EDMONTON â€” It was a game that got away on the San Jose Sharks.
After establishing a 3-1 lead late in the second period Thursday night, the Sharks looked like they would be going home with a chance to close out their Western Conference quarter-final series against the Edmonton Oilers.
Mikkel Boedker, Patrick Marleau and David Schlemko found the back of the net to give the Sharks a two-goal advantage.
However, a late second period power-play goal from Mark Letestu allowed the Oilers to stay within striking distance and, with just 2:46 remaining in the third period, Edmonton tied it up on a goal by Oscar Klefbom.
Letting the lead slip seemed to rattle the Sharks, who were outshot 14-2 in the overtime session before David Desharnais beat San Jose goalie Martin Jones to give Edmonton a 4-3 victory and the series edge.
“You’re playing with fire when you’re playing in your own end all the time,” said Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer. “We couldn’t re-establish any offensive momentum and I think it was because of our mindset in the last 10 minutes of the third. We did a good job of defending, but made one mistake and couldn’t get it back.”
Edmonton now leads the best-of-seven matchup 3-2 and can capture the series Saturday night in San Jose.
Jones was outstanding in the overtime session, facing a shooting gallery and making huge stops on Oilers forwards Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins before finally letting a goal past him 18:15 into overtime.
“That’s what he does,” said Sharks captain Joe Pavelski. “He definitely gives us that chance. We weren’t really going and he made those saves to allow us the chance to get going and we just never really did.”
The win allowed the Oilers to rebound after being humiliated in San Jose during a 7-0 loss in Game 4.
Boedker admits there have been a couple major swings in the series already.
“That’s how it goes,” he said. “You have to play every game like it’s your last one. We are heading home now and we’ll look to tie it up.”
Added Jones: “Our backs are against the wall now, we have to play with some urgency and win a home game.”
The Sharks made it all the way to the Stanley Cup final last season before losing out to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Shane Jones, The Canadian Press