a game against the New York Rangers. Now, Meier is a playmaker who can be slotted on any veteran’s wing and make a difference.

“I’ve always taken pride in being a guy who can play up and down the lineup,” he said. “I try to be easy to play with. We have so many great guys on this team, it really doesn’t matter who you’re on a line with.”

In the latter half of his 2017-18 campaign, the Swiss native began finding his footing and putting points on the board on a more regular basis. He constantly had the puck, findinga way to elude opposing defensemen and post up in front of the net to tap in a goal or two. Meier went from the player who registered two points in his first seven games to the player who tallied two goals and two assists in his last seven games. Through this new season, he already has six points in eight contests and has scored four times.

What’s more impressive than his scoring prowess, however, is his ability to create on-ice chemistry with his veteran teammates. This ability first came to light last season when he was placed on San Jose’s top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, with the Sharks’ captain regularly setting the young winger up for goals. 

That success has continued this season with Meier on the second line with Couture and Hertl. Perhaps the best example of their chemistry came in that first goal on Saturday, when Meier snagged a nice feed from Couture in front of the net and knocked in his own rebound past Islanders’ netminder Robin Lehner.

“You try to learn from these guys,” Meier said of working with both Pavelski and Couture. “You’ve got to talk a lot on the ice to make it easy for each other.”

That communication has obviously paid dividends. Despite being one of the youngest players on the team, Meier has developed a veteran mentality that makes him a playmaker no matter who he’s skating with.

“You have to know how they play,” Meier said, “but most importantly you have to know how you have to play up your strengths. 

“And that’s what I’m trying to do. Just play my game and it will help them play better.”

Sharks notes: DeBoer sees depth starting to show its full potential

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Sharks notes: DeBoer sees depth starting to show its full potential

SAN JOSE -- Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said Saturday night he believed his team really displayed its roster depth in a 4-1 victory over the New York Islanders.

"I thought the story of the game was contributions from all 20 guys," he said. "I thought we got a great team effort from everybody."

There was so much talk at the start of the season about how much depth the Sharks had on paper -- and then more talk about how that depth wasn't showing right off the bat. But as this team works its way through the first month of the season and builds chemistry, that depth is starting to show.

"I think every game you start to move around the ice a little more seamlessly without thinking as much," DeBoer said. "I think every game you get a little more comfortable."

Timo Meier agreed with that assessment, saying he felt that kind of line depth even came into play in the previous game -- a win over the Buffalo Sabres.

"Every time we get a win, it's because we have a lot of guys chipping in," the winger said. "And that's how it needs to be. I think the depth of our team is our strength."

Will that strength play a role in the upcoming road trip? DeBoer expressed earlier in the week he felt the Sharks weren't rewarded for the chances they created on the previous roadie.

Meier said the team would just have to keep grinding.

"Sometimes there are tough buildings and tough circumstances," Meier said. "We've just just gotta stick with it."

Joe Thornton is expected to accompany the Sharks on their upcoming three-game road trip this week, although there's no word as to whether or not the center will play. 

Thornton has practiced with the rest of the Sharks all week since they've been at home facing the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders, but he has yet to be in a game lineup. 

***

On the same morning that news of Thornton's plans to go on the road trip came to light, rookie forward Dylan Gambrell was reassigned to the San Jose Barracuda.

Gambrell is expected to suit up for the AHL club on Sunday night when they host the Stockton Heat. 

Gambrell was recalled by the Sharks when Thornton left the previous road trip, but he was reassigned as soon as the team returned home so he could participate in the Baracuda's game Monday night. He has played in two games for the Baracuda so far this season, contributing on the score sheet every time.

Gambrell did not join them in their Saturday night game in Stockton, and instead was a healthy scratch for the NHL club.

DeBoer hinted earlier in the week that Gambrell might play in his first NHL game of the season fairly soon. When NBC Sports California caught up with Gambrell on Tuesday about working with both teams, the 22-year-old said he's embracing the workload that comes with it and that he'll be happy with wherever he's slotted.