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.
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.