EDMONTON – It’s one thing when you’re a team struggling on the power play. It’s another when you’re actually getting outscored on your power play.
Zack Kassian and Connor McDavid recorded shorthanded goals, and Cam Talbot needed to make just 16 saves in a 2-0 Oilers win in Game 2 of their first round series with the Sharks at Rogers Place on Friday night.
The series is tied at one game apiece headed back to SAP Center.
Kassian’s shorthanded breakaway goal was the only scoring through two periods. On a Sharks power play, Joe Pavelski mishandled the puck just inside the blue line, and Mark Letestu’s lead pass sprung Kassian who whipped it through Martin Jones at the 42-second mark.
McDavid’s first career playoff goal upped the Edmonton lead to 2-0, when his wrist shot cleanly beat Jones at 10:31 of the third period while Milan Lucic was serving a high-sticking minor.
The Sharks power play was abysmal throughout the night, finishing 0-for-6 with just five shots on goal and surrendering the pair of shorties.
Edmonton played a much more physical game than the Sharks, led by Kassian. He threw a borderline high hit on Brenden Dillon in the first period, and ran over Logan Couture in the second period with a heavy check while the Sharks were trying to set up another fruitless power play.
The Oilers were credited with 40 hits to just 21 for San Jose, a stat that’s even more telling considering Edmonton had the edge in shots, too.
The Sharks at 9-5 all-time when splitting the first two games of a playoff series.
After going 1-for-6 in Game 1, the Sharks are now 1-for-12 on the power play in the series.
Edmonton was 0-for-3 on the power play, and is 1-for-6 in the series.
Jones dropped to 15-11 all-time in the playoffs, allowing two goals on 34 shots.
Talbot secured his first career playoff win, after Wednesday’s Game 1 was his first career playoff start.
Joe Thornton missed his fifth straight game, although he appears to be getting closer to a return after he skated for more than an hour on Friday morning. The Sharks made no changes to their lineup from Game 1.
Edmonton’s Matt Benning and Anton Slepyshev drew in, while Eric Gryba and Iiro Pakarinen were scratched.
Defenseman Oscar Klefbom left the game in the third period after blocking a Brent Burns shot.
The series shifts to San Jose for games three and four on Sunday and Tuesday, with both games beginning at 7 p.m. The NHL announced the start time for Game 5 back in Edmonton at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 20.