Edmonton Oilers

How Timo Meier, Joe Thornton and Kevin Labanc keyed Sharks' road sweep

How Timo Meier, Joe Thornton and Kevin Labanc keyed Sharks' road sweep

There were nine goals scored in the Sharks' road win over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night. Timo Meier was on the ice for more than half of them.

The game got much better for Meier as it went along, as he got off to a pretty terrible start, but managed to rebound for an impressive finish.

Just over four minutes into the game, Meier overskated a puck in the defensive zone. It made its way over to Edmonton's Sam Gagner, who promptly lifted a backhand into the back of the net to give the Oilers an early lead. 76 seconds later, San Jose found itself in a 2-0 hole after Edmonton superstar Connor McDavid lived up to his status with a highlight-reel goal. Meier was on the ice for that one, too.

At that point, it looked like it was going to be a long night for the Sharks. Very long. But it ended up being one for the Oilers instead, and Meier was perhaps the main reason why. He scored two goals on the evening, each bookending San Jose's streak of five unanswered from midway through the first period all the way through the beginning of the third. He nearly finished off the 6-3 victory with a hat trick but had to live with a primary assist instead. When asked after the win what prompted the Sharks' response, Meier insisted it was more mental than anything strategic.

"We didn't change too much," Meier told NBC Sports' Jamie Baker from the bench after the win. "I was on the ice for both goals. McDavid, he's gonna make a play, he's gonna beat somebody with his speed. So, we stuck with it, we didn't get negative, we battled hard, and then, you never know what happens. And today, we came out on the good end because we kept going and we stayed positive."

It was San Jose's second straight come-from-behind road win over a divisional opponent, and frankly, completed what has been the Sharks' best two-game road stretch so far this season. Meier skated on a line with Joe Thornton and Kevin Labanc in each of the two impressive victories, over which the three players combined for four goals and seven assists. Four of those assists came from Thornton, who is now up to 1,502 points in his legendary career.

"Incredible what he's achieving," Meier said of Thornton. "The numbers say it all. Just being out there with him and learning from him, and today, he made some great passes ... so it just shows that he's still capable of changing the game. As a line, I think we started to work really well together. We've gotta continue like that."

[RELATED: Why Sharks might trade Jumbo, Marleau in addition to Dillon]

It has happened partly out of necessity, but it appears interim coach Bob Boughner might have found something with that second line. It's no coincidence that they've had ample success together while the Sharks have looked the best they have in months.

Sharks takeaways: What we learned in outstanding 6-3 win over Oilers


Sharks takeaways: What we learned in outstanding 6-3 win over Oilers


For the second time in two games, the Sharks failed to score first against a Western Canadian opponent. For the second time in two games, San Jose came from behind to earn an impressive road win.

The Sharks fell behind just over four minutes into their game against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Thursday night, and unlike their 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday, they didn't score the second goal of the contest, either. But just when it looked like the team was headed for a blowout loss, San Jose flipped the script and dominated from that point on, finishing with a 6-3 win.

The Sharks would go on to score five unanswered goals after Edmonton had taken a 2-0 lead, and kept the Oilers off the scoresheet for the vast majority of the contest. San Jose got contributions from all four lines, and goaltender Aaron Dell was very solid in net after some shaky moments early on.

Here are three takeaways as the Sharks completed the Albertan sweep:

One they'll always remember

Maxim Letunov and Alexander True made their NHL debuts in Tuesday's win in Calgary. On Thursday night in Edmonton, both rookies earned their first career NHL points.

Letunov was the first to get off the schneid. He showed great strength and patience in fighting off an Oilers defender in front of the Edmonton net midway through the second period, allowing him to slide the puck in past an out-of-position Mikko Koskinen.

Just over five minutes later, Stefan Noesen gave San Jose a 4-2 lead with his fifth goal of the season, but it was a far more memorable goal for a different member of the fourth line. True got the secondary assist for his first career point.

With Tomas Hertl done for the season and Logan Couture expected to miss several more weeks, the Sharks are making a conscious effort to give opportunities to some of the younger players in their system. Through their first two career NHL games, both Letunov and True have taken advantage.

Welcome to the NHL

Letunov and True had the happy 'welcome to the NHL' moments. Their fellow rookie, defenseman Mario Ferraro, had one on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Early in the first period, Edmonton superstar Connor McDavid received the puck in the neutral zone and immediately kicked it into high gear as he drove towards San Jose's net. Ferraro took one wrong step in trying to obstruct McDavid's path, and in the blink of an eye, McDavid was past him and scoring a highlight-reel goal.

McDavid makes a lot of defenders look silly, so Ferraro shouldn't necessarily be feeling any shame. He has had a tremendous rookie season, and it's totally reasonable that he would experience some growing pains from time to time.

Right on time

The Sharks desperately need their best players to pick it up offensively, perhaps none more so than forward Timo Meier. The 23-year-old has had a fairly disappointing fourth season in the NHL after notching 30 goals and 66 points last year, entering Thursday's game with 16 and 33, respectively.

Meier might be the most talented forward on San Jose's roster, and all that talent was on display against Edmonton, as he came this close to tallying his second hat trick of the season.

He scored the Sharks' first and fifth goals of the night, and nearly had their final one as well. Meier had a great tip-in of a point shot to get San Jose on the board, and in the third period, he roofed a shot past Koskinen after the puck bounced back to him off the end boards to give his team a 5-2 lead.

[RELATED: Why Sharks might trade Jumbo, Marleau in addition to Dillon]

It looked like he completed his hat trick later in the third, but Kevin Labanc managed to get his stick on Meier's deflection, as the puck trickled into the back of the net for an insurance goal.

The hat trick would have been nice, but if Thursday is a sign that Meier is finding a groove, both he and the Sharks will take the two goals.

Sharks vs. Oilers live stream: How to watch NHL game online, on TV


Sharks vs. Oilers live stream: How to watch NHL game online, on TV

Fresh off a 3-1 road win over the Calgary Flames, the Sharks will try to complete the Alberta sweep when they take on the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Thursday night.

San Jose has been one of the worst road teams in the NHL this season, but the team sure didn't play like it Tuesday when scoring three straight goals in a come-from-behind victory. With the majority of the Sharks' remaining games coming away from SAP Center, a win in Edmonton on Thursday could help generate some much-need momentum for the stretch run.

[RELATED: Goodrow's fight was turning point in Sharks' win vs. Flames]

It's unlikely to come easy, however, as the Oilers have been one of the hotter teams in the league, going 7-2-1 over their last 10 games. They currently trail the Vancouver Canucks by three points for first place in the Pacific Division, and their first-line duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl is as potent of a one-two punch as there is in the NHL.

Here's how to watch Thursday's Sharks-Oilers game:

When: Thursday, Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m. PT
TV channel: NBCSN
Live Stream: NBCSports.com