Preview: Oilers at Sharks
Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl hope to continue their scoring onslaught against one of the league’s most generous defenses when the Edmonton Oilers visit the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday in a Pacific Division battle. McDavid notched his fifth career hat trick and Draisaitl added four assists, extending his point streak to nine games and taking over the league lead with 34 points, in Sunday’s 6-2 victory at Anaheim.
“It was a good team win,” Oilers coach Dave Tippett told the Edmonton Journal after the victory. “We needed different parts of our game working. Everybody competed hard and got the win. You like rhythm in your lines and rhythm in how you’re playing and tonight we were just solid all the way through.” The Oilers own points in five of their last six contests overall (4-1-1) after losing four of five (1-3-1) and look to snap a four-game losing streak against San Jose, following an overtime win in the first matchup of last season. The Sharks started this season with 11 losses in the first 15 games (4-10-1), but are beginning to find their top form with three consecutive victories after edging Nashville 2-1 in a shootout Saturday. “We all knew that we weren’t playing up to our standards, and kind of forgot how the game was played a little bit for a while there,” San Jose defenseman Erik Karlsson told the Mercury News. “That’s why we’re in the situation we’re in now. But it feels like we’re finally starting to look like the team we’re supposed to be.”
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, Sportsnet West (Edmonton), NBCS California (San Jose)
ABOUT THE OILERS (12-5-2): Draisaitl boasts eight goals and 10 assists during his point streak and McDavid has scored five times during his four-game point run to reach 400 points for his career (402) and 30 on the season. Forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice Sunday to push his season total to three and set up two goals in the 4-0 triumph against New Jersey on Friday, giving him 13 points. “He’s been around some chances and they weren’t going in, now he’s capitalizing,” Tippett told the Journal of Nugent-Hopkins. “That shot he made on the power play was a heck of a shot, a big-time shot.”
ABOUT THE SHARKS (7-10-1): Forward Tomas Hertl has goals in three consecutive games and four of five, and leads the team with 18 points, including six in the past three contests with nine shots. Defenseman Brent Burns had 13 points in 13 games during October and owns three assists in five November contests to sit second on the team with 16 points while left wing Evander Kane owns a team-high 10 goals. Forward Timo Meier is warming up with two goals and three assists to go along with a plus-5 during the team’s three-game winning streak after managing four points in the first 15 contests.
1. The Sharks lead the league in penalty killing (91.2 percent) and the Oilers are second on the power play (29.1).
2. Kane, who has three goals in his past four games, needs one assist to reach 200 in his career.
3. McDavid became the 13th fastest player in NHL history to reach 400 points.
PREDICTION: Oilers 4, Sharks 3