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Brent Burns lifts Sharks over Oilers 3-2; Edmonton drops fifth straight


EDMONTON — The San Jose Sharks don't feel they are in playoff form yet, but Thursday night was a step in the right direction.

Brent Burns had a goal and an assist as the Sharks got a bit of relief from a late season funk with a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.

"It was good to get a win," said San Jose head coach Peter DeBoer. "We are getting closer. Our detail is getting a bit better. Some guys who have been out of the lineup are starting to get their legs again. That takes a little bit of time. We are working our way there. It's not there yet, but I am confident by next week that it will be."

Marcus Sorensen and Gustav Nyquist also scored for the Sharks (45-27-9), who came into the game with losses in nine of their last 10 as they prepare for a first-round playoff matchup against the Vegas Golden Knights.

"At this time of the year, in these games, you kind of take the win/loss out of it and want to play the game that you are going to want to play in a week or so," said Sharks forward Logan Couture. "For a lot of the game I thought we did a good job with that, but I still think we are a ways away from where we want to be. I still think there is a lot to improve on."

Leon Draisaitl had both goals for the Oilers (34-38-9), who have lost five straight and will miss the playoffs for the 12th time in the last 13 seasons. Draisaitl now has 49 goals with one game left to go.

"I think he wants 50 and you can see the hunger in that and that's good for us," said Oilers head coach Ken Hitchcock. "He's competing for pucks and he wants to shoot and there is nothing wrong with that. And we're hopeful as heck he gets it. He was a hungry hockey player today and even before he scored his first goal he was a hungry hockey player."

Draisaitl started the scoring two minutes into the opening period when he stripped a puck while shorthanded and went in to send a backhand shot through the legs of Sharks goalie Aaron Dell.

San Jose tied it up seven minutes later when Joe Thornton sent a pass from behind the net to Sorensen, who beat Oilers goalie Anthony Stolarz. With the assist Thornton passed Steve Yzerman (1,063) for eighth-place on the NHL all-time list in that category.

The Sharks took a 2-1 lead just over a minute after that when Burns scored his 15th of the season high to the glove side from the middle of the faceoff circle.

Edmonton tied the game back up early in the second period when Matt Benning made a nice feed across to set up Draisaitl for his 49th goal of the season

Nyquist tipped in a Burns point shot to give San Jose a 3-2 lead with 1:12 left in the second period.

Sharks defenceman Timo Meier left the game midway through the third with an apparent wrist injury, but no definitive update was provided.

Both teams close out regular-season play on Saturday as the Sharks are home to the Colorado Avalanche and the Oilers head to Calgary to face the Flames.

NOTES: It was the fifth and final meeting between the two teams this season with San Jose winning three of the first four… Sharks defenceman Erik Karlsson participated in the morning skate, but missed his 17th consecutive game with a groin injury.

Shane Jones, The Canadian Press

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