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Sharks rip apart Oilers to knot series 2-2

Heading into Tuesday night, the San Jose Sharks had been held scoreless in their last 120 minutes of play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

That all changed in Game 4 however, as the Sharks poured it on thick against the Edmonton Oilers, tying the series at 2-2 after a 7-0 shellacking at the SAP Center.

This story has been updated with quotes and additional material from the Sharks dressing room at SAP Center.

The offensive resurgence took all of 15 seconds as San Jose center Joe Pavelski netted the first goal of the evening past Cam Talbot glove side via a deflection off of a Justin Braun slap-shot.

Pavelski said regarding the early offensive output:

“We were just ready. Everyone was ready. We’ve been there, you know, the games have been tight, they really have. Just not much either way and so we just got in there inside and made a few plays tonight.”

Things would continue the Sharks way in the first period. Following a two-minute hooking penalty to Edmonton defenseman Kris Russell, the Sharks dictated pace and eventually netted another first period goal. This time, San Jose center Logan Couture delivered what former Sharks beat writer for the San Jose Mercury News David Pollak called a “wicked wrister.”

The Couture wrister would not be the last power play goal for the Sharks either, as San Jose would muster up four more goals following Edmonton penalties and go 4-for-8 on the power play for the night.

Couture said after the game:

“We were able to create more on our power play. Some more grade-A chances. I was able to score that one on the power play.”

The second power play goal would come from Patrick Marleau off of a Brent Burns assist as Marleau beat Talbot at the 17:58 mark of the second.

The third came from Pavelski again after Oilers center Leon Draisaitl received a five-minute penalty and a game misconduct resulting in ab ejection, also in the second period. The five-hole score would be Pavelski’s second goal on the night, putting the Sharks up 6-0.

The fourth power play goal and final tally of the game would come courtesy of Sharks defenseman David Schlemko midway through the third. The slap shot provided a bit of redemption for Schlemko, who gave up Game 3’s only goal after an errant pass near the Sharks goal.

The rediscovery of the power play was a big change for the Sharks, who had gone 2-of-15 with the man advantage in the series.

When asked about the importance of the improvement on the power play, Sharks head coach, Peter DeBoer said:

“It was important because they’ve tried to play physical and, you know, they’ve taken some liberties. And we haven’t made them pay a price for that until tonight. And I think, I don’t think it’s a secret that as our key guys are getting healthier and feeling better, you know, we’re starting to look better in that area.”

Desperation mode from the Oilers in the final period would not be enough as San Jose goalie Martin Jones would pitch a shutout of his own, turning away all 23 of Edmonton’s shots on goal.

The series now shifts back to Edmonton for a pivotal Game 5 on Oilers ice. If the Sharks can pick up a win Thursday night, San Jose will have an opportunity to close out the series in Game 6 in San Jose Saturday.

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