SAN JOSE -- The Sharks began Thursday night's game against the Edmonton Oilers as the last NHL team with an unblemished record.

That's how they finished it, too. But it took a second consecutive 3-2 shootout victory at HP Pavilion to reach the 7-0 mark in a game that may have featured the first Kaepernicking-on-ice after Logan Couture scored the game's initial goal.

"It's a Bay Area team that's in the Super Bowl. Just showing some support for those guys," Couture said of his tribute to 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick by burying his head in the crook of his arm. "We're rooting for them."

Goals by Couture and Joe Pavelski staked the Sharks to a 2-0 lead midway through the second period before Edmonton drew even on scores by Sam Gagner and Taylor Hall.

But when it came down to the shootout, Michal Handzus -- who's still looking for his first actual point of the season -- was the key to the victory, burying the first shot in the one-on-one competition just as he did Tuesday night against the Anaheim Ducks.

"Zus, ever since he's been here, he's been pretty money on shootout goals," Sharks captain Joe Thornton said. "Last game he buried one and tonight, so it's an easy choice for Coach to put him out there as the number one shooter."

Back after missing one game with a cold, Dan Boyle also scored in the shootout for the Sharks against Edmonton netminder Devan Dubnyk. At the other end of the ice, Sharks goalie Antti Niemi stopped the only two Oilers he faced, Gagner and Ryan Nugent Hopkins, to earn his NHL-leading sixth victory of the season.


Advertisement

Handzus, who is now an impressive 18 for 34 in shootouts over his career, said before the game that he never picks his move until he's heading down the ice.

"I always try to come in, see what the goalie is doing and then I can rely on two, three, four moves that I have and pick one just in the moment," he said.

That ended up being the same move against both Dubnyk and Anaheim's Jonas Hiller.

"He was deep in the net," Handzus said of his goal against Dubnyk. "I knew I couldn't shoot it right away, I tried to fake it first and make him go down, and then try to go up. It worked."

The results may have been the same Thursday, but this was a better effort from the Sharks than the one against the Ducks even if San Jose did cough up a two-goal lead.

"It was a cleaner game," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said, though he did point out that three of the four goals came on turnovers. "Our games early, things kind of came to us not easily, but everything was smooth. Now we're having to battle through games, which is good for us."

After a scoreless first period, the Sharks took a 2-0 lead midway through the second on unassisted goals by Couture and Pavelski just 39 seconds apart.

Scott Gomez may not have touched the puck to earn an assist on Couture's goal, but his pressure on Edmonton defenseman Ryan Whitney in the neutral zone forced the turnover that Couture then fired high into the Edmonton net at 7:32.

On the next shift, Pavelski took the puck away from Oilers defenseman Ladislav Smid and didn't give Dubnyk much time to get set before launching a 29-foot wrist shot at 8:11

That two-goal lead didn't last long as the Oilers first called a timeout, then made it a 2-1 game at 10:56 of the second when defenseman Mark Fistric fired the puck from the blue line through traffic and Gagner deflected the puck past Niemi.

Edmonton tied it 51 seconds into the final period when Hall scored after a perfectly executed 2-on-1 break with Sharks rookie Matt Irwin caught in the middle.

It looked as if San Jose had regained the lead at 4:24 of the final period when Ryane Clowe appeared to score, but instead Clowe was tagged with an interference penalty after getting entangled with Fistric at the blue line.

  • Even with his team's perfect record, McLellan mixed up his usual lines against Edmonton, sticking with the same combinations that finished the Anaheim game.

    That meant moving Gomez up to the second line with Couture and Clowe while Marty Havlat skated with Handzus and Tommy Wingels on the third. That left a fourth line of James Sheppard, Andrew Desjardins and Adam Burish, as TJ Galiardi was scratched for the first time this season.

    "I thought the guys that graduated tonight and moved up a line or two did a very good job," McLellan said.

  • McLellan also had an extra option on the blue line as Jason Demers was added to the roster before the game, ready to play for the first time after suffering a wrist injury in Europe. But the coach made both Demers and Nick Petrecki scratches.

  • The Sharks created the roster spot for Demers by placing Frazer McLaren on waivers. However, the rugged left wing won't be going back to AHL Worcester after the Toronto Maple Leafs claimed him Thursday morning.

  • Edmonton played without captain Shawn Horcoff, who suffered a neck injury in Phoenix the previous night.