Yesterday Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray was able to celebrate his 32nd birthday with a smile on his face.
San Jose snapped a five-game winless streak with a victory over the Edmonton Oilers. It wasn’t the most prideful victory as the Oilers are 14th in the Western Conference as well as the only team within reach for the last place Columbus Blue Jackets to catch.
Nonetheless a win is a win and it couldn’t have come at a better time for San Jose. The Sharks beat the Oilers 3-2 in a back and forth battle that started with an early goal by Sharks center Torrey Mitchell.
The Sharks strong goaltending and defense could only hold their team barely afloat for so long. The Sharks eight goals scored in their six games previous to last night was definitely in need of changing if San Jose planned on participating in the post-season. Until last night San Jose hadn’t won a game in which they scored more than two goals since February 13th in a 5-3 victory over the Washington Capitals.
Last night’s win put the Sharks up to ninth place in the Western Conference behind the Colorado Avalanche. Luckily for San Jose they have a possible edge on Colorado since they are only one point behind and played three games less than the Avalanche.
Murray blocked three shots last night to help protect his team from another loss and it is something San Jose will need again tonight to stop Jarome Iginla and his Calgary Flames.
The Flames captain Jarome Iginla has three points averaging a point per game against the Sharks this season. However he has not been the biggest thorn in San Jose’s back. Olli Jokinen has three goals and one assist in the three games against San Jose this season.
Leading the team in hits (107) and second in blocked shots (122) San Jose will be looking for Murray to keep up his defensive skills to help shut down Calgary’s offense.