EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)—Evgeni Nabakov’s sixth shutout of the season was probably the easiest.
“The guys were playing really well, we were pushing the pace pretty hard, and for 60 minutes which is nice to see,” Nabokov said. “After the (All-Star) break you never know how teams are going to respond. I thought we did a pretty good job.”
Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said the lackluster outing by his squad came as a shock.
“It was a humbling effort. I didn’t see this effort coming,” he said. “You can say that we got outbattled but we didn’t even get to the battle.
“It was a humiliating evening in virtually all of the aspects of the game.”
Joe Pavelski, Mike Grier and Patrick Rissmiller scored for San Jose, which had lost four straight before putting together their recent run and remain tied for first place in the Pacific Division with Dallas.
“We played great tonight,” Sharks coach Ron Wilson. “All of our lines did a really good job of hounding the puck and we’ve done a really good job of that three games in a row. A lot more back to the way we played most of last year.”
Added Grier: “We went through a tough week. We were pretty down. We lost a little confidence, but the coaches talked to us and as players we knew we had to step it up and now I think we’ve gotten a little back to our forecheck game and our skating game so we’re going better now.”
San Jose broke a scoreless deadlock with 8:12 remaining in the second period as a hard point shot bounced off Edmonton defender Steve Staios to Devin Setoguchi. Oilers goalie Mathieu Garon was able to make the stop on Setoguchi’s shot, but the rebound gave Pavelski a wide open net to score his 11th.
The Sharks made it 2-0 with just 46 second to go in the second as Grier took a feed from Rissmiller and blasted a bullet over Garon’s shoulder. The Sharks outshot Edmonton 21-4 in the second period.
Garon made 36 saves.
“I don’t think there is any reason for what happened tonight, we just didn’t show up as a team,” he said. “I don’t think anybody can leave here with the satisfaction of having a good night. When you need two points the way we do everybody has to show up and play a lot better than that.”
Rissmiller added a late empty netter to seal the victory for San Jose.
: Oilers D Sheldon Souray is expected to be out at least the next week with an inuured shoulder and likely faces surgery in the offseason …. The Sharks are 17-4-3 on the road. … Former Oilers F Grier has just six goals for the Sharks this season, but four have been game winners.