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Thornton returns to lineup for Sharks in Game 3 vs. Oilers
May 30 2017, 07:22 | Van Peters
The San Jose Sharks finally have both of their top injured forwards back in the lineup, but their returns have done nothing to improve the team's offense. Game 5 is at Rogers Place on Thursday, but instead of trying to close out the best-of-seven series, the Oilers will now be trying to stop the Sharks' momentum. They were folded, spindled and mutilated all over the SAP Center ice. That was the fastest such score in franchise history, according to the team, beating Dany Heatly's goal 28 seconds into a 2011 playoff game against the Kings. With Kris Russell in the box for a hooking penalty on Timo Meier the Sharks took a couple trips into the zone with shades of the same old power play, i.e. lots of perimeter passing looking for flawless shots without much traffic in front of the net, until Logan Couture launched a wrister passed an off balance Cam Talbot resulting from some nifty cross ice passes to put the Sharks ahead 2-0. Making their first playoff appearance in a decade, the Oilers have 20-year-old Art Ross Trophy victor Connor McDavid.
But Draisiatl said they didn't abandon the game plan. Martin Jones stopped all 23 shots he faced in net.
After being shut out in Games 2 and 3, the Sharks wasted no time getting to Talbot in Game 4, with Pavelski's goal 15 seconds after the opening faceoff.
"We want to continue - and we will continue to - play physical", said McLellan. He gained a step on San Jose defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic to attempt a wrap-around, which Jones denied.
You don't get two games for winning 7-0 so the series is still 2-2 and we're still in a good spot.
Kassian had the only goal of the game Sunday in San Jose as the Oilers toughed out a 1-0 victory.
The talk entering the game focused on the lack of production from the Sharks' most talented players.
The Oilers won Game 3 1-0 on Zack Kassian's goal midway through the third period. 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. It was a one-off. "It's very impressive to see, but if we just focus on our game and take care, we should be fine".
They came in favoured against the Sharks, who were reeling from injuries and losses as the regular season wound down. Pavelski got the blade of his stick on a Justin Braun floater after an offensive zone faceoff win, and the puck bounced through Cam Talbot.
"They play like they always play", said Oilers coach Todd McClellan. The previous record was 28 seconds (Dany Heatley vs. Los Angeles in 2011 during a 3-2 win).
"It was critical", Pete DeBoer said of scoring first.
"Fans were purchasing an bad lot of tickets, so we had a longer print queue than normal". People keep forgetting there's more to this than giving Edmonton a playoff series to experience again; it's to find out what players to go forward with and what players to move. In game two RNH played 8:31 against Pavelski with a whopping 83.3 CF% in that matchup.
"We had a power-play goal in the first game".
Joe Pavalski, Brett Burns, Logan Couture, Patrick Marleau and Jumbo Joe Thornton had the combined total of one point in the first three games. The two bottom lines were Timo Meier-Tomas Hertl-Melker Karlsson and Marcus Sorensen-Chris Tierney-Joel Ward.
If he can stay healthy throughout the postseason, Thornton might be able to help San Jose improve upon last year's result and finally bring home a Stanley Cup title.