Sharks' win streak comes to end in 5-2 loss to Oilers
SAN JOSE — The Sharks’ six-game winning streak ended with a thud Tuesday night at SAP Center. Slowing down Connor McDavid and the first-place Edmonton Oilers for the second time in eight days was a bit too much to ask.
The Sharks fell behind by two goals after the first 7:59 of the first period and never fully recovered in a 5-2 loss, San Jose’s first defeat since Nov. 2.
Kevin Labanc scored in the first period for the Sharks, but McDavid assisted on goals by Zack Kassian and James Neal as the Oilers led 4-1 after 40 minutes. McDavid scored in the third period at the 6:34 mark, giving Edmonton a 5-1 lead. Barclay Goodrow got that goal back as he scored his sixth of the season at the 9:43 mark.
Goalie Martin Jones, who had been in net for the duration of the win streak, allowed three goals on nine shots in the first period as his record fell to 8-8-1 for the season.
During their win streak, the Sharks had not trailed after the first period as they had outscored the opposition 11-1 after 20 minutes. But that record ended Tuesday.
The Oilers got goals from Markus Gtanlund, Kassian and Jujhar Khaira in the first period. Khaira’s goal was especially tough to give up, as it came on a relatively soft shot from the blue line with just 15 seconds left before intermission.
The Sharks had 18 shots, with their one goal coming from Labanc. With the Sharks cycling, Logan Couture put a shot toward the net that Labanc was able to get a stick on, as the puck went up and behind goalie Mikko Koskinen at the 9:23 mark to cut Edmonton’s lead to 2-1.
Koskinen had 24 saves after two periods Tuesday and improved to 2-0-0 in three starts against the Sharks.
Looking to generate a little more balance from their four forward lines, Sharks coach Pete DeBoer shuffled his second, third and fourth lines. Patrick Marleau was moved up to play with Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier and Goodrow spent a handful of shifts on the fourth line with Dylan Gambrell.
That might have less of an indictment on Goodrow as it was on Lukas Radil, who saw little ice time all game.
When the Sharks beat the Oilers 6-3 on Nov. 12, Leon Draisaitl had a goal and an assist. McDavid had an assist and one shot on goal in 18 minutes and three seconds of ice time.
Those numbers looked pretty good compared to how other teams have fared in recent games against the Oilers’ duo. In the two games since in Edmonton’s game against Colorado and Dallas, McDavid had combined for three goals and six assists and Draisaitl had one goal and six assists.