The Sharks and Oilers face off in game four of the best-of-seven series at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night with San Jose trailing two games to one. Team Teal hasn’t scored since Melker Karlsson potted the overtime winner in game one of the series, failing to solve Cam Talbot in the past six periods of postseason hockey.
Despite not getting on the scoresheet, solid defense and good play from Martin Jones has kept the Sharks in both games. San Jose has allowed just three goals in the past two games and if that relatively stingy defense continues, the Sharks have a chance in game four despite not playing their best hockey.
Both Joe Thornton and Logan Couture are back in the lineup, though neither are playing at 100 percent. Thornton is certainly the healthier of the two, but head coach Pete DeBoer sheltered him in game three and it’ll be interesting to see what he does usage-wise tonight.
Right now San Jose needs to find something to jump start its offense. Marcus and I talked about bringing Kevin Labanc into the lineup on last night’s podcast, and I think re-introducing Mikkel Boedker would help matters, too. Whether DeBoer makes any changes remains to be seen — I think he’ll play his cards pretty close to the vest.
The Sharks are in an interesting spot three games into this series. While they haven’t played very well (fatigue and injury being key reasons why, in my opinion), the Oilers continue to give San Jose life in this series. A win tonight makes this a very winnable series for the Sharks; a loss... well, yeah. Less so.