SAN JOSE, Calif. â€” The Edmonton Oilers did their best Tuesday night not to let a 7-0 blowout loss to the San Jose Sharks in Game 4 of their Stanley Cup playoff series seem as traumatizing as the score might indicate.
"My math says it's still 2-2," Oilers captain Connor McDavid said of the series that heads back to Edmonton for Game 5 on Thursday night knotted at two games apiece. "They don't get two games winning 7-0. The series is still 2-2."
Veteran Edmonton forward Milan Lucic looked at it similarly.
"It doesn't matter if you lose by one goal or seven goals," he said. "You've got to turn the page and bounce back and try to get your team a win. It sucks to lose no matter how much you lose by so hopefully it will create a spark for us going into Game 5."
With goalie Cam Talbot in net, the Oilers had shut out the Sharks the previous two games. But in Game 4, the Sharks ended Talbot's night at 12:52 of the second period after he gave up five goals on 24 shots. Sharks goaltender Martin Jones earned the shutout with 23 saves.
San Jose coach Pete DeBoer shook up his lines for Game 4, and the moves paid off with the Sharks getting two goals apiece from Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture while Patrick Marleau, rookie Marcus Sorensen and defenceman David Schlemko each scored once.
The Sharks needed only 15 seconds to get on the board for the first time since Melker Karlsson's overtime winner in Game 1 when Pavelski deflected a shot by defenceman Justin Braun past Talbot.
The Oilers penalty kill, which had limited San Jose's power play to a woeful 1-for-14 over the first three games, was part of the Game 4 meltdown as the Sharks were 4 for 8 on the power play. It started with Couture rifling a shot from the past Talbot at 11:02 of the first period with defenceman Kris Russell in the penalty box for hooking.
As bad as things were for the Oilers in the first period, the second was far worse.
The Sharks were on another power play early in the period when Marleau got his first goal of the playoffs at 2:02. Sorensen added an even-strength tally at 9:46 to make it 4-0 and Couture took a feed from Jannik Hansen to end Talbot's night.
The game took an ugly turn at 13:44 when Oilers centre Leon Draisaitl was given a major penalty and game misconduct for spearing San Jose forward Chris Tierney in the groin.
Pavelski scored his second of the game on the power play that followed, tipping a shot by San Jose defenceman Brent Burns past back-up goalie Laurent Brossoit to make it 6-0 after two periods.
Schlemko closed out the scoring at 6:45 of the third period.
Talbot said he expected to be able to bounce back from the 7-0 defeat â€” San Jose's largest margin of victory in a playoff game.
"It's already forgotten in my mind," he said. "I've had some time to let it go already. Just go through my process and let it go and be ready Thursday."
But he acknowledged he was frustrated with his performance.
"As a goalie, you want to make an extra save or two here and there," Talbot said. "You want to try and take away their momentum whenever you can and tonight I wasn't able to do that."
Oilers coach Todd McLellan said he hoped his players learn some lessons from the shellacking.
"I don't want our players to necessarily forget about this tonight," the coach said. "I'd like them to think about it. And think about some of the things they need to do better."
David Pollak, The Canadian Press