The Oilers try to avoid a thrashing, the Sharks smell chum
4-2-0, second place) @ Sharks (6-0-0, first place)
8:30 p.m. MST | Sportsnet West
Top Story: The Oilers welcome Nikolai Khabibulin back to the roster and likely into the starting lineup against the Sharks. In their last meeting, the Sharks' power play shredded an undisciplined Oilers team in the first period of an absolute mauling. The Oilers climbed back into it over the last two periods, but only because San Jose was content to skate out the clock.
The Sharks are already without Brent Burns, still recovering from sport hernia surgery in May, and now will likely have to scratch Dan Boyle as well. The Sharks defensive depth is being stretched at a very early stage of the season.
The Oilers will probably be without Shawn Horcoff, meaning Darcy Hordichuk will draw in unless the Oilers can get an emergency callup from the Barons to San Jose in time for gametime. If Hordichuk draws in, Teemu Hartikainen may center the bottom line.
The Oilers are saying:
"He seems to have a knack for scoring big goals. He finds a way all the time. It's impressive."
The Opponent is saying:
"You know, I put a dollar in, I got a car. I put a dollar in, I got a car. I put a dollar in, I got a car. I put a dollar in, I got a car."
--Coach Todd McLellan on the Sharks' power play.
Key matchup: The last time these two teams met, Ralph Krueger didn't mind giving away the matchup game:
Shawn Horcoff’s line played just two measly even-strength shifts against the Thornton line yet the Oilers outchanced the Sharks 1-0 in those minutes. In all other even-strength situations combined, the Sharks outchanced Edmonton 8-0.
Let's see how this shakes out tonight, but the most important matchup will be the penalty kill and Nikolai Khabibulin versus the Sharks' power play. Krueger should insert Mark Fistric into the lineup to replace Corey Potter in an effort to strengthen the 4v5 unit.
Edmonton Oilers Injuries
San Jose Sharks Injuries