Playoff experience gives Sharks an edge in Game 1 win over Oilers


Even without Joe Thornton in the lineup, the Sharks had a calmness about them.

"The thing I remember from the last playoffs is Edmonton just vibrating", said Leanna Wodinski, who watched Wednesday's game at a sports bar with her husband.

"This is playoff hockey".

DeBoer said manipulating desperation and urgency is not usually possible, that it's an organic quality to any series.

The Sharks are 2-6 in their last 8 road games, 5-1 in their last 6 Conference Quarterfinals games and 4-1 in their last 5 vs. But he's a quick learner who responds well after a below average game. That's what's going to happen.

"I've always liked the physical part of the game", Meier said.

"We understand what those guys can do", Pavelski told reporters after the game. The Oilers just have to keep the puck in the zone, make smart plays and get bodies in front.

McDavid said Kassian was the difference-maker.

"We were joking, we thought this place might fall, we didn't thing it would be able to handle everybody jumping up and down", said Koo.

The Sharks power play was no great shakes in the regular season, ranked 25th at 16.7 per cent. The second line, centered by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, got hot in the last 10 games of the regular season and if there's any sort of carryover, all of a sudden the Sharks get into a serious matchup problem. He's been skating but there is no word on whether he'll be ready to play during the series.

"We got so close", said Elaine Nacht of Campbell. After generating a massive advantage in shots on goal in Game 1, chances were fairly even on Saturday, with the Blues getting a late goal to win 2-1. San Jose winger Joonas Donskoi had his power-play tip effort go off the post with a little more than seven minutes left, setting the stage for overtime.

In Game 1, he took an elbow to the head from Oilers defenseman Eric Gryba, drawing a penalty.

Game 2 is Friday in Edmonton. While future glory is nearly pre-ordained for a player as talented as McDavid, he's likely going to get his nose bloodied this year: either figuratively, literally, or both.

San Jose Sharks' Martin Jones (31) and Brent Burns (88) react as Edmonton Oilers' Zack Kassian (44) celebrates his goal during second period National Hockey League playoff action in Edmonton, Alta., on Friday April 14, 2017. Couture damaged his mouth and required some massive dental work after he took a redirected slapshot to the mouth three weeks ago. "He was pumped right up", DeBoer said.

"Guys might have been nervous the first game". Logan Couture has been targeted for physicality his whole life, being the player he is. "I think we know the level we can play at". Both are questionable in Game 1. "We got what we probably deserved out there". But we didn't do enough to win that game and we leave Edmonton with a split, which is what we wanted coming in here.

Overall, dealing with the sold-out crowd on Wednesday went quite smoothly at Rogers Place, according to the team.

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