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Sharks to face Oilers in first round of playoffs

13 April 2017

Connor McDavid hit the 100-point mark, and Jordan Eberle produced a hat trick as the Oilers beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 Sunday. McDavid registered at least one point in 59 of his 82 appearances (72.0%), highlighted by a career-high, 14-game point streak to close the season (7-18-25) - the longest by any National Hockey League player in 2016-17 and longest by any Oilers player since 1987-88.

McDavid, 20, is the third-youngest scoring champion, behind Sidney Crosby (2006-07) and Gretzky (1980-81), according to ESPN's Stats and Information.

The Edmonton Oilers already secured home ice for the first round of the postseason but have an opportunity to do so throughout the Pacific Division playoffs when they host the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. The Canucks hope to avoid repeating a season-high eight-game losing streak, which would end their season. They had a complete turnaround this season, and are playing their best hockey.

San Jose: Other than Burns, and despite a so-so save percentage of.912, goalie Martin Jones might have been the Sharks' most valuable player. There isn't much onus put on regular season series, though they can hold a little bit of weight. Thornton insists he'll be ready for the playoffs and - given how he played through a separated shoulder during the 2011 Western Conference finals, nobody has ever doubted his toughness.

How about a few days in San Francisco to see the Oilers take on the Sharks later in the series?

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Cam Talbot made 29 saves in his sixth straight start. "It's been a long time since our Oiler fans have experienced playoffs and this is just one more reason to celebrate". The Oilers have run the risk of tiring out Talbot, and their backup situation with Laurent Brossoit is also more precarious than San Jose's. Jones cemented his status with a terrific performance last spring in leading the Sharks to the Stanley Cup finals. "And I think it's important too that he got 30 goals".

When you have the best player on your team, anything is possible.

Coaching advantage: McLellan, who deserves to be in the Jack Adams Award conversation, spent seven seasons behind the Sharks bench and you can't tell me there isn't some form of advantage knowing how some of those veteran players operate. The Sharks' underlying numbers indicate they may be due for an improvement in both areas, but the absence of the team's top two centers may make any regression to the mean a moot point. He'll now take home the Art Ross trophy, which could be the first of several. The Sharks allow 3.25 more unblocked attempts (71.19 FA60) and 2.34 more shots (49.31 SA60) than the Oilers (67.94 FA60, 47.97 SA60), and that discrepancy was on full display when the teams last played on Thursday.

Given their power play prowess, Edmonton has a deserved edge over San Jose's special teams.

Sharks to face Oilers in first round of playoffs