San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (L-R), center Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau celebrate. File photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The San Jose Sharks broke their goal-scoring drought with a vengeance Tuesday to run the Edmonton Oilers right out of SAP Center.
San Jose's 7-0 victory in Game 4 followed consecutive shutout losses and tied the Western Conference quarterfinal 2-2. The pivotal Game 5 is Thursday in Edmonton, and the series is guaranteed to return to the South Bay for Game 6 on Saturday.
"It's just one of those games that just happens," Sharks forward Joel Ward said. "It means nothing now going on to the next game -- 1-0 or 7-0 -- it's just another game and you keep moving forward."
Captain Joe Pavelski set a franchise record for the fastest goal at the outset of a playoff game -- 15 seconds -- in addition to scoring later on the power play and contributing an assist. Logan Couture added two goals while defenseman Brent Burns chipped in with his first points of the series with three assists.
Patrick Marleau, Marcus Sorensen and David Schlemko also scored.
"My math says the series is still 2-2," Oilers captain Connor McDavid said. "You don't get two games for winning 7-0."
Goalie Martin Jones earned his fourth career playoff shutout with 23 saves.
"We came in here, we established home ice and now it's best of three," said Oilers goalie Cam Talbot, who was replaced in the second period. "It doesn't matter if it's 1-0 or 7-0, the series is 2-2 and now we're heading home to play in front of our fans."
The struggling San Jose power play set a record as well, converting 4 of 8 chances (the previous mark was three set five times in the playoffs). And the seven goals total tied a club record set twice previously -- once at home (April 20, 2014) against Los Angeles and once on the road (April 30, 1999) at Colorado.
"We've been saying we have confidence in it, just a matter of time before we strike," Sharks center Joe Thornton said.
After taking a 2-0 lead after the first period on the quick goal by Pavelski and a goal by Couture midway through the period, San Jose broke the game open with a four-goal second period.
Marleau started the onslaught with his first of the playoffs with a power-play strike at 2:02 after Edmonton defenseman Oscar Klefbom had a failed clear.
Sorensen was all alone at the side of the net to deposit a rebound of a shot from Schlemko at 9:46 and suddenly the Sharks had more goals in less than half of Game 4 than they had scored in the first three games combined.
When Couture scored his second of the night at 12:52 to make it 5-0 after Jannik Hansen demolished Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson to force a turnover, the Oilers replaced Talbot with backup Laurent Brossoit. Talbot stopped 19 of the 24 shots he faced. Brossoit gave up two goals on eight shots.
Edmonton center Leon Draisaitl earned a game misconduct on top of his major for spearing Chris Tierney, and the Sharks struck once on the five-minute advantage as Pavelski potted his second of the night by redirecting a Burns drive at 16:46.
"We were bad tonight, obviously," McDavid said. "That's not our team, that's not our game. We haven't been like that all year. It was a one-off. We take the game tape and throw it away."
The Sharks' goal drought ended quickly. Pavelski fully extended his stick to deflect down a wrist shot by defenseman Justin Braun from the right point, a puck that bounced past Talbot.
The sequence was a result of Talbot freezing a Burns dump-in from center, and Oilers coach Todd McLellan elected to change lines before Pavelski won the offensive-zone draw against McDavid.
It marked San Jose's fastest goal scored at the outset of a playoff game. The previous record was 28 seconds (Dany Heatley vs. Los Angeles in 2011 during a 3-2 win).
"That was something we wanted to do," Couture said. "It's an intimidating building to play in and it is even more when we have a lead early. We rode that momentum."
San Jose scored again on the power play, which was overdue after going converting only once in 14 tries in the first three games. Couture punched his first playoff goal past Talbot at 11:02 on a feed from Pavelski 1:03 into Kris Russell's hook of Sharks rookie Timo Meier.
Schlemko capped the scoring with a power-play score at 6:45 of the third period.
"We were able to create more on the power play and scored on our Grade-A chances," Couture said.
NOTES: Searching for offense, Sharks coach Peter DeBoer opened Game 4 with all new forward lines without changing any personnel from the previous game. The top two lines featured Joe Thornton centering Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski while Logan Couture was between Joonas Donskoi and Jannik Hansen. The two bottom lines were Timo Meier-Tomas Hertl-Melker Karlsson and Marcus Sorensen-Chris Tierney-Joel Ward. ... Edmonton made no lineup changes from Friday's Game 2 win to Sunday's Game 3. ... C Micheal Haley, RW Kevin Labanc, D Dylan DeMelo and LW Mikkel Boedker were San Jose's healthy scratches. ... LW Matt Hendricks, RW Iiro Pakarinen, LW Jujhar Khaira and D Eric Gryba did not dress for Edmonton.