Sharks

Sharks

BOX SCORE

For the second straight game, the Sharks had a lead after allowing an early first goal. For, the second straight game, they allowed a tying goal.

But there was no third-period meltdown against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, as Gustav Nyquist’s game-winning goal late in the second period lifted San Jose to a 3-2 win over Edmonton. 

Here are three takeaways as the Sharks improved to 45-27-9 (99 points) on the season:

A better reaction to giving up a lead

The Sharks' biggest problem in Tuesday's loss to the Vancouver Canucks was leaving the door open for a Canucks comeback in the third period. As a result, San Jose should take the response to Leon Draisaitl's tying goal in the second period as an encouraging sign. 

Still, the Sharks didn't build on their one-goal lead, leaving little cushion as the Oilers pushed to the tie the game again. When San Jose faces off against the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, scoring that extra goal could be the difference between winning and losing. 

Aaron Dell’s performance

After allowing five goals on 28 shots in Sunday's loss to the Calgary Flames, Sharks backup goaltender Aaron Dell told reporters he hoped it wasn't his last start of the regular season. 

“I’ll take as many as they’ll give me,” he said about getting another opportunity.

Dell took full advantage Thursday night. Despite allowing the early short-handed goal, he buckled down and looked really strong. He made a couple of big saves, including one particularly dicey stop on a Draisaitl chance in the third period that would've tied the game 3-3. The performance had to have given him, and his teammates in front of him, plenty of confidence. 

 

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Have the Sharks turned a corner?

Sure, the Sharks could have used another goal to make their job easier late in the game. But getting the win and holding the Oilers to just two goals should give them a nice boost as their playoff preparations continue. San Jose should feel less pressure heading into Saturday's regular-season finale against the Colorado Avalanche, knowing there isn't another losing streak on the line.

The Sharks can turn their focus back to getting healthy. Timo Meier took a tumble in the third period and did not return, and San Jose still has other players who are trying to bounce back and be ready for the start of the playoffs.

If the Sharks can get healthy and build off of Thursday’s game, they'll feel much better headed into the postseason.