Oilers-Sharks Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 31, 2013

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 26: Head coach Todd McLellan of the San Jose Sharks reacts to a call during the preseason NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on September 26, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Sharks 2-0. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
While the San Jose Sharks are enjoying their best start in franchise history, coach Todd McLellan feels they still need to tighten some things up. The Edmonton Oilers can't be happy to hear that. San Jose, the NHL's last remaining unbeaten, tries to pick up another two points and continue its recent dominance of the visiting Oilers as these clubs meet for the second time Thursday night. After outscoring their first five opponents 23-8, the Sharks (6-0-0) found themselves in a bit of trouble Tuesday before pulling out a 3-2 shootout win over Anaheim. Logan Couture notched his fourth goal 17:15 into the third period and Michal Handzus recorded the shootout's lone tally to keep San Jose undefeated. "We've got to be excited that we put points in the bank and were able to come back, but we have to tell it like it was, they were the better team," said McLellan, whose club was outshot 30-18. "It was a frustrating night but at least we found a way to win. "Overall we'll take the lack of execution as a team and we'll move on and try to make it better. ... We'd like to refresh it a little bit and go over some things in practice so that when we play against the fast Edmonton team we're ready to go." The Sharks had their way with the Oilers (4-2-0) last Tuesday, scoring all of their goals in the first period of a 6-3 road win. Couture and Patrick Marleau each scored twice and added an assist while Joe Thornton set up three goals as San Jose improved to 12-2-2 against Edmonton dating to 2009. Couture, Marleau and Thornton have all been instrumental to the Sharks' success in this series. Couture has six goals and three assists in his last eight games against the Oilers, Marleau has 12 goals and 20 points in his last 15 and Thornton has five goals and 20 assists since 2009. Since losing to San Jose last week, the Oilers have won three of four, allowing one goal in each victory. After blowing a shutout with 19 seconds left in regulation Wednesday, Edmonton escaped with a 2-1 overtime win at Phoenix thanks to rookie sensation Nail Yakupov's goal 3:52 into OT. Edmonton hasn't won five of its first seven games since opening 6-2-0 in 2006-07. "Dealing with that late goal and to be able to get the two points showed a lot of character," coach Ralph Krueger said. "It was another real big growth opportunity for our team." Selected No. 1 overall in the 2012 draft, Yakupov, who leads the team with four goals, is quickly starting to emerge as a legitimate threat for the Oilers. "It's another big goal for Nail and he seems to have a knack for scoring those," Sam Gagner said of the 19-year-old. Devan Dubnyk, who's started all six games, made 27 saves Wednesday. Dubnyk is 4-4-0 with a 3.08 goals-against average lifetime against San Jose, allowing two goals or fewer in the wins and a combined 17 in the losses. While the Sharks are averaging 4.2 goals to rank second in the NHL, they're also second in goals allowed with 10. San Jose has killed off all 13 of its opponents' power-play chances over its last three games. "We try to play good defense, a lot of our offense comes from playing good defense and getting out quick," said Thornton, whose 14 points are tied with Marleau for the league lead. Antti Niemi has been a huge part of that success, going 5-0-0 with a 1.97 GAA. The Finland native is 4-0-1 with a 2.36 GAA lifetime against Edmonton. It's unknown if star defenseman Dan Boyle will be available after sitting out Tuesday with the flu. He has two goals and four assists.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

A’s land Khris Davis from Brewers for prospects

Family of deceased Kyle Field construction worker awarded $53 million by jury

Chris Bosh to miss All-Star Game with calf injury, Al Horford to replace

NBA commissioner Adam Silver supports bringing sports betting in to the light

Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia becomes first player ever banned by MLB for PEDs

Eight bold predictions for NBA All-Star Weekend

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Iowa athletics department under federal civil rights investigation

2016 Naismith Hall of Fame finalists announced

Hasselbeck ‘strongly leaning towards playing’ in 18th season

Pitchers to wear new protective headwear in spring training

Klay Thompson: Warriors will shoot for all-time wins record

Bryce Harper 'squashed' beef with Jonathan Papelbon

Cardiff City owner tells team to shoot more, because ugly men can marry beautiful women

Report: American Pharoah will make $35 million as stud in 2016

City hosts Tottenham in Valentine’s Day clash

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Is there a place for Aaron Hill with the Brewers?

The market for forwards may shape the NHL trade deadline

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

The most intriguing NBA story lines for the rest of the season

Report: Timberwolves ‘lament’ Andrew Wiggins missing weight-lifting sessions

Kevin Durant to the Warriors makes little sense

City of Atlanta, Braves fighting over iconic Hank Aaron statue

Brock Osweiler hopes to remain part of ‘very special’ Broncos

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker