EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Connor McDavid and Zack Kassian scored short-handed goals to help the Edmonton Oilers beat the San Jose Sharks 2-0 Friday night, evening their first-round series at one game apiece.
Cam Talbot stopped all 16 shots he faced for his first career playoff shutout and Edmonton’s first postseason win since 2006. The Oilers missed the playoffs in each of the last 10 years.
Kassian scored early in the second period and McDavid doubled the lead midway through the third period.
Game 3 is Sunday night in San Jose.
Martin Jones finished with 34 saves for the Sharks.
It was a dominant performance by the Oilers and particularly by Kassian, a fourth-line winger who drove the net effectively and delivered bone-jarring hits on the Sharks’ Brenden Dillon and Logan Couture. By the end of the second period, the Rogers Place fans were chanting “Kass-ee-ann! Kass-ee-ann!”
It was a reversal of Game 1, when the Oilers were outshot 44-19 en route to a 3-2 overtime loss. This time the Oilers kept the pressure, outshooting and outhitting the Sharks throughout the game.
Kassian scored 42 seconds into the second when Sharks forward Joe Pavelski lost control of the puck at the Oilers blue line. He swiped at the puck with this stick, giving it to Edmonton’s Mark Letestu.
Letestu promptly passed it to a streaking Kassian, who barreled in alone and fired a wrist shot low past Jones’ blocker.
McDavid, the NHL’s regular-season scoring leader, got his first NHL playoff goal at the 10:31 mark of the third, streaking down the left side and launching a short-side wrist shot that eluded Jones.
The Sharks were 0 for 6 with the man advantage and are 1 for 12 through the first two games. San Jose’s power play was ranked 25th in the NHL in the regular season at 16.7 percent.
The Sharks’ power play has suffered from the absence of dominant center Joe Thornton. He has been day-to-day with a knee injury he suffered April 2. Thornton has been skating in practice, and Sharks coach Peter DeBoer has said he expects Thornton to return at some point in the series.