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No post-break let down vs. Oil
First win in Edmonton in three years
1/26/07 - by Mike Lee

The Sharks exercised a few demons on Friday night to kick off the post All-Star segment of the regular season schedule, by beating the Edmonton Oilers 5-1 in Alberta. Patrick Marleau, one of three players to represented San Jose in the recent NHL showcase, scored two goals and added an assist to pace the Sharks to their first win in Edmonton since November of 2003.

The four goal margin of victory doesn't do the game justice. San Jose outworked the Oilers for a majority of the game, keeping a steady dose of forecheck pressure and up tempo play to keep the puck in Edmonton's zone all night.

Fernando Pisani staked the Oilers to an early 1-0 lead after his 50-foot shot pin-balled off Sharks goaltender Vesa Toskala and Douglas Murray and then into the net. The Sharks didn't panic even though they had difficulties getting anything past Oilers goaltender Dwayne Roloson for a majority of the 1st period.

Joe Thornton, another Sharks All-Star, finally got the Sharks on the board with 1:54 to play in the opening stanza by snapping home a feed from Ryane Clowe into an unprotected net. Roloson got caught on the off wing as Josh Gorges shot from the left side slid to the end boards. Clowe scooped up the loose puck and quickly fed Thornton, who was even with the goal line near the right corner.

Marleau would score what would turn out to be the game winning goal at the 3:21 mark of the 2nd period. The Sharks captain swept home a touch pass from Clowe on the Oilers doorstep. Marcc-Edouard Vlassic put a shot on net from the right point, but Roloson failed to control the rebound. Clowe slid Marleau the puck in the slot as the Oilers goaltender tried to smother it in front of the right post.

Marleau would setup the Sharks next goal on a rush up ice after Edmonton turned over the puck at the Sharks blueline. The speedy Shark grabbed a loose puck and raced up the left wing before slamming on the breaks as trailing help arrived in the form of Mike Grier. Grier grabbed the touch pass from Marleau in the slot and snapped a shot through the 5-hole to give San Jose a 2-goal lead.

Gorges setup Patrick Rissmiller's 4th goal of the season to cap the Sharks 3-goal period by firing a shot on net from the blueline. Rissmiller was skating across the slot in an attempt to create some traffic in front of Roloson, but he over-skated the shot and had to reach back with his stick in order to get wood on it. He did, redirecting the puck past Roloson for a comfortable 4-1 lead.

Edmonton failed to generate any real scoring chances in the 3rd period because of a continued Sharks press in the offensive zone. Down by three goals, the Oilers where still out-shot by San Jose 11-8 in the period.

San Jose would finish the game with 38 shots on net, including Marleau's final attempt of the game at 19:33, which found the back of the net. Thornton started the play with a blind pass out to the slot from behind the Oilers net. Marleau was breaking in on goal and one-timed a shot past Roloson..


Tom Pilhal made his NHL debut, logging 10:08 of ice time on 10 shifts. Plihal was recalled from Worcester on Wednesday. He recorded his first shot on goal in the 3rd period, after sending two attempts earlier in the game wide of the net.

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1 2 3 T
SJ 1 3 1 5
EDM 1 0 0 1
1st period - 1, EDM, Pisani 10 (Horcoff, Smyth), 13:20. 2, SJ, Thornton 14 (Clowe, Gorges), 18:06, (pp).
2nd period - 3, SJ, Marleau 23 (Clowe, Vlasic), 3:21. 4, SJ, Grier 10 (Marleau), 14:13. 5, SJ, Rissmiller 4 (Gorges, Grier), 16:34.
3rd period - 6, SJ, Marleau 24 (Thornton, Clowe), 19:33.
1st period - Pisani, EDM (hooking), 7:00; Winchester, EDM (high sticking), 14:26; Stoll, EDM (slashing), 16:26.
2nd period - Brown, SJ (roughing), 4:01; Bergeron, EDM (roughing), 4:01; Hejda, EDM (hooking), 5:43; Brown, SJ (hooking), 9:22; Smyth, EDM (hooking), 10:25; Hejda, EDM (hooking), 11:42; Marleau, SJ (holding), 12:01.
3rd period - Horcoff, EDM (slashing), 0:54; Reasoner, EDM (hooking), 5:53.
  Shots Saves
SJ - Toskala 21 20
EDM - Roloson 38 33
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 13 14 11 38
EDM 6 7 8 21
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 8
EDM 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Marleau
Mike Grier
Ryane Clowe
Referees: Gord Dwyer, Kerry Fraser. Linesmen: Darren Gibbs, Mark Wheler.

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