The Sharks and Oilers battle in game five of their first round series at 7:30 p.m. PT in Edmonton tonight as both teams look to regain the edge. San Jose is coming off its biggest win in postseason history while the Oilers are licking their wounds after a humiliating defeat at the hands of Team Teal.
While it’s unlikely the Sharks can put seven goals on the board again, they can at least hope to keep a steady stream of offense going. After being shut out in games two and three, San Jose exploded in game four, chasing Edmonton starter Cam Talbot from the crease after the fifth goal of the contest. He’ll almost certainly be back in net for game five.
San Jose netminder Martin Jones was excellent against in game four, posting his first shutout of the series. He’s allowed no more than two goals against in the series and has given up progressively fewer in the past three games (2, 2, 1, 0 overall). Jones finally got the goal support he deserves in game five.
With the series shifting to Alberta, keep an eye on how Edmonton head coach Todd McLellan uses last change to get more out of Connor McDavid. While San Jose has mostly kept the Edmonton captain off the scoresheet in this series, he’s gotten his fair share of chances.
Speaking of last change, San Jose head coach Pete DeBoer used it to his advantage while integrating Joe Thornton back into the lineup the last two contests. He won’t have that luxury anymore. With the Captain Line reinstated, it’ll be interesting to see how he utilizes the group in game five. McDavid and Thornton may prove to be the key to the game for each team.