SAN JOSE– After giving up a goal in a franchise-record 10 seconds at the start of Tuesday’s game, the San Jose Sharks were able to salvage one point with a 3-2 shootout loss to the visiting Edmonton Oilers.
Sam Gagne scored the only goal of the three-round shootout, leaving San Jose one of three teams (along with Los Angeles and Colorado) tied for eighth place in the Western Conference with 74 points..
Down to 17 games in the regular season, the Sharks begin a four-game road trip Thursday against the Dallas Stars. By posting a 5-2 win over Vancouver Tuesday,Dallas held onto first place in the Pacific Division with 77 points. While the slumping Phoenix Coyotes (75 points) lost to Columbus 3-2, Los Angeles outlasted Nashville 5-4 to reach 74 points in the bunched division standings.
San Jose coach Todd McLellan was back behind the bench for the first time in four games.
San Jose and Edmonton spent most of the game tied.
Edmonton caught a break seconds after the opening face-off to take a 1-0 lead. After the Oilers won the face-off, defenseman Ryan Whitney drilled a high shot from the neutral zone toward the San Jose net. Defenseman Dan Boyle could not control the puck just outside the San Josecrease. Taking advantage of the loose puck, an advancing Jordan Eberle netted his team-high 30th goal of the season by whacking the puck by goaltender Antti Niemi at the 10-second mark.
“A bad bounce,” said Boyle. “(Eberle) made a great play, batted it out of the air.”
Boyle responded with an assist on a tying San Jose goal at 3:17 of the first period. When Sam Gagner tried to send the puck out of the Oiler zone, Boyle deftly intercepted the pass and skimmed a cross-ice pass to defensive mate Jim Vandermeer. The veteran lined a slapshot into the top right corner of the net past goaltender Devan Dubnyk for his first goal of the season and first as a Shark.
The second goal produced two goals within a span of 54 seconds.
The Sharks enjoyed a brief 2-1 lead when Ryane Clowe notched his 12th goal of the year at 15:19. Logan Couture pressured Dubnyk at the right post, creating a turnover at the edge of the crease. Clowe came along to jam the puck past Dubnyk.
Edmonton came back with a goal at 16:13. Jeff Petry’s high shot from the left point bounded off the shoulder of Ryane Smith and into the net behind Niemi.
“We had some chances, just didn’t bury them,” said San Jose’s Joe Thornton. The captain has recorded 1,060 points in 1,060 games.
NOTES: Patrick Marleau played in his 1,100th regular-season NHL game…Edmonton moved to 4-4 in shootouts for the season, while San Jose dropped to 6-4…Niemi finished with 24 saves.