Jan 29, 2014; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens (30) stops a shot during the third period against the San Jose Sharks at Rexall Place. The Oilers won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

San Jose Sharks Take On Dysfunctional Oilers: Game Preview

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San Jose Sharks’ fans may be upset that their team has yet to bring home a Stanley Cup despite consistent appearances in the playoffs, but the grief that Sharks fans have pales in comparison to what fans of the Edmonton Oilers must be going through at the moment.

The Oilers, who have been perennial bottom-dwellers in the NHL for several years, may have hit rock bottom on Saturday night in an 8-1 loss to the archrival Flames on their home ice. That was embarrassing in and of itself, but there was more to it. After promising young stud Taylor Hall threw down his water bottle in frustration, coach Dallas Eakin decided to bench Hall because the water wound up splashing all over Eakin’s suit. Then, a couple of fans decided to throw their Oilers jerseys onto the ice, clearly fed up with the dysfunction surrounding the Oilers.

Oh, and did I mention that they lost 8-1? To their biggest rivals?

As for the Sharks, they must be licking their chops at this point to rub some more salt in the wound, but they shouldn’t get too complacent. This is an Oilers team that defeated Sharks 3-0 back in January, and they possess a plethora of young talents in Hall, Jordan Eberle, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Additionally, with the Sharks playing the back-end of back-to-back road games and glossing over a 10th consecutive appearance, no victory is guaranteed.

Tale of the Tape

Sharks

  • Goals for per game: 2.93 (7th)
  • Goals against per game: 2.32 (4th)
  • Shots per game: 34.9 (1st)
  • Shots against per game: 27.7 (5th)
  • Penalty minutes: 658 (5th)
  • Power play percentage: 16.0% (22nd)
  • Penalty kill percentage: 84.7% (5th)

Oilers:

  • Goals for per game: 2.43 (T-23rd)
  • Goals against per game: 3.24 (28th)
  • Shots per game: 27.1 (26th)
  • Shots against per game: 32.4 (25th)
  • Penalty minutes: 829 (21st)
  • Power play percentage: 16.7% (20th)
  • Penalty kill percentage: 82.6% (13th)

Top Performers

Sharks: Joe Thornton (11 G, 58 A), Joe Pavelski (34 G, 33 A), Patrick Marleau (30 G, 32 A)

Oilers: Taylor Hall (24 G, 31 A), Jordan Eberle (23 G, 31 A), David Perron (25 G, 25 A)

Injury Report

Sharks: Tomas Hertl (knee) is on IR. Raffi Torres (soreness) did not play on Monday. Logan Couture left Monday’s game after blocking a shot, and may not play.

Oilers: Nail Yakupov (ankle) did not play on Saturday.

Probable Lines

SAN JOSE (46-18-9)

Forwards

Pavelski-Thornton-Burns

Marleau-Couture-Nieto

Wingels-Sheppard-Havlat

Kennedy-Desjardins-Burish

Defensemen

Vlasic-Demers

Irwin-Boyle

Stuart-Braun

Goalies

Niemi

Stalock

EDMONTON (25-38-9)

Forwards

Hall-Gagner-Perron

Lander-Nugent-Hopkins-Eberle

Hendricks-Gordon-Pitlick

Gazdic-Smyth-Jones

Defensemen

Ference-Schultz

Marincin-Petry

Kelfborn-Fraser

Goalies

Scrivens

Fasth

Game Info

Opening Face-off: 6:30 PM PSTR

Location: Scotiabank Saddledome, Rexall Place

TV: LOCAL

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Tags: San Jose Sharks

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