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Oilers top Sharks 5-2 to end regular season on franchise-record ninth straight win

EDMONTON — Mattias Janmark scored a pair of goals, Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists and the Edmonton Oilers earned a franchise-record ninth straight win with a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks in their regular-season finale on Thursday.

Evan Bouchard and Evander Kane also scored for the Oilers (50-23-9), who went 14-0-1 in their final 15 games. Stuart Skinner made 27 saves.

They also temporarily moved into first place in the Western Conference, awaiting the final result of Thursday night’s game between the Vegas Golden Knights and Seattle Kraken.

If Vegas loses in regulation, Edmonton will take the conference and Pacific Division crown, in addition to having a first-round playoff matchup with the Winnipeg Jets.

It is the fourth time in club history that the Oilers hit the 50-win mark and first since they did so in 1987.

Noah Gregor and Steven Lorentz replied for the Sharks (22-44-16), who finished the campaign on a six-game losing skid. James Reimer stopped 31-of-36 shots.

Janmark opened the scoring 4:16 into the opening period when he cut in on net with a backhand shot that pinballed past Reimer.

Edmonton’s lethal power play struck 6:56 into the first. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins feathered a pass through the crease to Draisaitl, who slammed home his 52nd goal of the campaign.

It was also Draisaitl’s 32nd power-play goal of the season, just two back of the all-time record. Connor McDavid also picked up an assist on the play to extend his point streak to 16 games.

Gregor put the Sharks on the board midway through the first when he lifted a rebound over Skinner for his 10th of the season.

Bouchard restored the Oilers’ two-goal edge 5:02 into the second period. Draisaitl made a magnificent no-look backhand pass to a charging Bouchard, who deposited his eighth of the year.

Janmark made it 4-1 with six minutes left in the middle frame. Derek Ryan sent Janmark in on a short-handed breakaway and he beat Reimer with a backhand through the legs for his tenth goal of the season.

It was Edmonton’s league-leading 18th short-handed goal of the season.

San Jose hung around with a power-play goal with just over a minute to play in the second when Lorentz tipped home a Tomas Hertl shot for his 10th.

Draisaitl made another pretty pass with 4:05 remaining in the third period to set up Kane’s 16th of the year.


Edmonton’s first period power-play goal was its 89th of the season, setting a new franchise record … The Oilers power play, which came into the game sitting at a 32.4 per cent success rate, officially established a single-season NHL record, surpassing the 1977-78 Montreal Canadiens (31.9 per cent). … Skinner picked up his 29th victory in net, surpassing Grant Fuhr (1981-82) for the franchise record for most wins in a rookie season. … McDavid became just the fifth player in NHL history to record 50 power-play assists in a single season and the first since Phil Housley in 1992-93 … A pair of Edmonton forwards celebrated significant milestones as Zach Hyman and Derek Ryan both played in their 500th NHL games … Out with injuries for the Sharks were Andreas Johnsson (undisclosed), Jonah Gadjovich (upper body), Luke Kunin (knee), Markus Nutivaara (lower body), Alexander Barabanov (lower body), Oskar Lindblom (upper body), Jeffrey Viel (upper body) and Marc-Edouard Vlasic (lower body) … Edmonton’s lone injured player, Ryan Murray, was loaned to Bakersfield of the AHL for conditioning on Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 13, 2023.

Shane Jones, The Canadian Press