EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Backup goalie Devan Dubnyk played like an All-Star and helped the desperate Edmonton Oilers to a much needed win.
Dubnyk was the first star of the game, stopping 44 shots through overtime and three more in the shootout as the Oilers snapped a three-game skid with a 2-1 victory over the Pacific Division-leading San Jose Sharks on Monday night.
Taylor Hall scored the winning goal in the tiebreaker, and Jordan Eberle netted the only goal in regulation for the Oilers (18-26-4), who won for the second time in 10 games and sixth in 26 outings.
Dubnyk was glad to lead the Oilers to a win after several recent disappointing efforts.
“It was an important game for us,” he said. “We owe it to our fans to play better. We don’t have to win 41 games, but you have to go out there and give them an effort.
“I want to show the Oilers that I am a starting goalie.”
Oilers coach Tom Renney said his team was searching for something positive after a barrage of negativity.
“They need it bad,” he said. “They have been reading about how (bad) they are. I don’t think they are that bad. They have been working hard all year. It just doesn’t always turn into what any of us wanted.
“When you get great goaltending like we had tonight you are going to win more often.”
Logan Couture had the lone goal for the Sharks (26-14-6), who have lost three straight and four of five.
“It seemed like we spent an awful lot of time in their end, but you still need to score the goals,” Couture said. “We’re frustrated right now. We are playing all right, but you still need to find a way to win games like this. We need the points right now. We haven’t been getting the wins lately.
“We got a point, but I would have rather had two. We’re having a tough time scoring goals.”
Dubnyk saw the bulk of the early action, and had luck on his side in the first period. Shawn Horcoff gave up the puck behind the Oilers net, and Jamie McGinn got off a slap shot from the slot, but the puck rattled off the post.
The Sharks outshot Edmonton 13-5 in the scoreless first period.
The Oilers opened the scoring seven minutes into the second when Jeff Petry’s shot deflected off a Sharks defender right to the stick of Eberle, who scored his 18th of the season into a wide-open net as goalie Thomas Greiss moved the other way.
Oilers defenseman Andy Sutton got the crowd revved up with about 6 minutes left in the second period when he leveled McGinn with a clean body check at the blue line.
The shots continued to heavily favor the Sharks, 26-12 through 40 minutes.
San Jose came close to getting the tying goal three minutes into the third when John McCarthy almost caught Dubnyk napping with a quick wraparound attempt.
The Sharks lost veteran defenseman Brent Burns five minutes into the third when he had a knee-to-knee collision with Oilers forward Ales Hemsky. Burns needed to be helped off the ice.
“I tried to go down the wall, and it was just a reaction play,” Burns said. “It didn’t feel too good on my part. I knew it wasn’t good right away. I thought I was going to throw up.
“I don’t know how bad it is yet. It happens. It’s a quick game. I’ve been on the other end of these. It happens so quick. It’s not his fault.”
But Hemsky was given a major penalty for kneeing.
“I don’t think I am a dirty player,” Hemsky said. “I hope for the guy. I hope he is OK. You never want to hurt anybody.”
It took just 45 seconds for the Sharks to take advantage as Couture notched his 100th NHL point with a tip of Dan Boyle’s shot that Dubnyk had no chance to stop.
San Jose took a 43-16 shots edge into overtime.
NOTES: It was the second of four meetings between the teams this season. The Sharks won the first matchup, 3-2 at home in December. ... Edmonton remained without injured rookie forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and defenders Tom Gilbert, Cam Barker and Ryan Whitney. ... San Jose forwards Ryane Clowe and Martin Havlat sat out because of injuries. ... The Oilers called up defenseman Taylor Chorney and forwards Lennart Petrell and Teemu Hartikainen from Oklahoma City of the AHL. ... Eberle was added to the All-Star roster after originally being passed over due to an injury. He will replace injured Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu.