Oscar Klefbom

The West’s next round is now set (and wide-open)

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Saturday was a great day for fans of brevity and revenge.

Three of a possible three series ended on this day, with the Rangers dispatching the Canadiens, the Blues eliminating the “better” Wild, and the Oilers knocking off the Sharks in six.

The Rangers await either the Bruins or Senators and the Penguins face the winner of the Leafs – Capitals series out East, but we now know how the West shakes out.

St. Louis Blues vs. Nashville Predators

Both teams provided some of the upsets of this young postseason. Each features a red-hot goalie in Jake Allen and Pekka Rinne. Interesting.

Anaheim Ducks vs. Edmonton Oilers

There will be a lot of orange. We may also see a ton of goals with Ryan Getzlaf on fire, Oscar Klefbom headlining the list of unhealthy players and Connor McDavid possibly able to really take off against a Ducks defense that is beat up in its own right.

It’s already been a strange season out West, with the Kings missing the playoffs and first-round exits for the Sharks and Blackhawks. Get ready – and giddy – for things to get even weirder as the postseason goes along.

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.”

Jumbo Joe is good to go: Sharks get Thornton back for Game 3

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The San Jose Sharks managed to split the first two games in Edmonton, but there’s no doubt that they’re elated to have Joe Thornton back for Game 3 against the Oilers.

“Jumbo Joe” has been sidelined since April 2 with a knee/lower-body issue. He’s back tonight as the series shifts to the Shark Tank for a pivotal contest.

Interestingly, the Sharks are placing Thornton back into the lineup in place of speedy (but hot-and-cold) winger Mikkel Boedker.

So, the Sharks get bigger, more bearded and more experienced … though the speed disparity, at times, could be quite glaring when a (possibly hobbled) Thornton is out there with Connor McDavid.

Stream Sharks vs. Oilers on NBC Sports

The Oilers have good injury news of their own, too, as Oscar Klefbom is good to go.

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.

 

Video: Klefbom scores first Oilers playoff goal — since 2006

It had been a while.

Oscar Klefbom opened the scoring for Edmonton in Game 1 versus the San Jose Sharks, giving the Oilers — and their fans — their first playoff goal since 2006.

The last Oilers player to score a post-season goal? That would be Fernando Pisani in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, which the Oilers lost to the Hurricanes 3-1.

Watch Sharks vs. Oilers on NBC Sports

Klefbom changed that, as his pass in front deflected in off a San Jose defender and through the legs of Martin Jones.

The Oilers went into the intermission with a 2-0 lead after a power play goal from Milan Lucic.