The Sharks went down 2-0 in the first period Wednesday before taking the game over, grinding down the Oilers in Edmonton's end of the rink for long stretches, outshooting them 44-19 and ultimately beating them 3-2 in overtime. On this night it came from Tomas Hertl with a game-high 11 faceoff wins and seven shots, Timo Meier with four hits, Joel Ward with a pivotal goal and four hits, Joe Pavelski with four takeaways, seven faceoff wins and an assist on Melker Karlsson's overtime victor.
San Jose got off to a quick start, controlling much of the play for the first five minutes of the game, before Edmonton pushed back and dominated the rest of the first.
Milan Lucic's power play goal juiced up what was already and electric crowd at Rogers Place.
Joonas Donskoi collected a puck behind the Oilers; net that had been rimmed around the boards by Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
Game 2 goes Friday in Edmonton. His familiarity with the Sharks' roster could be an advantage for the Oilers in what will likely be an emotional series.
It's the day Edmonton Oilers' fans have waited 11 years for - the team is back in the post-season. It also offers them an historical advantage, since the National Hockey League teams that won Game One have gone on to win 68.5 per cent of the seven-game series played over time. "We are looking forward to this and I think it is going to be a very fun series".
It sure sounded like it when Lucic scored his goal. The win was even more surprising as the Sharks finished the season 1-22-1 when trailing after 2 periods.
The Sharks didn't waste time in overtime, with a wide open Melker Karlsson catching a cross ice pass from Captain Joe Pavelski to bury the victor and silence the raucous "Orange Crush" in Edmonton, leaving a stunned arena of fans sure that their heavily favored team would dominate a depleted Sharks roster.
Couture had been ramping things up over the course of the last week, and went through a more physical practice Tuesday to get ready for the playoff opener. Moreover, this is Edmonton's first playoff appearance since the 2005-06 season when they made it to the final losing to Carolina Hurricanes. That makes him a welcome addition to Pavelski's line, according to the captain, as he and Thornton have gone through multiple left wings throughout the year. "(McDavid) gets his eyes up, he's going to make plays. "You lose momentum by doing that", he said.
Fans at the Sharks official watch party at Rookie's Sports Bar hope this year, they'll win the cup after last year's bittersweet disappointment.
Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said Thursday that Thornton's health will dictate when he returns, not where the series happens to stand.
"All year it's more of a question that me and Joe got - if we were getting a different linemate of something, what do you guys think about Melker coming back up?" "This is a good stepping stone for us, we're in a good situation".
Lucic had a hat-trick against the Sharks in their last regular season meeting on April 6.
One thing that will be key for the Oilers in game two is staying out of the penalty box. "If we don't come out clean, and come through the neutral zone with good puck support and a little bit of tempo, we're not going to get the shots".