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Sharks vs. Oilers preview: Can the Sharks make it 12 in a row for Edmonton?

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Streaks are on the line in Edmonton as the Sharks try to earn their fifth straight win by handing the Oilers their twelfth loss in a row.

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

It's become something of a running joke that the Sharks are automatically going to crush every world-beater they go up against while losing to the league's lowest lights. And for good reason: so far this season, the Sharks have defeated the Kings, the Ducks twice, the Lightning, the Islanders and the Bruins—all in regulation—while losing both of their meetings with the horrendous Buffalo Sabres as well as losing twice to both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Florida Panthers.

So tonight's game, in a lot of ways, is San Jose's ultimate test as they prepare to face an Edmonton team in total disarray. The Oilers have lost eleven games in a row and have yet to beat a Western Conference opponent this season—they're 0-12-4 against the West. They currently sit dead last in the NHL and are reportedly calling in David Caruso to perform a full forensic investigation of their franchise. Losing tonight after throttling the Bruins just three days ago and riding into northern Alberta on a four-game winning streak would be typical Shorks.

Although, in fairness, a loss tonight wouldn't be as significant an upset as it appears on paper; the Oilers aren't as bad as their record indicates (how could any non-Sabres NHL team be?) and have actually improved their underlying numbers from years prior, albeit from "abysmal" to "just bad." The Sharks are also on the second half of a back-to-back and could be without both of their third-line wingers in Matt Nieto and Tyler Kennedy. Still, given their penchant over the past two seasons for handing points away to teams they should be beating decisively, the Sharks probably don't want to deal with the ignominy of being the club that ended Edmonton's gargantuan losing streak. They'll try to avoid that label tonight at Rexall.

Tale Of The Tape
San Jose Sharks

@

Edmonton Oilers
14-10-4, 32 points
Record 6-15-5, 17 points
5th in Pacific Rank 7th in Pacific
51.6%
Score-Adj. Fenwick 48.5%
99.2
PDO 96.8
23.9
PP% 12.4
83.1
PK% 80.5

6PM PST | Rexall Place | Edmonton, Alberta
TV: CSNCA-HD | Radio: SJSharks.com, 98.5 KFOX
Know Your Enemy: The Copper & BlueCult Of HockeyOilers Nation

Projected Sharks Lineup

Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Tommy Wingels
Tye McGinn - James Sheppard - Barclay Goodrow
John Scott - Andrew Desjardins - Mike Brown

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon - Brent Burns
Matt Irwin - Scott Hannan

Alex Stalock
Antti Niemi

Projected Oilers Lineup

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Tyler Pitlick
Nail Yakupov - Leon Draisaitl - Jordan Eberle
David Perron - Boyd Gordon - Teddy Purcell
Luke Gazdic - Mark Arcobello - Steve Pinizzotto

Andrew Ference - Justin Schultz
Oscar Klefbom - Jeff Petry
Nikita Nikitin - Mark Fayne

Viktor Fasth
Ben Scrivens

Last Meeting

San Jose and Edmonton traded leads at the Tank on April Fools Day as a 3-1 edge for the Sharks evaporated as easily as a 4-3 third period lead for the Oilers. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice for Edmonton while Taylor Hall added a goal and three assists. Patrick Marleau scored the game-winner on a power play with a little over seven minutes remaining in the third period.

Storylines
  • Kennedy is very unlikely to play after being seen leaving Scotiabank Saddledome with his arm in a sling last night. Nieto is day-to-day.
  • Alex Stalock will get the start for the Sharks and is expected to face Viktor Fasth between the pipes for Edmonton.
  • If the Sharks win tonight in regulation, it'll be their first five-game regulation winning streak since they won six in a row in regulation to start the 2013-14 regular season.