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Couture Exits With Injury, Kahkonen Loses Sharks’ Debut 5-2

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Credit: NBC Sports California

The San Jose Sharks take on the Oilers for their first game in Edmonton since Feb. 20. It’s Kaapo Kahkonen’s Sharks’ debut and also Noah Gregor’s first game in his hometown. Erik Karlsson got the Sharks off to a great start, but the Oilers overwhelmed them 5-2.

Period 1

5 in: Balcers and Bonino cross line, but soft Balcers pass gets intercepted. Has to make a better play. If he can’t finesse it, get it in deep.

Couture and Gregor to start on PK. Then Hertl and Meier.

9 in: Chmelevski fakes the DZ breakout pass to the middle, then skates it up and stickhandles his way up the ice himself.

8 left: Karlsson to Merkley back to Karlsson one-timer. Karlsson heels it, but fun, a snapshot of their potential together.

6 left: Like Chmelevski, Meloche waits out Oilers, evades forecheck and skate puck out himself.

4 left: Keith burns Chmelevski in NZ there.

2 left: Barabanov has that gift for protecting the puck and finding it to move it. Nice job getting it to Meier.

1 left: Vlasic just swallowed up by Oilers’ forecheck.

Period 2

Exhilarating shift for Karlsson: Great read when Meloche breaks his stick, Karlsson hedges higher and intercepts attempted breakaway pass to Draisaitl. Then puck is almost stolen from him by THREE converging Oilers in DZ, but Karlsson manages to squeeze it to Barabanov. Karlsson attacks, Oilers forget about him in front of Smith, and Hertl makes a marvelous one-touch pass to the wide-open EK65.

Barabanov had a nifty set-up for Meloche, that’s when Meloche broke his stick. But he’s been good lately.

Yamamoto goal: Chmelevski just can’t keep up with Yamamoto.

Draisaitl goal: I agree with Hedican, that needs to be called on Kassian. Leads to a clear scoring chance, no clearer example of a cross-check than that.

First Sharks PP: Beautiful puck movement, high to low, Burns to Karlsson. Karlsson can’t quite re-direct it perfectly.

2 left: That patience by Karlsson, wait for Hertl to be a little more open.

Period 3

1 in: Merkley doesn’t provide much resistance on Puljujarvi cut to the net.

Smith opens the door for Sharks with a needless penalty. That was a disgraceful PP though: Hyman held the puck for like 30 seconds as nobody could take the puck from him.

Brassard goal: Just rough luck for Karlsson, who does a reasonable job of taking Nugent-Hopkins’s stick away.

Hertl goal: Beautiful work for Hertl & Meier. Hertl beats McLeod off the wall.

8 left: Would love to hear McDavid’s honest opinion of Vlasic’s game. Vlasic famously played McDavid very tough in the 2017 Playoffs.

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