Thursday, April 13, 2017

Watch: Karlsson Scores OT Winner to Down Oilers

Melker Karlsson scored at 3:22 of overtime to give the San Jose Sharks an impressive 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night at Rogers Place. San Jose takes a 1-0 series lead over the Oilers, with Game 2 set for Friday in Edmonton.

Things started swimmingly for the host Oilers, who broke out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Oscar Klefbom and Milan Lucic in the first period. But the Sharks stormed back and controlled the run of play for the final two periods.

San Jose got a second period goal from Joel Ward and then tied it on a tap in by Paul Martin early in the third.

They continued to control things in overtime, and when Darnell Nurse and Eric Gryba got crossed-up on defense, Melker Karlsson was able to sneak down the off wing, take a pass from Joe Pavelski and bury a wrister past Cam Talbot.

Talbot, making his first playoff start, was solid in goal for the Oilers, and they needed him to be. The Sharks outshot the Oilers 44-19 in the game, and 34-9 after the first period.

It was an impressive effort for a team that was without Joe Thornton and one that had stumbled in March and April, going 4-9 in its last 13 games to give up a big lead in the Pacific Division standings.

Connor McDavid got his first playoff point when he was credited with the secondary assist on Milan Lucic's first power play goal, but the rookie sensation was unable to cash in on two Grade A chances later in the game. He was stopped on a clean breakaway by Martin Jones when he slipped between Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun, and later he beat Brent Burns wide during 4-on-4 play with Vlasic in the box, but didn't get a great shot off.

The Sharks got solid play from all four lines and all six defenseman and never relented. They won when trailing after two periods for just the second time this season. In the regular season they trailed after two 25 times and won just once.