Sharks C Thornton undergoes ACL surgery before free agency

Joe Thornton took that ethos to extremes during the Sharks' first-round playoff series against the Oilers, though, playing with a couple of missing knee ligaments.

The playoff history between these two is bleak, the last time Edmonton and Anaheim faced off was in 2005-2006 season in the Conference finals.

Hockey players are known for their toughness, but Sharks' center Joe Thornton may have raised the bar for the rest of the NHL during his team's first-round playoff series loss.

After last year's longest playoff run in franchise history, this postseason was stopped short much sooner than most expected.

"I think we're a little bit more mature than people give us credit for and I think we showed that tonight", said captain Connor McDavid, who sealed the game with an empty-net goal in the final second.

The three goal scorers in the clincher are among the nine skaters on the Oilers who are younger than 25 and had been nearly entirely untested in the rigors of the postseason. It takes pain. It doesn't come easy.

"I feel like everything is responding the way it should be, and we'll just take our necessary steps to make sure we're not rushing into anything", Fowler said. I'm not going to lie to you, there were a lot of anxious moments in the last few minutes, mistakes, too many men on the ice because you get over-excited. "There were lessons learned for us".

"I've been in this business a long time", Wilson said.

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Marleau did get the puck past Talbot at 12:12 of the third period after taking a cross-crease feed from Couture to make it a 2-1 game.

Marleau, along with Thornton, might have played their final game in a Sharks uniform.

Both reached major milestones this year, with Marleau scoring his 500th career goal and Thornton recording his 1,000th assist, and still are playing at a high level.

After Marleau's goal breathed life into the building, Pavelski's backhand attempt was the closest San Jose came to a second goal. That's to say Pavelski's line produced just 33 shot attempts for and were on for 50 against. "It's a series at the end of the night you lose and you don't know how you lost at times".

Brent Burns led the Sharks this season with 76 points, but was held without a point in four of the first five games. He was set to go to the doctor later Monday and expects to have knee surgery soon. "It's just a reality".

"Look at who got the game-winners in the series". Anton Slepyshev pounced on the loose puck in the neutral zone, skated in all alone on Jones and scored low blocker side for his first point of the series. He recorded two assists in three games as the Sharks were eliminated.

Just 56 seconds later, Slepyshev got into the action when Paul Martin mishandled a pass from Chris Tierney at the point. Not the guys you normally see or you would pick to get those goals. The Sharks and the Oilers have done two things consistently all year. Although Edmonton had more goals for in the regular season by a margin, with a roster filled with offensive power Anaheim has to be confident heading into round two.

"That's not the team we are", Draisaitl said. "We're a mature team in here". I knew that. They're a Canadian team, so they're going to come with a lot of hype and a lot of media coverage and we know that ... Defenceman Oscar Klefbom didn't play the third period due to illness, though he did remain on the bench.

  • Megan Austin