Zach Hyman scored in overtime as the Edmonton Oilers came from behind to outlast the San Jose Sharks 5-4 Thursday night at Rogers Place.
“You expect… to have good habits and you want to win your battles and use this time wisely to prepare for the first round… (of) the playoffs,” Oilers defenceman Brett Kulak said after the game.
“It wasn’t our best game, but you’ve got to hold yourself accountable.”
The Sharks went ahead on two quick goals by Noah Gregor. Shortly after Mikko Koskinen threw the puck away into the corner, Gregor beat the Oilers goalie with a wrister from the slot.
Just 26 seconds later, Gregor’s pass banked in off Oilers defenceman Evan Bouchard.
”Obviously we didn’t start the way we wanted to tonight, but credit to our players that on a night where everything didn’t fire on all cylinders, we found a way to win,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said.
“I wasn’t too worried,” Kulak said. “At two goals, the game is far from out of hand for us. We can score two just as quick and do it all the time.”
The Oilers broke through in the second when Ryan McLeod fired in a power-play rebound for his ninth goal of the season.
A few minutes later, Kailer Yamamoto took a pass from Leon Draisaitl and beat San Jose netminder James Reimer for his 20th.
“When we know we’re not on our game fully, we know we can trust our process and go back to the simple things and keep chipping away at it,” Kulak said. “We’ve got lots of offence.
“We don’t ever really have issues scoring goals, so we just stuck with it and ended up getting it done.”
Scott Reedy replied with a deft deflection on the power play to make it 3-2 Sharks after two.
It went back-and-forth in the third. Oilers forward Derek Ryan tipped Tyson Barrie’s point shot for his 10th.
Nick Bonino restored the Sharks’ lead 1:05 later. Only 1:05 after that, Oilers captain Connor McDavid set up Philip Broberg in the high slot. Broberg ripped in his first NHL goal to make it 4-4.
”Connor made a really good play and I snuck down and tried to get it on net and it ended up going in,” Broberg said. “I’m focused on playing my own game and trying to help the team any way I can, and if I can score a goal, that’s great.”
“It’s special for him, and (it was) a big goal at that,” Woodcroft said. “It was a tying goal and important at that time of the game, and I’m sure he’ll remember it forever — especially who passed it to him.”
Reimer stopped McDavid on a breakaway about a minute in overtime. With 3:23 to go, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins set up Hyman for a one-timer to end the game.
The Oilers (48-27-6) will host Vancouver on Friday to conclude the team’s regular season. You can listen to the game live on 630 CHED beginning with The Faceoff Show at 5:30 p.m. The actual game starts at 7 p.m.
–With files from Brenden Escott, 630 CHED