If the Sharks were serious about snapping
their current losing streak, they had a funny way of showing it on Thursday
night. Entering play, the Sharks had lost 6 straight games and have floundered
after their promising turn to start the month. The Edmonton Oilers extended
that to 7 games with a 4-goal 1st period en route to a 5-0 pasting of San Jose
at SAP Center.
With mistakes and turnovers the central reason for San
Jose's woes, this one turned out to be a simple beat down by a team that was
more talented and motivated. When the Oilers last visited San Jose, they had
dropped a 3-2 decision to the Sharks, which was the last game that Jay
Woodcroft would coach for the Oilers. He was fired shortly thereafter.
Edmonton had something to prove on their return, and prove it they did.
The Oilers scored a minute into the contest, then went on to add 4
more unanswered while the Sharks continue to stumble through games.
Kaapo Kahkonen started in LA on Wednesday night and with Mackenzie Blackwood on
the shelf with an illness, the Sharks turned to goaltending prospect Magnus
Chrona to start against the Oilers. It was probably not the outcome the young
netminder had dreamed of. Chrona surrendered all 4 goals in the opening period
and was subsequently pulled by Sharks head coach David Quinn to start the 2nd
Ryan McLeod effectively ended the game 60 seconds in by
collecting the puck in the high slot before side stepping Anthony Duclair on
the left side and snapping a shot that beat Chrona inside the right post.
Zach Hyman tipped home a Connor McDavid feed form the doorstep at
10:15. McDavid carried the puck up the left wing and held it as Hyman got
position on Fabian Zetterlund. Hyman chipped at McDavid's pass from just
outside the crease, lifting it past Chrona for his 20th of the season.
Evan Bouchard made it a 3-0 game 4 minutes later off
a blast from the top of the left circle. Chrona had James Hamblin completely
obscuring the shot as he was parked at the top of the crease. The Sharks
goaltender could only guess where Bouchard's shot was headed. He guessed wrong.
Leon Draisaitl added his 15th goal of the season with 2:28 remaining
in the period. Warren Foegele collected the puck along the end line on the
right side, then dished it to a spot in front of the net were Draisaitl
immediately put past Chrona.
David Quinn mercifully pulled Chrona to
start the 2nd period, and inserted Kahkonen in net. The goaltender would still
allow an Edmonton goal, but he limited the damage to the single tally.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins bagged his 9th of the season midway through the middle
frame, redirecting a Cody Ceci shot. The puck appeared to hit Kyle Burroughs as
he tried tying up Hyman, but changed the trajectory on Kahkonen.
Stuart Skinner stopped all 25 shots he faced for the shutout. Game
* Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Kevin Labanc joined Mackenzie
Blackwood as scratches. Blackwood continues to fight an undisclosed illness.
* Magnus Chrona made his first NHL start. It was not his first NHL
game. That came earlier this year when he played in relief during the Sharks
10-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Chrona allowed 4 goals in that game as
* Kyle Burroughs finished the game with a -5 performance. Mario
Ferraro was a -4. Not great performances from your top 2 defenders. Four Oilers
skaters were a +3.
* William Eklund led San Jose with 6 shots on goal.
* The game marked the last game of the year on SAP Center ice. San
Jose will return to home ice on January 2nd when Detroit comes calling.