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Dwayne Roloson readies to deny Joe Thornton in Thursday's 6-4 win. ((John Ulan/Canadian Press))

Ryan Smyth scored a natural hat trick in a span of 2:01 early in the third period to cue an Edmonton Oilers comeback in a 6-4 win over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.

The hurried hat trick broke Wayne Gretzky's Oilers record for fastest three goals of 2:18 and pushed Smyth over the 500-point mark in his NHL career.

San Jose was comfortably ahead 4-2 to start the third period before defenceman Kyle McLaren took a pair of penalties.

Smyth scored on both power plays, just 19 seconds apart, then added the game winner for his fifth career hat trick and fourth point on the night.

The last-minute heroics spoiled a hat trick by Jonathan Cheechoo and the Sharks' attempts to gain a measure of revenge for being ousted by the Oilers in the second round of last spring's playoffs.

The Oilers improved to 2-1 on the season while the Sharks dropped to 3-1.

The Oilers struck first, just three minutes into the first period, when a bouncing puck pinballed past San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.

Rookie Patrick Thoresen was credited with his first NHL goal to give Edmonton the early lead.

But San Jose was quick to respond, three minutes later, when Cheechoo put a blistering shot from the slot past Edmonton goalie Dwayne Roloson to tie the game 1-1.

Less than two minutes later, Cheechoo scored his second of the game on a two-man advantage to put the Sharks ahead 2-1 after the first.

Cheechoo continued to be the trigger-man for the Sharks in the second as well, scoring his hat trick goal on the power play just over six minutes into the period.

The Oilers got themselves into penalty trouble again just a couple minutes later, giving the Sharks another two-man advantage and once again they capitalized as Milan Michalek notched his fourth of the year.

Edmonton cut San Jose's edge to 4-2 when Joffrey Lupul picked up a big rebound on a Smyth shot and found the back of the net with eight minutes remaining in the second.

After Smyth's hat trick, Ales Hemsky added an insurance goal at 15:28 to make it 6-4.

The Sharks head to Vancouver for a game on Friday, while the Oilers now travel to Colorado to play the Avalanche on Saturday.