EDMONTON, Alberta — The Sharks were pushed to the brink of elimination Thursday as David Desharnais scored with 1:45 left in the first overtime to give the Edmonton Oilers a riveting 4-3 win in Game 5 of the opening round playoff series between the two teams.
Only Martin Jones brilliance in overtime allowed the game to go that long.
Jones had 32 saves in regulation time and was sensational in overtime, stopping Leon Draisaitl point blank and making another save on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins after the puck had bounced behind him. Jones also stopped a shot by Jordan Eberle, as the Oilers recorded 12 of the first 14 shots in overtime.
Jones had 13 saves in OT, but couldn’t stop Desharnais’s shot, as he redirected a pass from Leon Draisaitl to send the sold out Rogers Place crowd into hysterics.
The Oilers came all the way back after trailing by two goals midway through the second period to take a 3-2 series lead with Game 6 on Saturday in San Jose.
It was the second game of the series to go to overtime, as Melker Karlsson scored in the first extra session give the Sharks a 3-2 win in Game 1.
The Sharks took a 3-2 lead into the third period but allowed the tying goal with 2:46 left.
Desharnais skated with the puck around the Sharks net and passed to Oscar Klefbom, who one-timed a shot past Jones for his second goal of the series.
Forward Mikkel Boedker had a goal and an assist Thursday to help the Sharks take hold a one-goal lead after 40 minutes.
Boedker scored in the first period and assisted on David Schlemko’s goal in the second. Patrick Marleau also scored for the Sharks, who were looking to take a 3-2 series lead back to San Jose for Game 6 on Sunday.
Patrick Maroon and Mark Letestu also scored in regulation time for the Oilers, who wanted to rebound after they were hammered 7-0 by the Sharks in Game 4 on Tuesday.
Boedker was back in the lineup Thursday after he was a healthy scratch for games 3 and 4 in San Jose.
“It’s going to fun. It’s going to be a challenge,” Boedker said Thursday morning. “We came out and played really well last game, so obviously we come in here excited. It’s going to be a good game.”
The teams traded goals in the second period after mistakes by two of the most recognizable players in the series.
The Sharks took a 3-1 lead at the 8:38 mark of the second period, as Schlemko’s shot from inside the blue line made its way through traffic and past Oilers goalie Cam Talbot for his first goal of the series. It came at even strength, just two seconds after the expiration of a penalty to Maroon for goalie interference on Jones.
The Oilers got back to within one goal at the 18:33 mark of the second.
The Sharks had already killed off a holding penalty to Timo Meier that came at the 15:09 mark. But Brent Burns took a delay of game penalty with 2:52 to go in the second period, as he cleared the puck over the glass from behind the Sharks’ net.
With 35 seconds left on that power play, Letestu took a backhand pass from Draisaitl and beat Jones to cut the Sharks’ lead to one.
If the Sharks were motivated by the sight of Draisaitl skating on the Rogers Place ice Thursday — instead of sitting in the luxurious new arena’s press box — they kept it quiet prior to Game 5.
“We’re focused on wins now,” said Chris Tierney, who was speared in the groin by Draisaitl in the second period of Game 4, Thursday morning. “It’s not about getting somebody back or trying to look for revenge.”
Instead of a suspension, Draisaitl on Wednesday was fined $2,569.44, the maximum allowable under the CBA, by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. Draisaitl was on the Oilers’ top line with McDavid and Drake Caggiula for the start of Thursday’s game.
Draisaitl was given a five-minute spearing penalty and a game misconduct when the incident happened at the 13:44 mark of Tuesday’s game in San Jose.
Draisaitl lifted his stick into the groin of Tierney just after a group of players were fighting for the puck in the Oilers’ corner to the right of goalie Cam Talbot. Draisaitl skated away as Tierney crumpled to the ice.
“Obviously, it was a stupid play,” Draisaitl said. “That’s not who I am, that’s not me, that’s not how I want to be seen as a player. I think everyone knows that I’m the last guy that wants to hurt anyone out there, that wants to play that type of game.”
The Oilers said they were able to leave Tuesday’s blowout loss in the rear-view mirror, and Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said Thursday morning that momentum in the playoffs doesn’t necessarily carry from one game to the next.
“We know we’re going to get a response tonight,” DeBoer said. “That’s a dangerous thing and we have to make sure we’re ready for that.”
One constant throughout the first four games of the series was the Sharks’ ability to slow down McDavid, who entered Thursday still without a point at even strength. He had a secondary assist on Letestu’s goal after he was held off the scoresheet completely in games 3 and 4.
With last change at home, the Sharks were able to put defensemen Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun on the ice with McDavid after every stoppage in play.
“When you go up against one of the best offensive and dynamic players in the league and one of the fastest players, you’ve got to be aware of whenever he’s on the ice,” Vlasic said Thursday morning.
“You’ve got to be able to skate with him and try and take away time and space, like against any good player.”
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