Taylor Hall and the young Edmonton Oilers had a lot of fun – at
the reeling San Jose Sharks’ expense.
Hall, the No. 1 overall pick in the June draft, scored twice and
added an assist and Devan Dubnyk made 41 saves in the Oilers’ 5-2
victory over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.
”It was a fun night,” said Hall, who has 14 goals and 12
assists in 42 NHL games. ”It could have been a huge night, but
first and foremost we played well as a team and got the win.”
Dustin Penner, Andrew Cogliano and Linus Omark also scored for
Edmonton. The Oilers won for only the second time in 11 games and
ended a three-game road losing streak.
”If you play hard and do everything you can to stay on your
toes you’ll be competitive at least,” Oilers coach Tom Renney
said. ”We certainly had good goaltending and the penalty killing
was really good.”
Joe Thornton and Ryane Clowe scored power-play goals for San
Jose. The Sharks have lost six straight overall – their longest
losing streak in 15 years – and also have dropped six in a row at
home. The Sharks lost seven straight during the 1995-96 season.
”We knew they lost five in a row,” Hall said. ”We knew if we
came in and played well it would be a good feeling to really get
back at them. They’ve beaten us pretty good this year.”
Ales Hemsky had four assists for the Oilers, giving him 10
points in his last eight games. Omark scored his second goal of the
season and his first in nine games.
Thornton has six goals in his last 34 games after scoring five
in his first eight.
”It probably sounds like a broken record and there’s not a lot
to say,” Clowe said. ”Maybe we just have to get it together.
Right now there are no easy games.”
Cogliano got the Oilers on the scoreboard late in the first
period on a shot into the upper-right corner following a pass from
Penner caught Niittymaki out of position early in the second
period and buried a shot to the right corner.
”They’re still a pretty high-powered team,” Penner said. ”I’m
sure they’ll find it. They had plenty of opportunities to put the
puck in the net tonight.”
Most of the sellout crowd began heading for the exits after
Edmonton took a 3-0 lead late in the second period on Hall’s first
goal, which was awarded following a review of the shot. He poked
the puck into Niittymaki’s glove and it slid out and just barely
crossed the goal line.
The rest of the crowd booed the Sharks off the ice at the end of
the period and not many were around when Thornton scored on an
assist from Dany Heatley in the first 6 minutes of the third
”I’m the coach, I’m the leader of this team,” Sharks coach
Todd McLellan said. ”It’s my responsibility to make sure they are
prepared to play. Right now I’m not doing a very good job.”
Omark’s goal midway through the final period came seconds after
the Sharks killed a 5-on-3 advantage to make it 4-1.
Clowe scored with 49 seconds left and Hall had an empty-netter
with 3 seconds left.
NOTES: Sharks C Joe Pavelski was activated from injured reserve
before the game and C Torrey Mitchell was placed on IR. … Oilers
F Magnus Paajarvi had his first point in 11 games when he assisted
on Omark’s goal. … Thornton has points in consecutive games after
a five-game scoreless streak. … Penner had 11 goals in 29 games
against the Sharks. … Sharks F Patrick Marleau is two games shy