Ben Scrivens' shutout one for the books as Edmonton Oilers blank powerhouse Sharks

 

Goaltender sets NHL record with 59-save win

 
 
 
 
Edmonton Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens makes the save on a breakaway by San Jose Sharks Patrick Marleau during NHL action at Rexall Place in Edmonton, January 30, 2014.
 

Edmonton Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens makes the save on a breakaway by San Jose Sharks Patrick Marleau during NHL action at Rexall Place in Edmonton, January 30, 2014.

Photograph by: Ed Kaiser, Edmonton Journal

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EDMONTON - They call him The Professor, a fitting tribute for the years he had spent studying at Cornell University.

Well, now you can also call Ben Scrivens the author of a new NHL record.

The goaltender, who is still wearing the mask he wore with the Los Angeles Kings, the one with two passages from Shakespeare, put on a jaw-dropping performance in the Edmonton Oilers’ 3-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks.

He turned away 59 pucks on Wednesday, surpassing the previous team record of 56 saves and he secured the NHL record for most saves in a regulation shutout in the expansion era.

“That was amazing,” said Taylor Hall, who left the game with a goal and two assists. “It wasn’t 59 from the wall, it was Grade A chances, chances that we don’t want to give up at all.”

Scrivens was apparently only getting warmed up in the first 20 minutes, turning away 20 shots, because he was all-world in the second. With a lightning quick glove, he snagged a shot from Bracken Kearns and another from Jason Demers, which resulted in a standing ovation from the crowd at Rexall Place.

And he wasn’t done with the highlight reel saves.

He denied Patrick Marleau with his blocker then turned away a two-on-one one-timer that also came of the stick of the Sharks’ sniper. Chants of ‘Scri-vens, Scri-vens’ ensued, which was only fitting given his performance.

The goaltender had turned away 42 shots after 40 minutes, surpassing a career high of 40 set on March 26, 2013 — which was back when he was with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Scrivens, who was traded from Toronto to Los Angeles then moved to Edmonton on Jan. 15 for a third-round draft pick, then turned away another 17 pucks in the third.

The most saves made by an Oilers goaltender since 1987 was a 54-save outing by Bill Ranford in a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers in 1993.

It was, said Hall and Jordan Eberle, like having a front-row seat for Sam Gagner’s eight-point night against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Of course, it needs to be noted that he saw so many pucks because of the Oilers defensive zone breakdowns.

The Sharks had another 22 shots blocked and missed 19 attempts — ratcheting their total of shots directed at the Edmonton net to 100.

“I had an awful, awful warm-up, so it was an inauspicious start,” said the man of the hour, who repeatedly pointed to his teammates, who blocked shots and kept a lot of the pucks to the outside. “But you just try and focus on the process.

“It was one of those nights,” he continued when talk turned to his records. “I owe the shot keeper a beer a think. But I’ve said it before, every shutout you get is a team effort.”

While the Oilers leaned heavily on Scrivens in the opening period, they still managed to head into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead.

Justin Schultz, from the point, snuck a wrister by Antti Niemi at 10:51. It was the fourth of only seven shots the Oilers would direct at the San Jose net through 20 minutes.

The Oilers pulled ahead 2-0 at 6:10 of the third when Hall, with a feed from Eberle, extended his point streak to six games (one goal, eight assists). Eberle’s helper was his 200th NHL point. He added a power-play goal to ensure that the Oilers ould secure their second three-game win streak of the season.

But in the end, no one was going to upstage Scrivens, who left with his sixth career shutout, his first since Nov. 17, 2013.

“He made 59 saves, but there must have been 15 or 16 amazing saves. You know, you’re on the bench and you just marvel at it,” said Eberle. “That was the best single effort I’ve seen, next to Gag’s eight-point night. He stole the two points for us.”

“He made 20 saves in the first and you think, he played a great period then it’s 40 after the second and you think, he’s really feeling it. Then in the third period, you just got the sense he wasn’t letting anything in,” said Hall. “It’s a weird game because we gave up so many shots, but it was amazing to watch at the same time.”

OIL DROPS: Matt Hendricks, who was nailed with a punch from Mike Brown in a first-period scrap, was pulled from the game with a head injury … Philip Larsen, who hadn’t played since Dec. 19 because of an undetermined illness was back on Edmonton’s blue line. Corey Potter was scratched … Prior to the opening faceoff, tribute was paid to the Sharks and Oilers players heading to the Sochi Winter Games. It was the Oilers’ last home game before the Olympic break.

jireland@edmontonjournal.com

Twitter.com/jirelandEJ

 
 
 
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Edmonton Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens makes the save on a breakaway by San Jose Sharks Patrick Marleau during NHL action at Rexall Place in Edmonton, January 30, 2014.
 

Edmonton Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens makes the save on a breakaway by San Jose Sharks Patrick Marleau during NHL action at Rexall Place in Edmonton, January 30, 2014.

Photograph by: Ed Kaiser, Edmonton Journal

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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