Sharks slip in shootout to last-place Oilers­


After consecutive wins against two of the Western Conference’s best squads, San Jose stumbled to a 5-4 shootout loss against the last-place Edmonton Oilers Monday night.

San Jose set a sloppy tone early when Brent Burns fanned on a clearing pass and turned the puck over to Taylor Hall, whose shot dribbled through Antti Niemi‘s legs before being swept clear of the goal by Niemi’s skate.

A recovering Burns was called for hooking, and Niemi was forced to make four saves in the ensuing power play, including stoning a point-blank Anton Lander blast.

Joe Pavelski drew first blood on the power play eight minutes into the opening period, tipping a Patrick Marleau pass off the toe of his right skate to give the Sharks the 1-0 lead.

Edmonton answered late in the first when Jordan Eberle deked Burns and Niemi before sliding a backhand over Niemi’s outstretched stick side pad to tie the game at 1-1.

Though San Jose scored first, Edmonton dictated play early, with just two faceoffs in the Sharks offensive end in the opening period.

Photos by Thomas Mendoza/SFBay

Just 22 seconds into the second period — after a series of sloppy Sharks passes started an Edmonton rush — Eberle beat several Sharks to a big Niemi rebound off a Justin Schultz shot for a quick 2-1 lead.

Midway through the second, an unmarked Derek Roy — calling for a pass with his stick in the air — slid a centering pass from Nail Yakupov past Niemi with a backhand one-timer for a 3-1 lead.

San Jose would roar back in the third period. Scott Hannan got his first goal of the year by tipping in a Thornton pass to close the lead to 3-2, despite being wrapped up in front of the net by Lander.

Matt Tennyson tied the game at 3-3 with a slap shot from the right point that sailed past a screened Viktor Fasth. An irate Fasth complained in vain about Couture being in the crease for the goal, though it appeared Couture was shoved by Andrew Ference into Fasth as Tennyson launched his shot.

Halfway through the third, Pavelski seized a 4-3 lead for Sharks with his second goal of the night, assisted by Burns and Thornton, the 600th of Jumbo’s career.

With under three minutes to play, Edmonton would equalize when Justin Schultz walked into the right faceoff circle and fired a shot off Couture and through a crowded crease that snuck under Niemi’s pad to tie the game at 4-4.

A mad rush to the Edmonton goal at the final horn nearly ended the game in regulation. Marleau flew up the right board to center the puck to a diving Pavelski, who ended up in a five-main pile in front of the the net as Fasth poked away the potential game winner as time expired.

The shootout stretched 13 rounds with Niemi and Fasth allowing just one goal each before Rob Klinkhammer‘s backhander beat Niemi to take the shootout point.

San Jose embarks on a two-game, back-to-back Canadian road trip to Calgary on Wednesday and Vancouver on Thursday before returning to SAP Center Saturday to face the Carolina Hurricanes at 7:30 p.m.

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