Playoff experience gives Sharks an edge in Game 1 win over Oilers

"I think it's exciting for them to get that opportunity". It was a half-breakaway. Most of the Oilers' players are untested in the postseason, with the exception of guys like Milan Lucic or Benoit Pouliot.

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.

"As a group we wanted to have a good bounce-back game", said Kassian. The two were in an unmarked vehicle when they responded to a call the night of February 25, 2015 reporting a man chasing another man with a knife.

"Teams change. They change rosters, they change players, they change lines. It's tough to do that when you get caught and you're out there for a while and burning energy". "You lose momentum by doing that", said Eberle. "We're here now and we're playing and that's all that matters".

Now, McDavid gets to shine on the playoff stage against a Sharks team that could be without its top two centers in Joe Thornton and Logan Couture. San Jose outshot Edmonton 18-3 in the third and 6-2 in overtime, and knew exactly when to turn it on against the inexperienced Oilers. Nick Bonino and Bryan Rust also scored, and Evgeni Malkin assisted on Rust and Kessel's goals in his first game back after missing the final three weeks of the regular season because of an upper-body injury. The Sharks are a deep, experienced team with a heavy lineup. San Jose will pressure the Oilers and Talbot will be the last line of defense.

"We're disappointed with the way it went", said Sharks forward Joe Pavelski. "We forechecked them hard and they got caught on some long shifts".

Zach Parise tied the game with 22.7 seconds left in regulation for the Wild, whose dominance was thwarted by a stellar performance from Allen. It was the first time ever in the team's 25-year history. The Oilers ended up losing 3-2 in overtime but Gretzky says he's happy to see playoff hockey back in Edmonton.

Key forwards such as Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and defensemen Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse will play their first National Hockey League playoff game on Wednesday.

Lucic made it 2-0 with less than three minutes to go in the period on the power play.

Then again, the Stanley Cup playoffs always provide a new atmosphere: full crowds, full beards and endless levels of enthusiasm. But despite a long history with numerous key players on the Sharks, McLellan sees little advantage.

With four skaters aside, Tomas Hertl fought off a check from Oilers defenseman Kris Russell, took the puck in front and got a shot on Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot.

Edmonton must be giddy about drawing San Jose in Round 1. With Thornton and Couture mending, San Jose will need gritty goals early on and Ward could be the guy to rain on Edmonton's parade plans.

"It was fantastic to see Orange Crush come alive in Oil Country last night", Goss said.

"We've got to let this one go", he said. They did a good job.

Since Edmonton won the draft lottery in 2015 and selected the Toronto native No. 1, McDavid has been at the center of the organization's turnaround, leading the Oilers to their first playoff appearance since 2006.

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