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Goaltender Mathieu Garon leads Oilers as they power past Sharks

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Mathieu Garon hadn't had much luck in his career against the San Jose Sharks until Thursday night.

Garon held the Sharks scoreless on eight power-play attempts and the Edmonton Oilers defeated San Jose 3-2. "It's always tough to get a win here in San Jose," Garon said. "It's one of the first times I've won here and I think it's huge for us starting a road trip."

Coming into the game, Garon was just 1-5-1 in 10 career games against San Jose while playing for Montreal and Los Angeles.

"We did a good job killing penalties, especially those five-on-threes and that made a difference," Garon said.

"It was just one of those games where everyone is shell-shocked by the number of penalties," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. "It was pretty incredible. Killing that six-on-three down to the last second was quite incredible."

Everyone on the Oilers was amazed that Garon was able to defend against so many power plays.

"Guys did a great job and again," Kyle Brodziak said. "Matty Garon was pretty unbelievable keeping us in the game and they had a lot of shots, but he made a number of big saves and controlled a lot of rebounds for us so that's a huge advantage when you're on the penalty kill."

Ales Hemsky, Brodziak and Fernando Pisani socred for the Oilers.

Joe Pavelski and Mike Grier replied for the Sharks.

The Sharks embark on an eight-game road trip and won't play at home again until March 3. While enjoying a 17-5-13 mark on the road, the team saw its home mark fall to 14-13-5.

"We had, I don't know why, a lot of guys who weren't really committed, maybe they took the Oilers lightly," San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. "We worked hard to get those power plays but they couldn't bring the passion they needed to score."

Edmonton scored first when Hemsky capitalized on a power play with 18:29 remaining in the second period. Hemsky scored his 15th goal on a backhand after getting the rebound of a Sam Gagner wraparound that ricocheted off the goal.

Hemsky has played with a sore wrist for the past four weeks that he puts a removable cast on when he's not playing.

Edmonton increased its lead to 2-0 when Brodziak scored with 10:27 left in the second when Zack Stortini's scoring attempt was easily stopped by goalie Evgeni Nabokov, but the puck landed in front of Brodziak who then tapped in his ninth goal of the season.

San Jose made it 2-1 when Pavelski scored with 3:17 left in the second. Garon stopped Marc-Edouard Vlasic's shot when the puck rolled to Pavelski, who scored his 12th goal of the season.

The Oilers made it 3-1 in the third when Ethan Moreau grabbed the puck after Kyle McLaren missed it with more than 16 minutes left in the game. Moreau then passed to Pisani, who slapped the puck between Nabokov's legs for his sixth goal of the season.

"I was just trying to keep it in and keep it in front of me," McLaren said. "It bounced over my stick and right onto his. You try to catch those pucks, it's pretty hard. It was an unfortunate bounce. I would have played different knowing it was going to bounce like that, it's too bad."

Grier scored a short-handed goal with more than 11 minutes left in the game to make it 3-2. It was Grier's seventh goal of the season.

Nabokov, who leads all goalies in minutes played and wins stopped 15 shots, but suffered his 18th loss.

Notes: San Jose captain Patrick Marleau missed his second straight game with a groin injury. ... The Oilers need just two goals to register their 8,000th regular-season goal in franchise history. ... Edmonton leads the NHL with 12 shootout wins. ... Wilson needs five wins to pass Darryl Sutter (192) become the winningest Sharks' head coach. ... Sharks centre Joe Thornton needs one assist for 500 for his career.


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