The Edmonton Oilers (27-31-4, 6th Pacific), while still foundering in a dead season, carry a three game winning streak into San Jose to face the Sharks (33-21-9, 2nd Pacific), who've lost their last three. A win tonight would count a California sweep for the Oil, and match their longest winning streak of the season at four. Edmonton has won four of their last five, a quick turnaround after losing six straight just before this stretch.
The two teams will look a little different than their last contests after the NHL's trade deadline passed yesterday. The Oilers, strong sellers this year, will be without Patrick Maroon, Mark Letestu, and Brandon Davidson, having shipped them out for picks, prospects, and new face Pontus Aberg. The Sharks will welcome Eric Fehr to the tank for the first time, and deadline rental (for now) Evander Kane. I won't go too hard on the controversy surrounding the move, suffice it to say that Sie has covered his checkered past more effectively than I could, if you want my opinion (really, who doesn't?), she pretty much nailed it.
On the ice, Kane should provide some scoring punch for a team in desperate need. The Sharks just finished a 1-2-1 road trip during which they were out scored 16-6, and they rank 26th in the league in even strength goals per 60 minutes. Kane ranks fifth in shots on goal in the NHL, and could help the Sharks find some extra firepower as they push to hold a playoff spot in an ultra-close Pacific division.
The Oilers are coming off of a four point back to back against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday and the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday. After blowing a two goal lead in Anaheim, Edmonton came back to seal a 6-5 win with a shoot out goal from the team's everything leader (74 points, 27 goals, 47 assists) and captain, Connor McDavid. McDavid sits third in NHL scoring, just two behind Evgeni Malkin, and tied with the resurgent Claude Giroux.
Tonight's two points are huge, as two of San Jose's closest chasers in the Western conference standings, the Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames, play each other, and a third, the Kings (plus Jeff Carter) are in action against the Vegas Knights.
The show must go on.
Evander Kane -- Joe Pavelski -- Joonas Donskoi
Mikkel Boedker -- Logan Couture -- Tomas Hertl
Timo Meier -- Chris Tierney -- Kevin Labanc
Barclay Goodrow -- Eric Fehr -- Melker Karlsson
Joakim Ryan -- Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun
Brendan Dillon -- Dylan DeMelo
Scratched: Tim Heed, Paul Martin, Marcus Sorensen, Jannik Hansen
Injured: Joe Thornton (knee), Joel Ward (shoulder)
Braun is back in the lineup after missing one game with
trade bait illness. Separating Kane and former top liner Meier seems to make sense, as they're both shot machines, this is the most balanced attack the Sharks have had since the loss of Thornton.
Milan Lucic -- Connor McDavid -- Anton Slepyshev
Michael Cammalleri -- Leon Draisaitl -- Ty Rattie
Jesse Puljujarvi -- Ryan Strome -- Pontus Aberg
Drake Caggiula -- Jujhar Khaira -- Iiro Pakarinen
Adam Larsson -- Darnell Nurse
Oscar Klefbom -- Matt Benning
Andrej Sekera -- Kris Russell
Scratched: Ethan Bear, Yohann Auvitu
Injured: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (ribs), Zack Kassian (leg)
Anyone hoping to see Kassian play tonight (there's probably at least one) will be disappointed, he left Edmonton's game in Anaheim on Sunday early with an injury. This is probably good news for the Sharks, Kassian has scored 12 goals in the last calendar year, and four of them were against the Sharks.
Where to watch
Broadcast: NBCSCA, SNOL
Stream: NHL.tv / NHL App
Radio: 98.5 KFOX / NHL App / Sharks App