Sharks tear apart Oilers in home opener
EDMONTON _ Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture each had two goals and an assist as the San Jose Sharks won their second in a row to start the abbreviated NHL season, defeating the Oilers 6-3 on Tuesday night and ruin Edmonton’s home opener.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Dan Boyle also scored and Joe Thornton had three assists for the Sharks (2-0-0).
Taylor Hall, Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz replied for the Oilers (1-1-0).
San Jose struck first on a two-man advantage just three minutes into the match as Joe Pavelski fed it to Boyle at the top of the circle and his blast got past Edmonton’s starting goalie Devan Dubnyk.
It was a 2-0 game just over a minute later as the Sharks again capitalized on the power play, this time on a Couture wrist shot that fooled Dubnyk.
Edmonton was able to respond on a power play of its own eight and a half minutes into the opening period as Sam Gagner passed the puck through the goalmouth to a hard-charging Yakupov, who put the puck in the net before Sharks goalie Antti Niemi could get across the crease.
It was the first NHL goal for Yakupov, who was drafted first overall in last summer’s 2012 Entry Draft by the Oilers.
San Jose quickly restored its two-goal lead halfway through the first as Thornton’s no-look pass from behind the net found Marleau, who sent home his third goal of the season.
Just over a minute later it was a 4-1 game for the Sharks as Marleau scored high to the glove side on a quick shot from the slot on another power play with Thornton picking up his third assist of the game.
The first period pounding wasn’t over yet, however.
San Jose added two more goals to make it 6-1 after 20 minutes as Couture scored his second of the game on a rebound with just under two minutes left and Vlasic scored on a screened point shot with 40 seconds remaining.
San Jose out-shot Edmonton 17-7 in the first.
Backup goalie Yann Danis started the second in the Oilers’ net.
Edmonton got a goal back on a two-man advantage of its own with five minutes left in the second as Schultz, a player the Oilers acquired as a free agent after a league-wide bidding war last summer, scored his first NHL goal to make it 6-2.
The shots closed to 26-24 Sharks after the second period.
Edmonton cut the lead in half three and a half minutes into the third as Hall sent a quick wrist shot while double-teamed that beat Niemi high to the glove side.
Both teams are back in action on Thursday as the Oilers remain at home to face the defending Stanley Cup champion L.A. Kings, while the Sharks return to San Jose for their home-opener against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Notes: The Oilers came into the game 3-0 in home-openers against the San Jose Sharks, winning in 1993, 2003 and 2008. They were also 19-8-5 in their first home game of the season all-timea It was the first of three meetings between the two teams this season, having split the four-game series last year, with each game decided by one goala The Sharks entered the contest having won 11 of the last 15 meetings against Edmonton overall and have taken seven of nine at Rexall Placea Oiler forward Ben Eager missed the game, still suffering the ill effects of a fight in the first outing in Vancouver. Magnus Paajarvi took his place in the lineupa The Oilers were also missing defenseman Andy Sutton (knee) and Theo Peckham (hip flexor), forward Ryan Jones (eye) and goalie Nikolai Khabibulin (hip)a Absent from the Sharks lineup were forward Jason Demers (wrist injury) and defenseman (hernia surgery)a Free agent forward Scott Gomez continues to skate with the Sharks but no contract had been signed with San Jose as of game time. Gomez, who posted just two goals and nine assists in 38 games with Montreal last season, was bought out by the Canadiens last week.