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Sharks lay down to league's worst
Edmonton Oilers stymie Sharks in Alberta
12/7/14 - By Mike Lee -

The 4-game winning streak went down in flames on Sunday night. The Sharks strutted into Edmonton to play the worst team in the NHL, and limped out a 2-1 loser. The Oilers had not won a single game against a Western Conference team this season (0-12-4) and had lost their 11 games before the NHL's version of life support rolled into town. All the good vibes San Jose had built over the course of the last week were obliterated with the flick of David Perron's twig.

To say this was a morale crushing loss would typically be an understatement, but the Sharks have lost to so many cellar dwellers this season, it's almost to be expected. The Oilers join the Sabres, Hurricanes, Blue Jackets and Panthers as teams vying for the league's worst record that have beat the Sharks this season.

It was also a chance to gain ground on the teams all sitting in playoff spots ahead of them. The Winnipeg Jets hold the 8th seed in the Western Conference, but their overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday gave the Sharks a chance to leap frog them for that last playoff spot. Instead, the Sharks turned in one of their worst performances of the season.

Every loss against a dish rag turns out to be the worst loss of the season, but San Jose somehow figures out how to top themselves.

The slow starts, the lack of offense, and bad luck bounces seem to be the script San Jose consistently repeats in all of their underachieving performances.

San Jose generated 2 shots on goal in the 1st period, which is a number you'd expect from the Oilers. Having put 24 shots on goal in a period last week, it's simply ludicrous that this team could only generate a pair of shots on Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens in a 20 minute span.

The offense should have been flogged in the locker room during the first intermission. Half of them should have been ordered back on the team bus because they weren't contributing at all on the ice.

Not surprisingly, the Oilers did nothing in the scoring department in that opening 20 minute span, but they did muster 11 shots on Alex Stalock. The Sharks was making his first start in a month after sustaining an injury in early November.

Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon was brought in to shake up the Sharks defense when he was acquired from the Dallas Stars two weeks ago, but his presence on Sunday night favored the Oilers. Dillon was sent off for holding 7:36 into the 2nd period, setting up an Oilers power play. Nail Yakupov was then the benefactor of more Justin Braun antics, when he punched home a Jordan Eberle feed after Braun fell on top of his goaltender. Yakupov had a wide open net to shoot at as Stalock sat pinned outside the left post.

Tye McGinn evened things up 2 minutes later on a nasty feed from Patrick Marleau from the leftside end boards. Marleau chased a puck down as it skipped past the left post, then sent a blind backhand pass through the slot to McGinn who was cutting down the right wing. McGinn tapped the feed past Scrivens for the 1-1 tie.

San Jose had a pair of opportunities to grab the lead early in the 3rd period when Boyd Gordon and Steven Pinizotto were whistled for penalties 5 minutes apart. The Sharks 3rd ranked power play did nothing with either opportunity. It was a tailor made chance for the Sharks. Highly ranked power play with two chances against a team almost programmed to lose, but nobody in a Shark sweater put in the work required to convert the chances.

Perron put the Oilers up 2-1 with a bank shot that once again involved Dillon. The shot came from the rights side, hitting Dillon in the stomach, banking it into the goal. Stalock was in the proper position to cutoff any attempt on the net, except for the fluky deflection off his own defenseman's abdomen.

Even with the Perron goal, San Jose had time to comeback, but there was no fight in this dog. Scrivens faced 10 shots in the period but only 4 after Perron's goal. So with 9 plus minutes to play in the regulation and the game on the line, the Sharks petered home with 4 shots on goal. That included a 1:34 span with an extra skater after Stalock was pulled.

Another head scratching performance from the Sharks.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 1 0 1
EDM 0 1 1 2
1st period - None.
2nd period - Yakupov, EDM (Eberle, Petry), 7:45, (pp). 2, SJ, McGinn 1 (Marleau, Burns), 9:51.
3rd period - 3, EDM, Perron 4 (unassisted), 10:26.
Penalties
1st period - Mueller, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 14:42.
2nd period - Sheppard, SJ (roughing), 6:18; Sheppard, SJ (fighting major), 6:18; Aulie, EDM (boarding), 6:18; Aulie, EDM (fighting major), 6:18; Dillon, SJ (holding), 7:36.
3rd period - Gordon, EDM (high sticking), 0:11; Pinizotto, EDM (roughing), 5:30.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Stalock 24 22
EDM - Scrivens 21 20
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 2 9 10 21
EDM 11 7 6 24
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 2
EDM 1 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Ben Scrivens
Mark Fayne
Patrick Marleau
Attendence
16,839
Officials
Referees: Martell, Pollock. Linesmen: Wheler, Murchison.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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