Oilers will be trying to bounce back against Sharks

EDMONTON, Alberta -- All the storylines have changed.

After the 7-0 beatdown the San Jose Sharks inflicted on the Edmonton Oilers in Game 4 of their Western Conference first-round series, they are no longer talking about how a young and hungry Oilers team was defending so well against last year's Stanley Cup finalists.

While the series is tied at two wins apiece and the Oilers will have home-ice advantage Thursday when the teams meet for Game 5, Edmonton is now the team facing the questions.

And there is concern about how an Oilers team -- with nearly half of its roster making their playoff debuts in this series -- will fare mentally after receiving such a drubbing.

After three games, the Sharks have only three goals in the series -- and none in Games 2 and 3.

NHL regular-season leading scorer Connor McDavid of the Oilers has been held without a point in the last two games. The team had just one goal in Games 3 and 4.

"We're learning as we go," said Oilers coach Todd McLellan. "Our top scorers haven't experienced this level of hockey. They really haven't."

After three games, lots of questions were being asked of the Sharks' power play; it was held without a goal in Games 2 and 3 and had given up two short-handed goals.

The Sharks scored four power-play goals in Game 4. It's safe to say the Sharks have now found their groove with the man advantage.

McLellan said that while the Oilers need to find some goals, they also need to improve a heck of a lot on the back end -- and with their discipline. When a team gives up four goals on the power play, it knows that it can't afford to take a lot of penalties.

"I'm pretty confident in predicting that we're not going to get eight in Edmonton, so we have to prevent some goals, too," said McLellan. "We have to stay out of the penalty box. I think I've said that for Games 1, 2 and 3 already, so eventually it's going to get through to our group."

The silliest penalty of all was handed out to Oiler Leon Draisaitl, who got five-minute major and game misconduct for spearing the Sharks' Chris Tierney.

The NHL's Department of Player Safety conducted a hearing with Draisaitl on Wednesday and issued a fine of $2,569.44, "the maximum allowable under the CBA." Draisaitl, though, will not be suspended.

Meanwhile, Sharks coach Peter DeBoer is preaching calm. A seven-goal rout is nice, the fact that Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski each got their first two goals of the series is important, but it doesn't matter if you win a squeaker in overtime or enjoy a romp like Game 4.

"It was nice to score and win by the margin we did, but we still only get one win for it, we don't get anything extra," said DeBoer. "It's still 2-2 and now we have to follow that up."

And here's more to add to DeBoer's "only get one win" line of thought. In 2014, the Sharks beat the Kings 7-2 at the SAP Center in a first-round playoff game. The Sharks went on to lose that series.

"Each series is different, each game is different," said Couture, who led the NHL playoff scoring race in 2016. "One win. That's it, 2-2, we've got a best-of-three left and we're going to go try and win a game in Edmonton."

Oilers veteran defenseman Andrej Sekera said his team will get past the rout.

"There is a lesson every game, especially in these ones," Sekera said. "But the good thing is its day two, we're going home, and it really comes down to who will win the miniseries, best-of-three. ... I think we'll be fine. We talked about it in the dressing room, also here (at the team hotel) at the dinner and stuff like that. Those are the ones you learn from, forget about them, and move on."
Related Topics:
sportsespnedmonton oilersnhlsan jose sharks
(Copyright ©2018 ESPN Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.)