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SJ on the brink after 6-3 loss
Another 3rd period implosion
5/14/06 - by Mike Lee

The Sharks celebrated Mother's Day on Sunday by applying all the rules any good mother would bestow on her children. Play nice, be hospitable to guests and let your little brother win every once in a while. Problem is, half the moms in attendance could have put the puck past the Sharks defense and goaltender Vesa Toskala. The Edmonton Oilers certainly needed little coaxing, scoring six times for the second consecutive game and by doing so, took a 3 games to 2 lead in their best-of-7 series.

The Sharks surrendered four 3rd period goals, including three after scratching back to tie the game at 3-3. The Oilers converted on 3 of 7 power play opportunities and a short-handed chance to push San Jose to the brink.

"We definitely hurt ourselves," said Joe Thornton. "We made too many mistakes. We're just not shooting the puck when we have the chance. ... It's very simple. We lose, we're out. We're not ready to go home yet. We have to pull our socks up and get back to it."

San Jose imploded after a wild series of goals to open the final period. With the Oilers holding a 2-1 lead, the Sharks opened the period on a power play that carried over from the previous period. Patrick Marleau coughed up the puck behind his own net on a forecheck from Ryan Smyth, and the turnover resulted in a Shawn Horcoff goal just 12 seconds into the period.

Christian Ehrhoff would cut the Oilers lead to 3-2 by rifling a shot on the same power play 32 seconds later. The goal lit a fire under the HP Pavilion crowd, which erupted less than two minutes later when Jonathan Cheechoo scored on a wrist shot from the right circle. The Sharks leveraged the crowd's energy to force a turnover in the Oilers end, and a shot by Marleau found its way to Cheechoo who knotted the game at 3-3.

The implosion would begin shortly thereafter.

Things headed south when rookie defenseman Josh Gorges got caught pinching on a Sharks attack in the Oilers zone. Smyth intercepted a pass in his own zone and then caught Horcoff with a pass as he and Fernando Pisani broke out at center ice. Horcoff drew Toskala over to the left post before sending a cross-ice pass to Pisani on the right win. Pisani buried the one-timer into a wide-open net.

Trying to claw back into the game, the Sharks would be hurt by rookie mistakes again with just over five minutes to play when Milan Michalek and Steve Bernier were called for simultaneous penalties. Edmonton would make the Sharks pay on the ensuing two-minute 5-on-3, when Jarred Stoll deposited a pass from Ales Hemsky for the 5-3 lead.

Smyth would convert on the remainder of the power play for good measure at 16:11

Edmonton opened the game with a Pisami goal at 8:29 of the 1st period on their first shot on goal. Pisani deflected a shot by Jaroslav Spacek that fooled Toskala.

Scott Thornton was credited with a goal early in the 2nd period after Christian Ehrhoff cranked a shot from the point, but Smyth would answer two minutes later with his third goal of the playoffs.

Edmonton's first three goals came on 6 shots through the first 30 minutes of play.

"Everybody believes in that locker room," Oilers defenseman Chris Pronger said. "That's the first step for us. Everybody is buying into the system. Even when we were down 0-2, we just felt we could win two home games and be right here."

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1 2 3 T
EDM 1 1 4 6
SJ 0 1 2 3
1st period - 1, Edmonton, Pisani 6 (Spacek, Peca), 8:29.
2nd period - 2, San Jose, S.Thornton 2 (Ehrhoff, Goc), 4:30. 3, Edmonton, Smyth 3 (Pronger, Hemsky), 6:31, (pp).
3rd period - 4, Edmonton, Horcoff 4 (Smyth), 0:12, (sh). 5, San Jose, Ehrhoff 2 (Marleau, Nieminen), 0:44, (pp). 6, San Jose, Cheechoo 4 (McLaren, J.Thornton), 2:30. 7, Edmonton, Pisani 7 (Horcoff, Smyth), 4:03. 8, Edmonton, Stoll 4 (Hemsky, Spacek), 13:40, (pp). 9, Edmonton, Smyth 4 (Horcoff, Pronger), 16:11, (pp).
1st period - Peca, EDM (interference), 1:21; Greene, EDM (roughing), 8:58; S.Thornton, SJS (holding), 11:48; Peca, EDM (cross-checking), 14:28.
2nd period - Horcoff, EDM (holding), 1:20; Smith, SJS (tripping), 5:14; Greene, EDM (holding), 8:55; Staios, EDM (holding), 10:51; Torres, EDM (roughing), 19:03.
3rd period - Hannan, SJS (holding), 10:57; Cheechoo, SJS (interference), 13:31; Bernier, SJS (interference), 14:52; Michalek, SJS (roughing), 14:52; J.Thornton, SJS (slashing), 18:07.
  Shots Saves
EDM - Roloson 24 21
SJ - Toskala 18 12
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
EDM 4 3 11 18
SJ 9 8 7 24
Power Play Conversion
EDM 3 of 7
SJ 1 of 7
3 Stars of the Game
Ryan Smyth
Fernando Pisani
Shawn Horcoff
Referees: Marc Joannette, Bill McCreary. Linesmen: Greg Devorski, Pierre Racicot.

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