Oilers hit milestone in win over Sharks
EDMONTON, Alberta — Ryan Strome potted two goals, including the 10,000th the Oilers have scored in the NHL, leading Edmonton to a 5-3 win Monday over the San Jose Sharks.
Patrick Maroon scored what would eventually become the winning goal. But his slapper over the shoulder of Sharks netminder Martin Jones won’t be his most watched highlight of the game. Late in the second period, with the teams in a scrum, Maroon ended up face-to-face with Sharks defenseman Brent Burns, owner of the most famous beard in the NHL. In front of a full house at Rogers Place, Maroon gave Burns’ beard a tug.
“I do some crazy stuff sometimes,” said Maroon. “I was laughing about it and he was laughing about it. I thought he would be mad at first, but he just asked me if I liked it and I said ‘yeah, it’s a pretty nice beard.’ It was just in my face and I decided to pull it.”
“It happens more than you think,” Burns said of having his beard yanked. “It wasn’t really a tug, he was just kind of petting it. ... I kinda fell there, he kind of fell on top, he was just asking, I don’t know, I think it was like ‘are we all right?’ It’s a nice beard.”
The game marked the first game between the Sharks and Oilers since the teams collided in the first round of the 2017 playoffs, with Edmonton winning that series in six games.
Oilers goalie Cam Talbot won his second in a row since returning from a stint on injured reserve, making 18 saves. Jones remained stuck on 99 career wins. The Oilers got 29 shots on goal.
The Sharks took the lead at 6:15 of the first period. On the power play, Joe Pavelski wristed home a rebound off a point shot from Kevin Labanc.
The Oilers tied it at 14:42, as Mark Letestu one-timed a pass from Leon Draisaitl.
Edmonton took the lead with 1:09 left in the period, thanks to a tic-tac-toe passing play, with Jujhar Khaira feeding Draisaitl, who pushed the puck across the goalmouth for Ryan Strome to put in past a helpless Jones.
Strome’s goal was the 10,000th for the Oilers since the team joined the NHL in 1979. But a disclaimer: That total includes 65 shootout winners.
“It’s kind of cool, but Leon deserves credit for that goal,” said Strome. “I just had my stick on the ice and he hit it. It was unbelievable. It’s a cool accomplishment, especially with the rich history of this team. But I was the beneficiary of a hell of a pass there.”
Six minutes into the second, the Oilers had a series of great chances to extend the lead, but Jones robbed Jesse Puljujarvi twice and then stoned Connor McDavid for good measure in a frantic 10-second sequence. But while Jones closed the door on the Oilers, he couldn’t stop his own team. On the next shift, he was beaten by his teammate, Pavelski, who inadvertently tipped in what was meant to be a centering attempt from Oiler Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
Tomas Hertl made it 3-2 at 8:32.
Maroon got the Oilers their two-goal lead back, making it 4-2 at 8:23 of the third with a blast over Jones’s shoulder. But Marcus Sorensen made it a nail-biter at 11:58, as he was able to wrap the puck around Talbot’s outstretched pad. With Sorensen’s goal, Maroon’s marker became the game winner.
Strome got an empty netter with 7.6 seconds left.
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said it was frustrating that his team did such a good job on reigning MVP McDavid, holding him pointless, but were badly outplayed by the other lines.
“We’re not as tight defensively as we have been, we’ve also got some guys out of the lineup who weren’t out earlier in the year, too,” he said. “I think we did a good job on McDavid tonight. I thought the difference in the game was the depth, they got some more depth scoring than we did. ... Other guys have got to get up and get the job done, and they didn’t tonight. The fourth line got pinned in their own zone for extended periods to the point where we couldn’t really play them. And then you overuse other guys, and you’ve got to find a way.”
NOTES: Sharks C Logan Couture was out with a concussion suffered in Friday’s overtime loss to Vancouver; he leads the Sharks with 15 goals and 26 points. ... The Sharks moved LW Mikkel Boedker from injured reserve to the roster ahead of Monday’s game. Boedker hadn’t played since Dec. 1. ... Edmonton activated D Adam Larsson from injured reserve before the game. Larsson had been out since Nov. 30. ... To make room for Larsson, RW Anton Slepyshev was assigned to the Oilers’ AHL affiliate in Bakersfield, Calif. ... The Oilers scratched D Eric Gryba, D Yohann Auvitu and LW Mike Cammalleri. ... The Sharks scratched D Paul Martin and RW Jannik Hansen.