Hall scores twice as Oilers beat Sharks
SAN JOSE – Taylor Hall and the young Edmonton Oilers had a lot of fun – at the reeling San Jose Sharks’ expense.
Hall, the No. 1 overall pick in the June draft, scored twice and added an assist and Devan Dubnyk made 41 saves in the Oilers’ 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.
“It was a fun night,” said Hall, who has 14 goals and 12 assists in 42 NHL games. “It could have been a huge night, but first and foremost we played well as a team and got the win.”
Dustin Penner, Andrew Cogliano and Linus Omark also scored for Edmonton. The Oilers won for only the second time in 11 games and ended a three-game road losing streak.
“If you play hard and do everything you can to stay on your toes you’ll be competitive at least,” Oilers coach Tom Renney said. “We certainly had good goaltending and the penalty killing was really good.”
Joe Thornton and Ryane Clowe scored power-play goals for San Jose. The Sharks have lost six straight overall – their longest losing streak in 15 years – and also have dropped six in a row at home. The Sharks lost seven straight during the 1995-96 season.
“We knew they lost five in a row,” Hall said. “We knew if we came in and played well it would be a good feeling to really get back at them. They’ve beaten us pretty good this year.”
Ales Hemsky had four assists for the Oilers, giving him 10 points in his last eight games. Omark scored his second goal of the season and his first in nine games.
Thornton has six goals in his last 34 games after scoring five in his first eight.
“It probably sounds like a broken record and there’s not a lot to say,” Clowe said. “Maybe we just have to get it together. Right now there are no easy games.”
Cogliano got the Oilers on the scoreboard late in the first period on a shot into the upper-right corner following a pass from Liam Reddox.
Penner caught Niittymaki out of position early in the second period and buried a shot to the right corner.
“They’re still a pretty high-powered team,” Penner said. “I’m sure they’ll find it. They had plenty of opportunities to put the puck in the net tonight.”
Most of the sellout crowd began heading for the exits after Edmonton took a 3-0 lead late in the second period on Hall’s first goal, which was awarded following a review of the shot. He poked the puck into Niittymaki’s glove and it slid out and just barely crossed the goal line.
The rest of the crowd booed the Sharks off the ice at the end of the period and not many were around when Thornton scored on an assist from Dany Heatley in the first 6 minutes of the third period.
“I’m the coach, I’m the leader of this team,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. “It’s my responsibility to make sure they are prepared to play. Right now I’m not doing a very good job.”
Omark’s goal midway through the final period came seconds after the Sharks killed a 5-on-3 advantage to make it 4-1.
Clowe scored with 49 seconds left and Hall had an empty-netter with 3 seconds left.
NOTES: Sharks C Joe Pavelski was activated from injured reserve before the game and C Torrey Mitchell was placed on IR. … Oilers F Magnus Paajarvi had his first point in 11 games when he assisted on Omark’s goal. … Thornton has points in consecutive games after a five-game scoreless streak. … Penner had 11 goals in 29 games against the Sharks. … Sharks F Patrick Marleau is two games shy of 1,000.