Kassian also scored the first goal in Edmonton's 2-0 win in Game 2, giving him two straight game-winners after having none the past two regular seasons. The Oilers bounced back from a lukewarm start and responded with a near-perfect effort, winning a chess-like affair by capitalizing on a late San Jose miscue to take a 2-1 series lead. One of the most interesting stories of the opening round is whether he is making a case that he is already good enough to help an otherwise mediocre team compete at the same level as a legitimate Cup contender like the Sharks. "He has been tremendous for us".
In fact, they did it quite handily as the Oilers doubled up the Sharks in shots 36-16 in their complete game effort on Friday.
"This time of year you have to be prepared and you have to be comfortable playing in 1-0, 2-1 games", Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said. In game one, however, RNH only played 3:52 against Pavelski 5v5. "They both make the save, but one gives you a little more sense of calmness then the athletic save". He's in a groove right now so that's on us to get traffic.
"That's playoff hockey", said Schlemko. "Tough bounce, you know". Now that they're in the postseason, it's Zack Kassian and Cam Talbot doing the heavy lifting. "That line's been playing well, and he's been skating well and he's gotten rewarded". That being said, if all things were to be equal, San Jose was never going to win a series that came down to "which side executed its chances better".
Jones finished with 21 saves. "We just gotta find a way to get in there and bury a few". Over the course of sixty minute game, that's 96 hits.
The Oilers now lead the best-of-seven set 2-1.
"We're limiting him", Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said.
"The first game in Edmonton didn't go the way we wanted it to, but we've been building off it ever since and we're a pretty confident group in here right now".
I just didn't think Edmonton would have its chances converted by guys like Kassian. Edmonton had just six shots in the first period to San Jose's 13. But after failing to generate a shot in the first 72 seconds, Joel Ward's tripping penalty cut the advantage 48 seconds short. And Patrick Maroon couldn't get a handle on the rebound in the slot with a gaping half-net to fill. We know that. That's been a concern for us all season.
The biggest area of consternation entering play Sunday was the Sharks' futility on the power play. "We thought it would be a good time to come and celebrate with the kids". That's what everybody expected, and it serves to magnify a mistake like the one Sharks defenceman David Schlemko made on the Kassian victor. Thornton managed two shots on goal, delivered two hits and won his only two faceoffs during 16:27 of ice time.
After missing the first two games of the series, San Jose could get back center Joe Thornton.