Fri, Apr 14, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Sharks teach upstart Oilers Stanley Cup playoff lesson

AP, EDMONTON, Alberta

Darnell Nurse, left, and Eric Gryba, right, of the Edmonton Oilers hit Timo Meier of the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, on Wednesday.

Photo: AFP

The veteran San Jose Sharks taught the upstart Edmonton Oilers a lesson in playoff intensity on Wednesday, spotting them two early goals before coming back to win 3-2 in overtime.

Melker Karlsson scored at 3 minutes, 22 seconds of overtime in the opening game of their NHL Western Conference series.

“We got the chance and I snuck it in,” said Karlsson, who fired a snap-shot from the top of the right circle past goalie Cam Talbot. “I got a little space and [Joe Pavelski] saw me in the middle. It was a half-breakaway. It was nice.”

The Oilers took a 2-0 lead in the first period only to get outshot 34-9 the rest of the way.

The Sharks came back and tied the game with just over 15 minutes left in regulation.

Joel Ward and Paul Martin also scored for San Jose.

Milan Lucic and Oscar Klefbom scored for the Oilers before 18,347 fans at a sold-out Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta.

Edmonton center Connor McDavid, the NHL’s leading scorer in the regular season, had one assist in his playoff debut to extend his point streak to 15 games, but for the most part he was held in check by the Sharks.

“We did a good job starting the game, but we’ve got to finish,” McDavid said. “They had the puck all night. They played in our zone. When you don’t have the puck you’re not going to get many shots on goal.”

It was the first playoff game in the Oilers’ new downtown arena and the team’s first post-season game in almost 11 years.

The Sharks played without star center Joe Thornton, who is day to day with a left-knee injury, but center Logan Couture returned to the lineup with a full face cage. He missed seven games after having his mouth and teeth smashed by a deflected puck.

The teams were headed in opposite directions coming into the playoffs. The Oilers won 12 of their final 14 regular-season games, while San Jose dropped nine of 13.

However, the Sharks are the defending Western Conference champions with 1,169 games of playoff experience on their roster compared with 342 for Edmonton.

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