Since joining the NHL for the 1991-92 season, the San Jose Sharks have never won their first three road games. Continuing their three-game trip against the Edmonton Oilers could help them change that.
San Jose looks to win for the fifth time in six visits to Rexall Place while the Oilers try to snap a three-game losing streak Saturday night.
Looking for their first victory since being designated the road team in a 3-2 win over Columbus on Oct. 8 in Stockholm, the Sharks (2-2-1) snapped a three-game skid by winning 4-2 at Colorado on Thursday.
"We've been saying that if we're mentally engaged, we win hockey games," captain Joe Thornton said. "I think we were tonight. Right from the first faceoff, we executed great."
San Jose is among the league leaders on the power play, converting 28.6 percent (8 for 28) of its chances. The Sharks have been even better on the road, going 4 for 11.
Facing an Oilers team that is near the bottom in the NHL in penalty killing at 72.7 percent, San Jose will try to erase the memory of a 5-1 loss at Rexall Place on March 21 that sent the club to its first six-game skid in four seasons.
The Sharks, though, had won their previous four in Edmonton and six overall in this matchup.
The Oilers (2-3-0) are looking to close out their two-game stretch at home on a positive note before playing eight of 10 on the road.
Despite outshooting Minnesota by 11 and getting 10 power-play opportunities, Edmonton lost 4-2 on Thursday.
Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff each scored with the man advantage, but Oilers coach Tom Renney was direct when asked how his team performed in that area.
"I saw two pucks cross the line on the power play -- we need to do more," said Renney, whose team has allowed 13 goals during its slide.
The Oilers are expecting more from No. 1 overall pick Taylor Hall, who is still searching for his first goal, but they have received a nice boost from the 18-year-old forward.
"Other than the scoresheet I thought I put part of the things together I want to be putting together," Hall said Thursday after being named the game's second star. "Even though we didn't win, I thought it was a pretty good game we played."
Nikolai Khabibulin, who has a 2.64 goals-against average while starting each game this season, will likely be in net for the Oilers on Saturday. He is 17-9-2 with two ties and a 2.41 GAA in 31 starts against San Jose.
Sharks coach Todd McLellan hasn't announced whether struggling starter Antti Niemi -- 11 goals allowed in three starts -- will get the nod Saturday, but backup Antero Niittymaki is making a strong push for playing time by going 1-0-1 with a 2.47 GAA.
Marleau, one point shy of 700, has 11 goals and four assists in his last 10 games at Rexall Place.