EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - The San Jose Sharks seem to have their game back.
Joe Pavelski had a goal and two assists in the Sharks' 6-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night. Dany Heatley, Logan Couture, Ryane Clowe, John McCarthy and Dan Boyle also scored and Joe Thornton had three assists for San Jose (3-2-1).
Thornton said the Sharks are finally starting to feel as though they are in the flow after having an irregular start to the season. They opened with a pair of games against Columbus in Sweden, then came back to North America and played only three games over two weeks.
``It was tough coming back,' Thornton said. ``We had a whole week off. It was a little strange and I think our timing was off. Now we are playing games and starting to read off each other and getting the rust off. It's nice to be playing some games now.'
San Jose coach Todd McLellan agreed that the Sharks needed to get back to a more normal schedule.
``Players have an innate rhythm in them during the winter,' he said. ``As a team we haven't been able to do that. After (Sunday) we will have played four games in six nights and have established that rhythm and that routine. It will certainly help us.'
Jordan Eberle had the lone goal for the Oilers, who have lost four straight after two wins to open the season.
``We took some penalties and they took advantage of that,' Eberle said. ``They have a pretty good power play over there. Turnovers were also an issue, we turned the puck over a lot and we weren't getting in on the forecheck.'
Oilers head coach Tom Renney said his young team can't use inexperience as an excuse when times get tough.
``We're not going to hang our head on being young and being inexperienced,' he said. ``We're in the NHL. We're six games in, and while this won't be the last time we go to school, our intention is to make sure we show people what we are all about, too. Anything less than that on any given night is unacceptable.
``We got pushed out of the game and just sort of handed it over.'
The Oilers got off to a quick start with a short-handed goal 1:22 into the game. Eberle fought off Patrick Marleau on his way to the net and beat goalie Antero Niittymaki for his second highlight-reel goal of the season.
McLellan thought the goal jolted his team out of a slow start.
``It woke us up a little bit,' he said. ``It didn't look like we were overly prepared to play, but then we got our game back.'
San Jose tied it with 3:30 remaining in the first period as Heatley deftly tipped Pavelski's power-play point shot past goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.
The Sharks took a 2-1 lead in the second period as Couture stripped the puck from defenseman Jim Vandermeer behind the Edmonton net and sent it in front to Jamie McGinn. Khabibulin made the initial stop, but Couture backhanded in the rebound.
San Jose took a two-goal lead with just over a minute left in the second during another power play. Pavelski batted his own rebound out of the air and into the net. The Sharks also rang two shots off goal posts in the second period.
San Jose took control for good by scoring two goals 20 seconds apart before five minutes were gone in the third period. Pavelski faked a shot in tight before sending the puck to Clowe for the tap in. Boyle then scored with a shot from the point through traffic to make it 5-1 on San Jose's third power-play goal.
The Sharks added to the total with five minutes left in the third period. McCarthy put the rebound of Torrey Mitchell's past Khabibulin from in close.
San Jose is 3-0 on the road for the first time since joining the NHL in 1991.
``It's a nice feather in our cap,' Thornton said. ``It's nice to get a franchise record, obviously.'
The Sharks will conclude their three-game trip on Sunday at Calgary. The Oilers' next game is also at Calgary on Tuesday.
Notes: It was the first of four meetings between the teams this season. ... Eight of the Oilers' next 10 games are on the road. ... Khabibulin got his sixth consecutive start, one of five goalies to have played every game for their teams this season. ... Oilers D Jason Strudwick had his first start of the season in place of the injured Theo Peckham. ... Sharks captain Joe Thornton came into the game with four points in five games, but has a minus-7 rating. ... Marleau needs one point for 700 in his NHL career.
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