Series (Game 3 of 4)

San Jose leads 3-1

Game 1: Tuesday, December 11th
Game 2: Monday, January 21st
Game 3: Tuesday, February 12th
Game 4: Wednesday, March 20th

Sharks 3

(30-17-3, 70 pts)

Oilers 2

(26-23-2, 64 pts)

10:00 PM ET, February 12, 2002

Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

1 2 3 T
SJ 0 2 13
EDM 1 0 12

Top Skaters

San Jose: M. Ricci - 1 G, 3 SOG, +1

Edmonton: J. Hecht - 1 G, 1 A, 3 SOG, +2

Harvey's goal keeps Sharks surging

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- Todd Harvey made sure the San Jose Sharks weren't punished for a brief breakdown.

Harvey scored at 6:22 of the third period and San Jose held on for a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.

Harvey took a pass from Matt Bradley and slid the puck under Oilers goaltender Tommy Salo for a 3-1 Sharks lead.

Edmonton's Jochen Hecht made it 3-2 midway through the third with his 15th, but San Jose goalie Evgeni Nabokov finished with 22 saves for his 25th victory of the season.

"We got that two-goal lead in the third period and sort of sat on it," said Harvey. "They got one back but we shut them down in the end."

Nabokov has been almost unbeatable of late, allowing just four goals in the last four games, all San Jose wins. He has two shutouts in that stretch, and was named NHL Player of the Week on Monday.

Teemu Selanne and Mike Ricci scored in the second period for San Jose, which won its fifth in a row. The goal was Selanne's 18th of the season, tops on the Sharks.

"We knew the goals would come, we just had to be patient and stick with the plan," said Selanne. "We have a lot of depth in the scoring."

Ricci credited Nabokov.

"He's been great all year -- we don't even worry about him," he said. "He makes big saves, he makes steady saves. We've just got to play well in front of him and we're going to win hockey games."

Shawn Horcoff had the other Edmonton goal, scoring his eighth goal of the season at 15:27 of the first period. Linemate Georges Laraque took the puck behind the net and found Horcoff, who one-timed the puck past Nabokov for a 1-0 lead.

It was the first time the Oilers had scored first in a game since tying the Canucks 2-2 on Jan. 30 in Vancouver.

Salo, who likely will be the starting goalie for Sweden at the Salt Lake Games, was the busier of the two goalies as the Sharks outshot Edmonton 31-22.

"That team plays tight defense so you're not going to get that many chances but we got the first goal," Edmonton defenseman Janne Niinimaa said of the Sharks. "That's the key against a team like that who preys on turnovers. But we sat back too much."

The Sharks, who lead the Pacific Division, went 0-for-3 on the power play and did not take a penalty.

Edmonton has not surrendered a power-play goal in 19 opponent opportunities, dating to a 4-1 win over Toronto on Jan. 26.

The loss ended Edmonton's two-game unbeaten stretch. They have two wins in their last 11 games.

"It was a very disappointing game," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "It's really indicative of the way we've been playing and maybe the worst example of the way we've been playing was tonight.

"When you play a team that checks as well as San Jose, you've got to make some plays and you have to pass it coming out of your zone to get some speed so we can can get our forecheck going."

Both teams concluded their pre-Olympic schedules and will resume play in the final week of February.

Game notes

The seven Oilers and six Sharks about to depart for the Salt Lake Olympics were honored in a short pre-game ceremony. Local school children skated out with the national flags of all 13 players. Some members of the 1952 Edmonton Mercurys were also introduced before the game. They were the last Canadian team to win an Olympic gold in hockey back at the Oslo Games 50 years ago. ... F Mark Smith and Selanne are the only San Jose players with minus ratings. Smith, who was scratched on Tuesday, is minus 1, while Selanne is worst on the team at minus 6. ... The Sharks have seven double-digit goal scorers, though none have 20.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press