Kassian scores, Talbot shuts door as Oilers win game three

With the Edmonton Oilers leading 2-1 in their playoff series with the San Jose Sharks, it's Oilers fans who smell blood in the water.

The opening puck drop for Game Four is 8 p.m. our time.

Despite Rickey's presence, the Sharks came up just short, losing to the Oilers, 1-0.

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He's still being considered a game-time decision, but my guess is he gives it a go.

"We came in here, we established home ice and now it's best of three", said Oilers goalie Cam Talbot, who was replaced in the second period.

After splitting the first two games of the series in Edmonton without Thornton, the Sharks are now down 2-1. Just as important was the play of Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Joe Thornton, Brent Burns and Patrick Marleau, their big men.

"We were bad tonight, obviously", McDavid said.

NOTES: Sharks C Joe Thornton made his series debut after missing the first two games and the final three of the regular season due to a left knee injury.

The Sharks have done a good job containing the Edmonton captain at even strength, but lose containment on him when otherwise occupied in special teams situations.

"As a goalie, you want to make an extra save or two here and there", Talbot said. He was out there at the Oilers morning skate in San Jose however, and says he is fine to play in Game 3. He has no goals and no assists to show for the first four games. We haven't played like that all year.

Couture wasn't the only Sharks player who took a physical pounding in Game 2.

The offensive resurgence took all of 15 seconds as San Jose center Joe Pavelski netted the first goal of the evening past Cam Talbot glove side via a deflection off of a Justin Braun slap-shot.

"They have lived through these type of games and know where to take it", McLellan said.

"I don't think this would mean almost as much if we hadn't been waiting the 10 years for it, and I think that's why a lot of people made the trip down here".

"He puts himself in a spot where it's really hard to defend because you really need to pay attention to where his stick is at", Klefbom said of Pavelski, known for his net-front tips.

"I think he's getting more confident as this series goes on", Thornton said.

Whether it was conditioning or a minor setback that kept Thornton off the ice in the final minutes of Game 3, the 37-year-old veteran does appear to be making significant improvements every day.

San Jose isn't exactly a hockey hotbed.

Coach Todd McLellan knows what to expect from the franchise he coached for seven seasons before being replaced by DeBoer. Previously, the Sharks had never won a playoff game by more than five goals.

Pavelski said: "We got a split there, they got one here".

They're right back in the series, which has turned into a best-of-three.

One thing that's also clear is that the young guns of the Oilers, namely Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl don't seem to be handling the way stars get treated by their opponents in the playoffs.

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