Series (Game 3 of 4)

San Jose leads 3-1

Game 1: Saturday, October 23rd
Game 2: Saturday, November 27th
Game 3: Tuesday, December 21st
Game 4: Thursday, January 13th

Oilers 1

(12-15-5, 29 pts)

Sharks 2

(18-11-5, 41 pts)

10:30 PM ET, December 21, 2010

SAP Center, San Jose, California

1 2 3 T
EDM 0 0 11
SJ 0 2 02

L. Couture (Sharks - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

D. Boyle (Sharks - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

R. Clowe (Sharks - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Oilers-Sharks Preview


The San Jose Sharks are looking for a third consecutive win and will be facing an opponent they have dominated lately.

Picking up another victory in a matchup with the Edmonton Oilers, however, might prove more difficult this time.

The Sharks go for their ninth victory in 10 games against the Oilers, who are seeking a season-best fourth straight road win, on Tuesday night in the teams' third meeting of the season.

San Jose (17-11-5) has bounced back nicely from giving up two late goals in Wednesday's 3-2 loss to Nashville, winning two in a row. Rookie Logan Couture led the way, scoring in overtime in a 4-3 win at Dallas on Thursday and recording two goals in a 4-1 victory over St. Louis on Saturday.

"For us to string two wins together in a row is important," said Couture, who leads the Sharks and all rookies with 17 goals. "We all know we should have had that game in Nashville (Wednesday) and it could have been three in a row. Hopefully, we can build on this going back home."

The Sharks are 11-1-2 when Couture scores a goal, but they haven't been nearly as good at HP Pavilion recently, alternating losses and wins in their last five home games.

Almost all of the recent matchups with Edmonton, however, have gone San Jose's way. The Sharks have won three straight at home in the series and are 8-1-0 in the last nine overall meetings.

San Jose took the first two games against the Oilers this season at Rexall Place, winning 4-3 on Nov. 27 in the latest contest.

Since that game, however, Edmonton has put together its best stretch of the season, going 6-2-1 and winning a season-high three in a row on the road.

The Oilers avoided a third straight loss with a 6-3 victory over Columbus on Thursday. Linus Omark got his first career goal and added two assists while fellow rookie Jordan Eberle scored twice for Edmonton, which had managed one goal in each of its two straight defeats.

Efforts like that one have coach Tom Renney thinking big.

"It won't surprise me when we make the playoffs," Renney told the team's official website. "It won't. The biggest surprise of all might be if we don't."

The Oilers, opening a three-game trip, are last in the Western Conference.

Nikolai Khabibulin made 37 saves against the Blue Jackets and has gone 4-1-1 with a 2.11 goals-against average in his previous six starts. He'll be looking to shut down Dany Heatley, who leads San Jose with 31 points and has seven goals and 10 assists in 14 career games versus Edmonton.

Heatley had two goals and an assist in the Nov. 27 matchup.

"They're a tough team, especially in their building," said Oilers rookie forward Taylor Hall, who's set to play his first game at HP Pavilion. "I've heard a lot of things about playing in the Shark Tank and how hard they come out, so it's going to be a tough game for us.

"But in saying that, this little (four-day) break should help us get a good couple practices in and we'll see what we can do."

San Jose's Antero Niittymaki made 21 saves against the Blues to win his third straight start. He was in goal for both victories over the Oilers this season.

Eberle has scored four times during a three-game goal streak.

Teammate Ales Hemsky, who has missed seven straight games with a groin injury, skated Sunday but is unlikely to face the Sharks.