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After being blanked in back-to-back games to fall behind in their Western Conference first-round playoff series, the San Jose Sharks turned the tables on the Edmonton Oilers to draw even. San Jose hopes to carry over the momentum when it visits Edmonton on Thursday for a pivotal Game 5.
The Sharks broke out of their offensive funk in a big way in Game 4, tying the franchise record for goals in a postseason game and setting the mark for most power-play tallies (four) in a 7-0 thrashing. They also received contributions from two players who recently returned from injuries as Logan Couture scored a pair of goals while Joe Thornton notched an assist. Edmonton continued its steady march to the penalty box as it technically was short-handed eight times, including a five-minute major during which San Jose cashed in once, to increase its series total to 22. The Oilers dodged a huge bullet, however, as Leon Draisaitl escaped with only a fine from the league for spearing San Jose's Chris Tierney in Game 4 - an infraction that resulted in the major penalty and a game misconduct.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, TVAS, NBC Sports California (San Jose), Sportsnet (Edmonton)
ABOUT THE SHARKS: San Jose also received a big effort from its captain in Game 4 as Joe Pavelski scored his first two goals of the series, including one just 15 seconds into the contest, and added an assist. "We were just ready," Pavelski told reporters. "Everyone was ready. ... There weren't really any lapses in our game." Defenseman Brent Burns, who led the team in scoring during the regular season with a career-high 76 points, was another member of the team to break out, registering three assists for his first points of the series.
ABOUT THE OILERS: Captain Connor McDavid has gone two games without a point, his longest drought since being kept off the scoresheet in back-to-back contests on Jan. 31 and Feb. 2. The reigning Art Ross Trophy winner ended the regular season with a 14-game point streak and extended it over the first two games of the series. Defenseman Kris Russell, who topped the NHL during the regular season with 213 blocked shots, increased his playoff-leading total to 22 with a game-high six in Game 4.
1. San Jose entered Wednesday ranked sixth in the league on the power play (22.7 percent) thanks to its performance in Game 4 after going 1-for-14 over the first three contests of the series.
2. Edmonton added some reinforcements on Wednesday, recalling C Anton Lander, LW Joey Laleggia and Ds Mark Fayne and Jordan Oesterle from Bakersfield of the American Hockey League.
3. The Sharks assigned RW Kevin Labanc to the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL.
PREDICTION: Oilers 4, Sharks 3