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Game Thread: Oilers vs Sharks - Looking To Bite The Sharks Again

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Fresh off a win over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night, the Oilers look to make it two in a row.

Chris LaFrance-USA TODAY Sports

Have you noticed how much nicer the world has seemed for the last two days? Once the sun finally came up, didn't the sky seem just a little bit bluer than usual? And that chill in the air, sure it was still there but didn't it really feel like a warm -12°C? Even that patch of ice, it wasn't slippery so much as a helpful way to glide to work, saving you the effort of taking a couple steps. Yes, life in Edmonton has been much improved since the team's eleven game losing streak came to an end on Sunday night. Wins makes everything better.

How To Tune In

Being on the west coast this evening the game starts later than usual. 8:30PM on Sportsnet West.

What To Watch For From The Oilers

The Sharks team that the Oilers beat on Sunday had played the night before in Calgary and was playing their third games in four nights. Were the Sharks at their best on Sunday night, probably not. But, for my money, the Oilers played a quality game and were lucky enough to take advantage of a favourable schedule that saw them face off against a tired opponent. Tonight in San Jose the Oilers will be taking on a different team, one that will also have the benefit of the last change, if they can look close to as good tonight as they did on Sunday I will be thrilled.

What To Watch For From The Sharks

From Fear The Fin's game preview:

As the Sharks try not to suffer a second straight embarrassment at the hands of the lowly Edmonton Oilers, they've recalled forward Melker Karlsson from Worcester. Karlsson, who has 10 points in 20 AHL games this season, will make his NHL debut tonight on a line with Barclay Goodrow and James Sheppard as Matt Nieto and Tyler Kennedy remain out, the latter of whom has been placed on injured reserve. It's the start of a five-game homestand on which they'll face the Oilers twice in addition to Central Division foes Minnesota, St. Louis and Nashville—it's a prime opportunity to make up ground after falling nine points behind division-leading Anaheim with Sunday's loss.

Projected Line Combinations

Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Tyler Pitlick
Nail Yakupov - Leon Draisaitl - Jordan Eberle
David Perron - Mark Arcobello - Teddy Purcell
Luke Gazdic - Matt Hendricks - Steve Pinizzotto

Andrew Ference - Justin Schultz
Oscar Klefbom - Jeff Petry
Nikita Nikitin - Mark Fayne

Viktor Fasth

San Jose Sharks

Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Tommy Wingels
Tye McGinn - James Sheppard - Barclay Goodrow
John Scott - Andrew Desjardins - Mike Brown

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon - Brent Burns
Matt Irwin - Scott Hannan

Antti Niemi

Final Thought

Loos like the Oilers dodged a real bullet by not claiming Chipchura. Depth? Insurance? Pfft, those are for good teams.