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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks

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Back home, the Oilers look to get back on track after a scoreless performance in Arizona

Edmonton Oilers v Calgary Flames
It’s time for Tyler Benson.
Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (28-19-6) 2nd, Pacific vs

San Jose Sharks (23-27-4) 6th, Pacific

06 February 2020

Rogers Place

7:30 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Fear The Fin

ZERO GOALS, ZERO POINTS

The Oilers looked to have the Arizona Coyotes in their sights on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, it turned into zero goals. Surprisingly, zero goals turns into zero points awfully easy. The Oilers were held off the scoresheet in a 3-0 loss to the Coyotes. Antti Rantta stopped 30 shots, while three different Coyotes scored en route to the loss.

The Oilers look to get back on track tonight with a visit from the San Jose Sharks. Can the Oilers turn their fortunes around?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“We’re not taking any teams lightly, especially not a team in our division that’s in a playoff spot right now. Some nights, you just can’t find a way. I thought we had a few chances, but their goalie (Antti Raanta) was great. Those nights happen once in a while.”

Source

That’s Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl after Edmonton’s 3-0 loss to the Coyotes on Tuesday night.

Numbers are what they are. Zero goals is a tough way to win. Edmonton hadn’t been shutout since October when they lost a 3-0 decision to the Minnesota Wild.

THE SHARKS ARE SAYING

“We know it’s going to be an uphill battle for us [to make the playoffs] but we’re up to the challenge. With goaltending like that tonight … [Dell]’s been great the last 10, 11 starts for us. He gives us a real good chance every night.”

Source

That’s Sharks forward Joe Thornton on his club’s 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.

THANKS, SHARKS!

Hey, hats off to you, Sharks. Joe Thornton scored his 1,500th NHL point in San Jose’s 3-1 victory over the Flames on Tuesday. They did the Oilers a solid by keeping the Flames from gaining any points in the standings. They can also do the Oilers a solid by laying down to a 5-2 loss tonight.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • Club is out of good reasons not to play Tyler Benson tonight. I get that they looked good when they destroyed Calgary by an 8-3 score, but they looked less good when they dropped a 3-0 match to Arizona. There aren’t 12 better forwards than Benson on this roster. Push this local player tonight.
  • WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SHARKS? A lot of things. They were good for years. They’re at the end of that. They’re fourth worst in goals scored per game (2.54). They’re tied for fifth worst in goals allowed per game (3.28). On top of this, they’ve suffered some key injuries to players like Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture, both will be out tonight. It’s two points that the Oilers should take tonight.
  • POINTS ON D Erik Karlsson (5-32-37) leads the San Jose Sharks in points, though it’s mostly been a season to forget for the Sharks. Forwards Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture rank third and second on the Sharks in scoring, both will be missing from the lineup due to injury.

  • LINES: Khaira-Sheahan-Kassian. Who knew? Still a big fan of 93/29/56, Is that Tyler Benson?
  • NET GAINS: Mikko Koskinen took the L in Arizona, the Oilers ought to return to him tonight (15-10-2, .913 SV% / 2.80 GAA / 1 SO). Expect Aaron Dell (10-10-2, .913 SV% / 2.74 GAA) to get the nod for the Sharks.
  • SICK BAY: Kris Russell (concussion) and Joakim Nygard (lower body) will not suit up for Edmonton tonight. The Sharks will be without Tomas Hertl (knee) and Logan Couture (ankle). Joel Kellman (lower body) is day-to-day, as is defenceman Dalton Prout (upper body).
  • PLAYOFF PUSH: Vancouver’s still on top with 65 points. The Oilers are hanging out in second place (62) and can be within one point of the Canucks with any win tonight. The Golden Knights are one point behind the Oilers (61), though Edmonton has two games in hand. Arizona is right there with 61 points too. It’s clear that the Oilers need to start creating space between themselves and the ne’er do wells like Calgary (60 points). Start with a win tonight.