Thursday provided a solid first look at how the Edmonton Oilers hope to fare with a – finally – healthy roster and some tweaks to the trade deadline.
Leon Draisaitl scored a pair of goals as the Oilers snapped a two-game losing skid with a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks.
Kailer Yamamoto, newcomer Derick Brassard and Evander Kane also scored for the Oilers (36-24-5), who improved to 6-1-1 in their last eight outings.
“Every point counts at this time of year,” Oilers forward Zach Hyman said. “I thought the two guys we brought [deadline day additions Derick Brassard and Brett Kulak] were great and with [Ryan Nugent-Hopkins] coming back from injury, we can start to see our team fully healthy with all the guys. I thought it was great to get the win and continue to build confidence going forward.
Mike Smith stopped 28 of 30 shots for Edmonton to take the win.
“We’ve done a lot of things here over the past few weeks that have given this team a lot of confidence. We feel like we can play with anyone in this league,” he said. “I feel like the last two or three weeks we’ve really had traction here. We’ve played good hockey against good hockey teams. I’m confident things are moving in the right direction at the right time. time of year.
Erik Karlsson and Tomas Hertl scored for the Sharks (28-28-8), who saw a two-game winning streak snapped.
San Jose’s Kaapo Kahkonen made 36 saves in his debut for the Sharks.
“Not the result we wanted, obviously,” Kahkonen said. “Good is not good enough in this league. I wish I could have made one or two more saves here, keep it a bit closer. But overall I felt good. The guys were great .
After a scoreless first, the Sharks broke the deadlock just 68 seconds into the second period as some fine passing helped Karlsson lay his 10th of the season into a wide-open net with Smith lying on the ice cream.
Edmonton rebounded five minutes into the second on the power play as Yamamoto headed for the net and sent a backhand shot past Kahkonen’s legs for that 18th of the season and seventh goal in the eight last matches.
Three minutes later, Zack Kassian knocked down a defenseman with the puck along the boards and it came out to Draisaitl, who scored his 43rd goal of the season.
Sharks forward Logan Couture was injured when he was hit by a point shot from his own player and did not return.
The teams traded goals seven minutes into the third period as Brassard scored his first goal as an Oiler when he sent a puck over the net and it tumbled off Karlsson’s skate and inside.
However, San Jose responded just 29 seconds later when Hertl got some space in the slot and he picked the top corner for his 26th.
Edmonton took a two-goal lead with just over six minutes to go as Connor McDavid made a perfect pass to Draisaitl on the power play for his second of the game.
The Oilers scrapped the game on an empty net from Kane.
Both teams return to action on Saturday as the Oilers travel to Calgary to take on the Flames and the Sharks return home to host the Anaheim Ducks.
Edmonton had a healthy roster for one of the first times this season as forward Nugent-Hopkins returned after missing 12 games with an upper-body injury… The Oilers also hosted the defenseman Kulak, acquired from the Montreal Canadiens before the trade deadline, and journeyman forward Brassard, formerly of the Philadelphia Flyers … San Jose’s addition on deadline day Kahkonen made his first start with San Jose after coming from the Minnesota Wild… The Sharks were hurt by Adin Hill (lower body), Mario Ferraro (lower body), Kevin Labanc (upper body) and Matt Nieto (undisclosed).