Sharks start fast in 5-1 win vs. Oilers 

click to enlarge Brent Burns
  • Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
  • The Sharks’ Brent Burns celebrates his goal against the Edmonton Oilers during the first period of Thursday’s game.
Brent Burns and Patrick Marleau scored goals 49 seconds apart in the first period to lead the Sharks to their fifth win in six games, 5-1 over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.

Bracken Kearns and Logan Couture added goals 1:27 apart in the second period to give each scores in three straight games as the Sharks beat the Oilers for the sixth straight time. Joe Pavelski added a goal and an assist and Antti Niemi made 23 saves for San Jose.

Nail Yakupov scored the lone goal for the last-place Oilers, who looked flat to open the new year in the front end of a difficult back-to-back. The Oilers play tonight at the first-place Anaheim Ducks, who have not lost at home in regulation all season.

The Sharks have been nearly as tough at home so far, losing just once in regulation. San Jose needed to go to a shootout in five of its previous eight home games before dispatching the Oilers easily by scoring twice in each of the first two periods against Devan Dubnyk.

The Sharks got off to a fast start once again, breaking out to a 2-0 lead in the first period for the 15th time in 41 games this season.

San Jose squandered a pair of early power-play chances and needed Niemi to make two pad stops on Sam Gagner on one of them to keep the game scoreless.

Niemi finished with 23 saves and earned his 22nd win of the year.

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