Preview: Oilers at Sharks
After ending December with six consecutive losses, the Edmonton Oilers have begun this month by winning two of the first three contests on their four-game road trip. The Oilers look to finish the trek with another triumph when they visit the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.
Edmonton split the first two games of the trip before rolling to a 4-0 victory in Anaheim on Sunday. Cam Talbot made 39 saves en route to his 20th career shutout while captain Connor McDavid scored his team-leading 24th goal, which also proved to be his league high-tying seventh game-winner. San Jose looks to complete a perfect three-game homestand after improving to 3-0-2 in its last five at SAP Center with Monday's 3-1 triumph over Los Angeles. Defenseman Erik Karlsson set up all three goals in the win, giving him a total of 21 assists during his 13-game streak for the Sharks, who have earned points in seven of their last eight contests (5-1-2).
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, Sportsnet West (Edmonton), NBCS California (San Jose)
ABOUT THE OILERS (20-19-3): Kris Russell was back on the blue line Sunday after missing 10 games with a groin injury and registered one shot while blocking three as he finished with a plus-1 rating in 22 minutes, 39 seconds of ice time. The 31-year-old defenseman has notched one goal and seven assists in 32 contests this season. Leon Draisaitl has tallied in six of his last seven games and is two goals away from 100 for his career.
ABOUT THE SHARKS (24-13-7): Defenseman Brent Burns and captain Joe Pavelski had their five-game point streaks halted by the Kings, with the latter being kept off the scoresheet for only the second time in his last 10 contests. Burns was playing for the first time since being named the NHL's Second Star of the Week, an honor he received after recording two goals and seven assists in three games - including his second career four-point performance Wednesday versus Colorado. Joonas Donskoi scored in Monday's win, giving him five goals and two assists over his last six contests.
1. McDavid has matched the career high in game-winning goals he set last season.
2. San Jose D Radim Simek returned to the lineup Monday after missing two contests with a concussion and recorded two shots in 18:09.
3. Edmonton C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' next game will be his 500th in the NHL.
PREDICTION: Oilers 4, Sharks 2