Sharks Cs Thornton, Couture day to day heading into playoffs

Sharks' Couture will play in opener against Oilers

"You learn a lot going through experiences in the playoffs", Sharks center Logan Couture said.

The Sharks went 0 for 6 on the power play while allowing two short-handed goals against in a 2-0 loss to the Edmonton Oilers, evening their first-round series 1-1.

The Oilers went back to the drawing board Thursday to figure out how to break out against a suffocating Sharks forecheck that sucked the life out of them in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarter-final series. Jannik Hansen was acquired to help solidify the top unit with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, but had little impact.

Edmonton got the most out of their forward lines and how.

"Other than that, you've just got to play those guys hard".

This has been a breakout season for McDavid, who entered the league in 2015 with the hype of being the next great NHL star.

The Oilers, meanwhile, were playing their first playoff game since 2006.

The Sharks' power play, ranked 25th in the regular season at 16.7 percent, was otherwise ineffective. "We have to play a responsible, detailed game against them".


The Sharks had success slowing down big scorers like Tyler Toffoli, Filip Forsberg and Vladimir Tarasenko on their run through the Western Conference last spring. Thats the most feeds in a single game by an Oilers defenceman since Chris Pronger did it December 31, 2005 against Calgary. The Sharks may not match up well with Edmonton's youth, but their comeback on Wednesday night makes it tough to think that the Oilers can pull this out. The Sharks played exceptionally well, and they deserved to win game one. Thornton also practiced Monday after missing the final three games with an injured knee.

Though both Thornton and Couture have been skating at practice, no timetable is set for return. He was wearing a full cage on his helmet.

The Sharks will need to have a defensive presence of mind to have any chance of slowing the lightning-quick Connor McDavid and getting past the Oilers and into second round.

One thing that will be key for the Oilers in game two is staying out of the penalty box. They played in our zone. The San Francisco district attorney said Wednesday that the plainclothes detectives feared that 21-year-old Amilcar Perez-Lopez was attacking one of them with a knife. He coached the Sharks through 540 regular-season games and 62 playoff matches. The Oilers, led by Hart Trophy candidate Connor McDavid, ended the season winning 12 of their final 14 to finish second in the Pacific. Jones solidified himself last season as the undisputed starter for the Sharks but has shown poor efforts down the stretch.

Special teams: advantage Oilers.Last season, the San Jose Sharks had the third-best powerplay in the National Hockey League. Last season was Jones first year as a full-time starter, with that being his first year as a starter in playoff action, is another reason why Talbot can not be overlooked here.

Edmonton captain and young gun Connor McDavid, playing in just his second National Hockey League season, has led the Oilers to a 103-point year, their best mark since recording 106 during the 1986-87 season.

McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Patrick Maroon combined for 86 goals this season while veteran Milan Lucic brings a wealth of playoff experience to this series.

The NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs are the modern-day version of an ancient Greek epic.

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