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5-on-3 magic puts SJ up 2-0
Sharks take another 2-1 win
5/8/06 - by Mike Lee

Should the Sharks go on to win the Stanley Cup this season, we may reflect on a 5-on-3 penalty kill as the defining moment in the Sharks playoff run for years to come. That epic penalty kill came in the 2nd period of the San Jose's game 2 match up with the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night, and in turn sent a powerful message to both teams. The Sharks mean business and they're out to prove that they can play with under whatever situation the opposition throws at them.

Scott Hannan, Kyle McLaren, Mark Smith and Vesa Toskala may also achieve hero status in San Jose for their Herculean effort against the Oilers power play unit. Defending against a 5-on-3 situation is tough enough, but having two of your defenders break their sticks is a recipe for disaster.

The predicament started when Patrick Rissmiller was whistled for interference at 13:01 of the 2nd period and Josh Gorges followed him to the box for boarding Raffi Torres 19 seconds later. Edmonton had a two-man advantage for one minute and forty-two seconds, but the Sharks started to dig themselves in deeper after both Smith and Hannan broke their sticks early on.

Edmonton's power play unit moved the puck well, but every time they tried to get off a shot, it was either blocked by one of the three Sharks penalty-killers or rebuffed by Toskala. Problem was, the Sharks couldn't clear the puck or get a stoppage. The Oilers had the puck for an eternity inside the Sharks zone, but they couldn't get a shot past Toskala. Hannan finally managed to dive on a loose puck and clear it with a hand pass, allowing Rissmiller to step back on the ice.

"That's one of the most amazing things I've ever seen on the ice," Toskala said. "I saw like four pieces of sticks there, and that didn't help the situation. But we got the kill. I guess we got a little lucky."

Edmonton regrouped and mounted a charge that would pay dividends just after Gorges penalty had expired. Sergei Samsonov poked a shot past Toskala, who was sitting on his backside after getting knocked over in the crease. The sellout crowd still rose to its feet after Samsonov scored to acknowledge the penalty kill.

"You should be able to get a tap-in when you get two guys with broken sticks like that," Oilers defenseman Chris Pronger said. "They played it pretty well, and we had some great chances point-blank. We needed a bit more patience."

Steve Staios would put the Sharks on the power play a minute later after drawing an interference penalty. Inspired by the energy in the air, the Sharks turned things up a notch on the ensuing power play, and would counter with a Joe Thornton goal at 17:29.

Jonathan Cheechoo started things off by separating Jarret Stoll and his stick after Stoll hooked Cheechoo under the left arm pit. Patrick Marleau would find Cheechoo with a diagonal pass across the slot setting up a scoring chance. The Sharks winger tried to jam a shot past Dwayne Roloson, but the Oilers netminder made the save. Wha he didn't do was control the rebound, which floated over to Thornton on the opposite side of the ice.

Thornton deftly grabbed the rebound and lifted the puck over a diving Roloson for the game winning tally.

"We're paying the price and producing the effort to win," Thornton said. "I knew it was just a matter of time before I put one of my scoring chances in, but that penalty-kill was a big factor in this game."

San Jose scored a similar goal just 4:26 into the contest when Tom Preissing fired a shot past Roloson after a wild scrum in front of the Edmonton net. Milan Michalek took a couple whacks at the puck with bodies strewn across the crease, bouncing one off the right post. That shot kicked out to Preissing in the slot, but the Sharks defenseman ended the flurry with a shot that cleared all the carnage in front of the net.

Michalek would play a role in a scary moment in the 2nd period after Torres lowered the boom on him with an open-ice hit away from the puck at center ice. Michalek was down for the count for several minutes before skating gingerly to the Sharks locker room. Torres was not penalized, even though Michalek was no where near the puck.

Roloson turned in another valiant effort, stopping 36 shots, but his teammates failed to deliver the offense necessary to win. Edmonton only managed to put 25 shots on goal, and spent the better part of the game in their own zone, much like during Game 1.

"By no means do we think we're out of it," Edmonton's Shawn Horcoff said. "We thought we played a game that was deserving of a win. We felt like the tide turned a little bit."

The Oilers will need to turn the tide a lot if they intend on getting back into the series, which shifts to Rexall Place on Wednesday night.


Radek Dvorak was scratched after suffering a knee injury in Game 1. Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish indicated that Dvorak is likely done for the remainder of the series. Alyn McCauley was also a scratch for San Jose because of his ailing knee. Grant Stevenson got the nod again in McCauley's absence.

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1 2 3 T
EDM 0 1 0 1
SJ 1 1 0 2
1st period - 1, San Jose, Preissing 1 (Michalek, Bernier), 4:26.
2nd period - 2, Edmonton, Samsonov 2 (Horcoff, Staios), 15:23. 3, San Jose, J.Thornton 1 (Cheechoo, Marleau), 17:29, (pp).
3rd period - None.
1st period - Torres, EDM (interference), 9:25; Stoll, EDM (hooking), 10:46; Pronger, EDM (hooking), 15:03; Roloson, EDM, served by Torres (roughing), 15:03; Ekman, SJS (unsportsmanlike conduct), 15:03.
2nd period - Greene, EDM (delay of game), 9:05; Rissmiller, SJS (interference), 13:01; Gorges, SJS (boarding), 13:20; Staios, EDM (interference), 16:10; Horcoff, EDM (tripping), 17:32.
3rd period - None.
  Shots Saves
EDM - Roloson 38 36
SJ - Toskala 25 24
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
EDM 10 7 8 25
SJ 14 10 14 38
Power Play Conversion
EDM 0 of 2
SJ 1 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Scott Hannan
Kyle McLaren
Dwayne Roloson
Referees: Mike Leggo, Michael McGeough. Linesmen: Dan Schachte, Derek Amell.

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