Just two days before Christmas, Kevin Labanc decided to give the Oilers an early present: a stocking full of coal. He scored twice, including the game winner in overtime, to give the Sharks (21-12-1) first place in the Pacific Division and a 2-1 win over the Oilers (18-12-6).
Despite neither team scoring in the first period, the Sharks looked like the better team. Speed was present for both teams, and the Sharks used theirs to create some some odd-man rushes and scoring opportunities, also out shooting Edmonton 10-5 in the 1st. In the final seconds, Brenden Dillon and Matt Hendricks dropped the gloves for an entertaining fight. Hendricks would get an extra 2 minutes for roughing.
That extra penalty would immediately pay off for the Sharks. On the power play, Brent Burns set up Joe Pavelski for a perfect one-time pass. He preceded to bury it past an out-of-position Cam Talbot.
Lots of chippy play led to lots of penalties, but the Sharks early second period goal was the only one that came to be in the second period.
In the third, Connor McDavid showed us all why he’s leading the league in points. McDavid, stick-handling into the zone, took a shot that deflected off two players in front and slipped past Martin Jones. All of a sudden we had a 1-1 hockey game.
Within a matter of minutes the score would be tied at 2. Couture set up Labanc for a beautiful goal, but Patrick Maroon tied it right back up just 24 seconds later. The Sharks killed off some important penalties in the final minutes to force overtime.
In overtime, the Sharks controlled the puck most of the time. Finally, Kevin Labanc broke through and scored top shelf for the game winner.
- A couple of milestones for the Sharks tonight. Brent Burns got his 300th career assist and Joe Thornton recorded his 700th assist as a Shark.
- There were two fights in tonight’s game. The one not mentioned above was between Michael Haley and Zach Kassian.
- The Sharks are now an impressive 5-1 in OT/SO this year.
- They go into the short break having won 6 of their past 7 games.
Next up: the Sharks visit the Anaheim Ducks on December 27th.
Fear the Fin Three Stars
- Kevin Labanc
- Joe Pavelski
- Cam Talbot