EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - The San Jose Sharks were sluggish in the first period while playing on back-to-back nights.
That all changed in the second.
After the Sharks fell behind by a goal in the opening frame, Joe Pavelski scored three times and set up another goal as the Sharks snapped a two-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the struggling Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.
Patrick Marleau and Marty Havlat also scored for the Sharks (47-18-9) who moved four points up on idle Anaheim for the Pacific Division lead and remained two points behind St. Louis for first in the Western Conference.
“I think after back-to-back nights and not having a morning skate and things like that, you’re probably going to be a little sluggish,” said Sharks captain Joe Thornton, who had two assists. “We continued to get better and better and it was a good way to end the night.”
San Jose clinched a playoff spot in a shootout loss to Calgary on Monday.
The Sharks’ power play came in ranked 23rd in the NHL and had gone just three-for-35 in its last 10 games.
They were 3-for-3 against the Oilers.
“The numbers aren’t that important, it’s when they come and how they come,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. “We’ve had nights like this, and it just hasn’t gone in. When you look at the power play standings and the numbers and that type of stuff, you panic over it outside the room, but not inside the room.
“We finally got a reward for playing basically the same way that we have.”
David Perron and Taylor Hall scored for the second-to-last place Oilers (25-39-9), who have lost three in a row. Edmonton was beaten 8-1 by the Calgary Flames on Sunday after a 3-1 defeat to the last-place Buffalo Sabres.
“We wanted to come back and play solid after our last couple games and get back to the stuff that we had been having some success with,” Oilers captain Andrew Ference said. “The power play chances they got, they jumped on and put us behind the eight ball. I think our five-on-five hockey was light years better than our last game. That wasn’t too tough to beat, though.”
The Oilers started the scoring just over four minutes in when Perron went around Tyler Kennedy before putting a shot past Antti Niemi. It was Perron’s team-leading 26th goal.
San Jose tied it 6:28 into the second on Pavelski’s first goal of the night. Ben Scrivens made the initial stop on a shot from the slot by Marleau, but the rebound angled to Pavelski at the side of the net for his 35th goal.
Another power-play goal midway through the period gave San Jose a 2-1 lead. Pavelski chopped a puck to Marleau at the top of the opposite circle, and he scored before Scrivens could get across. It was Marleau’s 31st goal.
“I think we’ve been bad for a long time and in the last few games we’ve created a little bit of momentum on it,” Pavelski said of the power play. “It hasn’t been one game and then take a couple of games off, we’ve been consistent on our opportunities, and tonight it just finally went in for us.”
The Sharks took a two-goal lead with 30 seconds left in the middle period after Jeff Petry overskated a puck at his blue line, allowing Havlat to come in and put a wrist shot past Scrivens stickside.
San Jose scored their third man-advantage goal of the game at 1:17 of the third period. Pavelski got the puck with space in front, waited for defender Andrew Ference to go down, and then beat Scrivens to make it 4-1.
Pavelski finished his third hat trick of the season with seven minutes left in the third. Pavelski’s four-point night gave him 71 points on the season.
Hall brought the Oilers within 5-2 when he got to a rebound in front and hooked in a diving backhand shot for his 25th goal.
The Oilers have been outscored 16-4 in their last three home games.
NOTES: It was the fourth of five games this season between the teams. The Sharks won the first two games before the Oilers won on Jan. 29. … Laurent Brossoit was called up from the AHL to serve as the Oilers backup goalie after Viktor Fasth was injured in a collision in practice on Wednesday. … Oilers forward Nail Yakupov missed his fourth straight game with an ankle injury. … Sharks forward Logan Couture was unable to play after he sustained a lower-body injury while blocking a shot Wednesday against Calgary. Also out for the Sharks were forwards Tomas Hertl (knee) and Raffi Torres. … San Jose D Brad Stuart played in his second game back since missing 13 because of an upper-body injury. … Sharks RW Adam Burish left the game in the second period after taking a hard shot to the hand.
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