The Oilers had rallied to beat the Sharks the last time the teams played in Edmonton and in a crucial playoff game last spring, but Patrick Marleau had two goals and an assist Friday night and San Jose avoided a letdown to earn a 5-1 victory.
The Sharks were leading 4-1 after the second and head coach Ron Wilson wasn’t about to let another game against the Oilers slip away.
“Going into the third period I was still cautious,” he said. “In the playoffs we had a 3-1 lead, and the last time we were here we had a three-goal lead going into the third and boom, we lose. I just told the guys to keep their heads about them. We didn’t give them any opportunities to get back into this one.”
Fernando Pisani scored for the Oilers.
The Sharks have now won five of their last six and have only two losses in their last 10.
Grier, who had a two-point night, feels the Sharks are on an upward trend.
“We had pretty good jump tonight,” he said. “They got themselves into some penalty trouble and from there we took the game over.”
Edmonton has lost two in a row and four of its last six.
“I think everybody is frustrated,” Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson said. “But at the same time we can’t afford to feel sorry for ourselves. We’ve put ourselves into this hole and we have to dig ourselves out of it.”
Oilers assistant captain Ryan Smyth is looking for a better effort.
“We have to find a way to put it together here,” he said. “The bottom line is we have to compete. We need some extra intensity.
“We don’t have to be great, we just have to be good. … We are thinking too much instead of just playing the game.”
The Sharks controlled the play to start the game, but Edmonton opened the scoring at 13:20 when Pisani’s shot from the high slot hit Toskala in the shoulder and bounced in off Sharks defenseman Doug Murray.
The Sharks tied it with 1:54 left in the first on Thornton’s power-play goal, his 14th this season. San Jose outshot the Oilers 13-6 in the period.
The Sharks went ahead 2-1 early in the second when they took advantage of a defensive breakdown in the Oilers’ zone. Ryane Clowe chipped the puck past an Edmonton defenseman to Marleau, who scored his 23rd of the season.
San Jose made it 3-1 with just under 6 minutes left in the second when Grier converted a 3-on-1 break by beating Roloson with a wrist shot through the goalie’s legs. Rissmiller’s deflection of a Josh Gorges shot 2 1/2 minutes later put the Sharks up 4-1.
“We’ve been playing well for the past three weeks,” Grier said. “And it is good to keep it going after the break. Hopefully we can keep that going over the next little while.”
Marleau’s second goal of the game with 27 seconds left in the game.
Edmonton plays the fourth game of a five-game homestand Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings. The Sharks conclude their two-game road trip on Sunday in Vancouver.
: Edmonton had won the two previous meetings between the two teams this season. … Jarret Stoll returned to the Oilers lineup after missing one game with a fractured nose suffered Jan. 18 against Anaheim. … San Jose has only had one overtime game this season, a 5-4 win over St. Louis in their first game of the year. Their current stretch of 48 straight games without going to overtime is an NHL record, breaking the mark of 41 set by the 1996-97 Toronto Maple Leafs.