Preview: Oilers at Sharks
Edmonton Oilers superstar captain Connor McDavid thought his team had turned the corner following a sizzling 11-game run only to find itself on the seat of its pants with losses in six of the last seven contests. The Oilers look to pick themselves up once again on Tuesday when they visit the San Jose Sharks to begin a three-game trek through California.
“Obviously it is frustrating, there is no other way to say it,” McDavid told reporters. “Especially because we have shown we can be a good team. We had that (8-2-1) stretch where we looked really good and now we have wavered and find ourselves dipping a bit. We just have to get back to that brand of hockey that we know we can play.” The 21-year-old McDavid opened the scoring 52 seconds into Sunday’s 6-3 setback versus Vegas to move one goal shy of 100 for his career. While Edmonton is spiraling down a mediocre Pacific Division, San Jose entered Monday’s action in first place with wins in three of its last four contests. Captain Joe Pavelski was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week on Monday, two days removed from recording his fourth straight multi-point performance in a 4-0 win over St. Louis.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, Sportsnet West (Edmonton), NBCS California (San Jose)
ABOUT THE OILERS (9-10-1): Leon Draisaitl is doing all he can to alter Edmonton’s struggling ways, as the 23-year-old has pulled even with McDavid in goals (12) after scoring five in his last seven outings in addition to setting up four others. Goaltender Cam Talbot has been waiting on his 100th win with the Oilers for five long games, as he has posted a gaudy 4.63 goals-against average and .845 save percentage during that stretch. The 31-year-old split a pair of encounters with San Jose last season and owns a 5-3-2 mark with a 2.68 GAA and .907 save percentage in 10 career meetings.
ABOUT THE SHARKS (11-7-3): Two-time Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson scored his first goal since March 27 – then a member of the Ottawa Senators – with a power-play tally at 3:34 of the second period on Saturday. “I’ve been feeling good all year; it just hasn’t worked out on the scoresheet,” the 28-year-old Swede told reporters. “But sometimes that’s the way it is. I don’t think I’m doing anything different now.” Karlsson set up Evander Kane just over four minutes later to notch consecutive multi-point performances and extend his assist streak to three games.
1. San Jose C Logan Couture leads the team’s forwards in assists (14) after setting up three goals for the seventh time in his career on Saturday.
2. Edmonton RW Alex Chiasson has scored in back-to-back contests to push his point streak to three games.
3. The Sharks have not allowed a power-play goal in their last six games and are 44-for-46 on the penalty kill in their last 17 overall.