The Edmonton Oilers head coach has to rally his young troop after a 7-0 playoff loss in San Jose Tuesday night. After winning Game 1 in dramatic overtime fashion, the Sharks have been shutout in the past two games as strong goaltending and defense on both sides has become the story. "The series is still 2-2".
Edmonton's deficiencies in the post-season were supposed to be their depth down the middle and the lack of productivity among their bottom nine forwards, but they have shored up their lines and matched up well with the Sharks.
"It's nice, but you win 1-0 [or] you win 7-0, it's just one win", Couture said. "You've got to turn the page and bounce back and try to get your team a win".
"They have lived through these type of games and know where to take it", McLellan said.
The Edmonton Oilers scored half as many goals on Sunday as they did on Friday and they still emerged victorious against Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks.
Joe Pavelski, with just one goal in his last 14 games, assisted on Couture's first goal and also scored twice, including one just 15 seconds into the first period to set a team record for the fastest goal to start a playoff game.
After losing 2 straight to the Habs Alain Vingneault shuffled his lines and it seemed to work, as a much better looking Rangers team withstood a late charge from Montreal to win 2-1 and tie up the series at two games a piece heading back to the Bell Centre for Game 5. It started with Couture rifling a shot from the past Talbot at 11:02 of the first period with defenceman Kris Russell in the penalty box for hooking. Making their first playoff appearance in a decade, the Oilers have 20-year-old Art Ross Trophy victor Connor McDavid.
The Sharks continued to show signs of addressing their biggest shortcomings in games two and three, as the power-play woes also showed signs of life and finally punished the overly aggressive Edmonton fore-check.
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The tension was on the pitch rather than the stands as both sides scrapped energetically for the semi-final berth. Besiktas had the running for most of the extra time but failed to convert chances.
Couture pocketed his second goal of the night at 12:52 when he received Jannik Hansen's feed and deftly found the top right corner of the net from the slot. Leon Draisaitl was issued a five-minute major and game misconduct at 13:44, pitchforking Chris Tierney in the groin as the two battled in the corner. Laurent Brossoit gave up another two goals on only eight shots.
Shark David Schlemko scored a power play goal 6:45 into the third for a 7-0 lead.
Already, Talbot, said, he had put the game out of his mind.
"We're not playing against a team that has just appeared in the playoffs".
But he acknowledged he was frustrated with his performance.
"As a goalie, I want to make a save here or there to stop their momentum, and I wasn't able to do that".
I think it matters a lot.
Goals have been hard to come by for both the Oilers and the Sharks. We know that. Obviously that's been a concern for us all season. Marcus and I talked about bringing Kevin Labanc into the lineup on last night's podcast, and I think re-introducing Mikkel Boedker would help matters, too. While the odds are still against them, they have at least given their fans some hope, and brought the series a little closer to where folks thought it should be.