SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Zack Kassian scored midway through the third period, Cam Talbot made 23 saves in his second straight shutout and the Edmonton Oilers beat the San Jose Sharks 1-0 Sunday night in Game 3 of their first-round series.
The Oilers bounced back from an overtime loss in their first playoff game in 11 years to post consecutive shutouts and take a 2-1 series lead over the defending Western Conference champions. Game 4 is Tuesday night in San Jose.
Edmonton weathered a spirited start by the Sharks fueled in part by the return of Joe Thornton from a knee injury, then the Oilers took control and capitalized on a costly turnover to take the lead.
David Schlemko’s clearing attempt was intercepted by Kassian in the slot, and Kassian beat Martin Jones with a backhand to make it 1-0 with 9:15 to play. Kassian also scored the first goal in Edmonton’s 2-0 win in Game 2.
The Sharks were held to 10 shots over the final two periods and didn’t even get a shot on goal on a pair of power-play chances as Thornton’s return was unable to change San Jose’s fortunes.
The Sharks are 1 for 14 on the power play in the series and allowed two short-handed goals in Game 2. San Jose has not scored since Melker Karlsson’s overtime winner in the opener. This marked the first time San Jose has been shut out in consecutive playoff games since Dallas did it in a second-round series.
Jones made 21 saves.
The Shark Tank was energized for the first playoff game here since Pittsburgh won the Stanley Cup last June, and vocal pockets of Oilers fans broke up the sea of teal.
The game started with a fast pace and much more physical play from the Sharks than they showed in Edmonton. Thornton’s first touch generated loud cheers, and San Jose’s fourth line led by rookie Timo Meier created chances with a hard forecheck.
But neither team scored in the first period, with Jones making his best stop early on an odd-man rush against Patrick Maroon and Talbot robbing Marcus Sorensen on a rebound chance from the slot.
After being outshot 13-6 in the first period, the Oilers controlled the play in the second, with the Sharks struggling to keep up with Connor McDavid’s speed. He nearly created two goals on one shift, but no teammate was able to get to his wraparound attempt and then Jones stopped him on a one-timer.
NOTES: Edmonton last had back-to-back playoff shutouts in the final two games of a first-round series against Colorado in 1998. … Oilers winger Leon Draisatl was replaced on the top line in the second period by Anton Slepyshev. … Baseball Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, donned in a Sharks jersey, opened the dressing room door to lead San Jose’s players on the ice before the game. … F Mikkel Boekder was scratched to make room for Thornton.