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Marleau says he wants to return to Sharks, but it might not be so easy

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It seemed strangely fitting that Patrick Marleau scored the final goal of the San Jose Sharks’ season as the Edmonton Oilers eliminated them in Game 6.

Monday presented questions about what that goal means.

For one thing, it definitely doesn’t sound like Marleau expects that to be his final goal in the NHL, as he believes he has “at least five good years in me, or maybe more,” according to NBC Sports California’s Kevin Kurz.

“I still think I can contribute and play,” Marleau said. “Until I think I can’t do that anymore, I’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

The 37-year-old made a strong argument that he can still light up the lamp in 2016-17. He scored 27 goals and 46 points during the regular season and ended his playoff run with three goals and an assist (all in the final three contests vs. Edmonton).

Marleau was especially effective once the new year rolled around, collecting 29 points in his last 41 games.

Before we get to the more unpleasant stuff, let’s watch that last goal:

So … yeah, that’s a pretty convincing case that he can at least still play now.

The bigger question is: if Marleau really wants term, are the Sharks willing to give him what he’s looking for?

Marleau admitted that discussions on an extension haven’t even happened yet. When you consider the upcoming challenges for San Jose, you wonder if this is it for a player who’s suited up for a whopping 1,493 regular season games with the franchise (even after there were significant trade rumors over the years).

Marc-Edouard Vlasic‘s outstanding value $4.25 million cap hit evaporates after 2017-18, and the same can be said for Martin Jones‘ $3 million mark. One could imagine the Sharks approaching Marleau with a very appealing one-year offer, but it would be a big leap to imagine the franchise going for a guy who’s approaching 40 instead of a solid starting goalie and one of the best pure defensemen in the NHL.

So, really, the question isn’t “Will Marleau really play for five more years?” Instead, it might be “Does Marleau value playing for the Sharks enough to take a shorter deal or does he want that term right now?”

Video: Draisaitl, Slepyshev score on breakaways, Talbot spurns Marleau

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Some playoff games or even series come down to something as stupidly simple as one team taking advantage of their opportunities while the other fails to capitalize on chances.

If Game 6 of the Oilers – Sharks series follows the story of the second period, then San Jose may join Saturday’s stream of eliminated teams.

It’s not fair to boil it down to three breakaways, but some might feel that way.

Leon Draisaitl looked like a gritty, strong veteran during his first career playoff goal, bulling his way to the net for 1-0 breakaway tally. About a minute later, Anton Slepyshev was even more alone against Martin Jones, and he scored his first postseason goal to make it 2-0.

That stings for the Sharks, and it doesn’t help that they had a similar chance not long after. This time around, Patrick Marleau couldn’t beat Cam Talbot, so it remained 2-0 for Edmonton.

That’s the same score as the game enters the third period, even with some dangerous late chances for the Sharks.

If the Sharks don’t score at least two goals in the third, their push to return to the Stanley Cup Final could end in the first round.

Oilers come roaring back, dominate overtime to defeat Sharks

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What else was Martin Jones supposed to do?

The San Jose Sharks goalie had played out of his mind, especially in overtime, making a number of unbelievable saves as the Edmonton Oilers applied relentless pressure in search of the winner.

Of the saves Jones made, his best came off Connor McDavid on a two-on-one rush — a game-saving stop at the time.

Jones came sprawling across the crease in desperation to make a spectacular left-pad stop on the Oilers star. It gave his Sharks teammates a chance to find their legs again.

But that never happened. San Jose didn’t register its first overtime shot until after the midway point of the period.

The Oilers dominated the overtime and finally ended it on a goal from David Desharnais, taking a 4-3 win and a 3-2 series lead. That puts the defending Western Conference champs on the brink of elimination in the opening round.

Edmonton had 14 shots on goal in overtime. San Jose? Only two. It was completely lopsided.

The Sharks now need a win in Game 6 to force a seventh and deciding game, after they were 2:46 away from winning Thursday’s contest in regulation and instead sending this series back to San Jose with the chance to close out the Oilers.

Instead, the Oilers came roaring back, erasing a two-goal deficit. It started with a massive McDavid hit on Marcus Sorensen, picked up momentum on a Mark Letestu goal late in the second period and continued with an Oscar Klefbom rocket of a slap shot off the post and in to tie the game late in regulation.

A big question heading into Thursday was how would the Oilers respond after such a bad loss in Game 4? They had a great start in Game 5, then watched as San Jose took over on the score board with three straight goals.

But every time the Oilers have been forced to respond after a bad game (think back to their win in Game 2 after opening the series with a loss, and then the same situation from Games 4 and 5), they’ve been up to the challenge so far.

“It’s a cliche, but we played on our toes tonight,” said Oilers coach Todd McLellan. “We were aggressively hunting pucks.”

McDavid scores first playoff goal as Oilers shut out Sharks

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Edmonton Oilers fans have waited a long time for a night like this.

Thanks to a dominant defensive performance, a 16-save shutout from Cam Talbot, and a pair of shorthanded goals the Oilers were 2-0 winners over the San Jose Sharks on Friday night to even their first-round series at one game apiece and give the franchise its first playoff win since the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.

As good as the Oilers were, the story for the Sharks on Friday was one of missed opportunities.

Stream Sharks vs. Oilers on NBC Sports

Not only did they fail to capitalize on any of the six power play opportunities they were given by the Oilers, that same power play unit ended up allowing the game’s only two goals.

The first goal came just 42 seconds into the second period when Zach Kassian (who was a one-man wrecking crew on the night, delivering a number of thunderous hits) beat Sharks goalie Martin Jones for what would end up being all the offense the Oilers would need.

But Connor McDavid would add some insurance later in the third period when he scored his first career playoff goal when he pounced on a loose puck in the defensive zone and used his speed to skate away from everyone on the ice and beat Jones with a quick shot off the rush to put the game away.

In the end, this was about as complete of a game as the Oilers could have possibly played, completely shutting down the Sharks offense. While the shots on goal advantage was 36-16 in favor of the Oilers, the total shot attempts (77-36) were even more lopsided. Especially when you consider that San Jose spent an additional four minutes on the power play over the course of the night.

Sharks complete the comeback with OT win over Oilers

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Talk about the perfect start for the home team.

But it didn’t end the way the Oilers and their fans wanted in the highly anticipated return of Stanley Cup playoff hockey to Edmonton.

Playing in the franchise’s first playoff game since 2006, the Oilers came flying out of the gate in Game 1 against the San Jose Sharks, opening up a two-goal lead on goals from Oscar Klefbom and Milan Lucic against the defending Western Conference champs.

Watch Sharks vs. Oilers on NBC Sports

The Oilers played fast. They played physical. They looked in complete control. Well, for 20 minutes, anyway.

But the game swung in the Sharks favor in the second period, before they eventually completed the comeback and won 3-2 in overtime.

The Sharks, without Joe Thornton for this one, completely took over, holding the Oilers to just nine shots through the second and third periods, and in a brief overtime session. Joel Ward started the comeback early in the second period and Paul Martin scored the equalizer early in the third.

The Sharks were all over the Oilers in the final period of regulation. They peppered Talbot with 18 shots, while the Oilers managed only three on Martin Jones.

After dominating the majority of this game, the Sharks won it on a goal from Melker Karlsson, as he beat Talbot on San Jose’s 44 shot of the night.