Zack Kassian has game of his life in Oilers' win vs. Sharks

<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nhl/teams/edm/" data-ylk="slk:Edmonton Oilers">Edmonton Oilers</a> forward <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nhl/players/4693/" data-ylk="slk:Zack Kassian">Zack Kassian</a> (44) celebrates a second period short-handed goal against the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nhl/teams/san/" data-ylk="slk:San Jose Sharks">San Jose Sharks</a> in Game 2 of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place. (Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports)
Edmonton Oilers forward Zack Kassian (44) celebrates a second period short-handed goal against the San Jose Sharks in Game 2 of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place. (Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports)

You never know who is going to be the hero on any given night in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

On Thursday, fourth-liner Tom Wilson was the hero in Washington and defenceman Joel Edmundson came to the rescue for the Blues.

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It was Zack Kassian’s turn to wear the cape Friday in Edmonton.

The hard-hitting winger set the tone early in Game 2, running through Sharks defenceman Brenden Dillon with a punishing hit that cranked up the crowd volume a few decibels.


Then in the second period, Kassian impacted the game in a different way, beating Martin Jones on a breakaway to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead. It was the first playoff goal and short-handed marker of his career.


It also marked another first for Kassian, who heard his name ring out in Rogers Place. It’s not as surprising as Sens fans chanting Bobby Ryan’s name, but still pretty unexpected.


He wasn’t done there. Just when you thought Kassian hit his peak, he once again got the crowd buzzing after delivering another monstrous hit, this time on Sharks star Logan Couture.


And shortly after Connor McDavid iced the game for the Oilers by scoring his first NHL playoff goal, Kassian decided to take a healthy run at Brent Burns for good measure.


There’s always a premium on physical play in the playoffs, especially at home, and Kassian was a one man wrecking crew in Edmonton’s 2-0 win. He finished the best game of his career with one goal, six hits and is the biggest reason the Oilers are heading to San Jose with the series all even.

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