NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, January 2nd
(All times Eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (13-24-5) at San Jose Sharks (25-9-6), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Jose Sharks will look to rebound by extending
their point streak over the Edmonton Oilers to nine straight games as the two
clubs clash on Thursday night.
The Sharks extended their winning streak to four straight games with a victory
over the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, but lost the road portion of the home-and-
home set with a 6-3 decision on Tuesday.
Dan Boyle, Bracken Kearns and Logan Couture all scored for the Sharks, who saw
starter Antti Niemi pulled early in the third period.
Niemi, in his league-leading 35th start of the season, gave up five goals on
34 shots. Backup Alex Stalock yielded a goal on four shots faced in 18-plus
minutes of relief.
With the setback that saw Anaheim score three times in the second period, the
Sharks fell seven points behind the Ducks for first place in the Pacific
"We had a good push, and then nothing would come out of it and boom they
score. I think we came out with early energy, but the second period we
just got out-played. It killed the game plan," said San Jose center Joe
The Sharks have executed their plan well as of late versus the Oilers, winning
five straight in the series while going 6-0-2 in the past eight meetings. San
Jose has not lost in regulation to Edmonton since Jan. 13, 2011 and has won
six of the past eight played at home.
Niemi is 6-0-1 with a 2.35 goals against average in seven career starts
against the Oilers, but did not play in the first meeting between the clubs
back on Nov. 15 in Edmonton. Instead, Stalock posted 30 saves for the win.
Patrick Marleau had a goal and an assist, while Joe Pavelski scored.
On Tuesday, Pavelski was named to the U.S. Olympic squad for the upcoming
Winter Games. He has 16 goals and 21 assists in 40 games this season with San
Nail Yakupov had the lone goal for the Oilers versus the Sharks and Devan
Dubnyk made 34 saves.
Yakupov is expected to return to the Edmonton lineup after being a healthy
scratch in Tuesday's 4-3 overtime loss to Phoenix. The second-year forward,
who has six goals and 14 points in 39 games this season, skated on a line
during practice on Wednesday with Jordan Eberle and Sam Gagner.
Edmonton has lost two straight after regulation following a two-game winning
streak. The Oilers yielded a game-tying goal to the Coyotes with 1:10 left in
regulation on Tuesday before Keith Yandle beat Ilya Bryzgalov for the winner
with 6.5 seconds left in overtime.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, David Perron and Justin Schultz scored for the Oilers,
who got three assists from Taylor Hall to give him eight points over his last
"We managed to find our game and get a lead. We played them pretty well I
thought," said Perron. "But we let the goalie down because he played really
well for us."
Bryzgalov made 40 saves and is 10-11-4 with a 2.35 GAA lifetime versus the
01/02 10:42:43 ET