EDMONTON, Alberta, AP
Jason Smith, Ales Hemsky and Jarret Stoll scored third-period goals as the Edmonton Oilers rallied for a 6-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Friday, tying the Western Conference semifinal series 2-2.
The Sharks scored on their first two shots and, despite being badly outshot, led 3-1 halfway through the game.
Heading into the game, Toskala had stopped 94 of 99 shots the first three games.
But that changed at 12:28 of the second, when Ethan Moreau’s shot hit the end boards and took a funny bounce back to Michael Peca, who launched a desperation shot from the side of the net that managed to squeeze under Toskala’s pads.
Less than 3 minutes later, the Oilers killed off a penalty on Sergei Samsonov by lofting the puck down the ice toward Toskala, and Samsonov raced out of the penalty box after the puck. Toskala scrambled out to meet him halfway, tried to sweep the puck away but instead it bounced off Samsonov and the speedy Russian simply backhanded the puck into the empty net to tie the score.
The Sharks never recovered and in the third period their defense collapsed. After Smith’s go-ahead goal, Smyth raced down the left side and fired a pass through the slot for an easy tip-in by Ales Hemsky at 8:19.
With that, Toskala was replaced by Evgeni Nabokov.
Jarret Stoll finished the scoring on a power-play, sending a slapshot past a screened Nabokov at 14:00.
Shawn Horcoff, who got the game-winner in the third overtime of Game 3 on Wednesday night, also scored for Edmonton.
Joe Thonrton, Nils Ekman and Jonathan Cheechoo had San Jose’s goals.
The Sharks opened the scoring less than 4 minutes into the game. A blocked shot at the Sharks blue line led to an odd-man rush that ended when Ekman waltzed around a sprawling Jaroslav Spacek and passed over to Scott Thornton at the side of the net for an easy one-timer past Dwayne Roloson at 3:47.
Ekman made it 2-0 at 6:40, taking a back handed pass from Patrick Marleau and one-timing it past Roloson low to the stickside.
The Oilers got their first goal at 12:55, when Horcoff tipped Smith’s slap shot between Toskala’s legs.
The Sharks went up 3-1 in the second period after Oilers defenseman Chris Pronger committed a rare giveaway in his own zone. Thornton jumped on it, raced past Pronger, swooped around the net and shoveled the puck to Cheechoo, who put it between Roloson’s legs at 9:02.
Just over 3 minutes later, Peca started the comeback.