Programming note: Sharks-Oilers coverage starts tonight at 6pm with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California.
Where they stand
Sharks: 14-13-0, 28 points, 2nd Pacific Division
Oilers: 11-15-2, 24 points, 7th Pacific Division
Sharks: The Sharks lost their fourth in a row on Tuesday in Calgary, 4-2. Since returning home from sweeping a six-game road trip, San Jose has lost five of its last six games, all in regulation. The Sharks host Minnesota on Saturday, and have a five-game road trip that begins next week.
Oilers: Edmonton has won three straight, all at home, including a 4-2 doubling of the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday. The Oilers, 7-5-1 at Rexall Place, close out a five-game homestand with the Rangers on Friday.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Joe Thornton. The former captain’s struggles are a main reason San Jose has just one even strength goal in its last four games. Thornton scored a power play goal against Calgary on Tuesday, just his second marker in the last 24 games, but with 16 points in 27 games overall, he's on pace for fewer than 50 points this season. The Sharks need more from Thornton and his linemates, Joe Pavelski (no goals in six games) and Melker Karlsson (scoreless in eight).
Oilers: Taylor Hall. The Oilers’ leading scorer with 28 points (11g, 17a), placing him seventh in the NHL, has four points (2g, 2a) in his last five games. He’s also third in the league in shots with 120, trailing only Alex Ovechkin and Brent Burns. In 21 career games against the Sharks, Hall has 8 goals, 18 points and a +8 rating.
Melker Karlsson – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Joel Ward
Matt Nieto – Tomas Hertl – Tommy Wingels
Dainius Zubrus – Chris Tierney – Joonas Donskoi
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – Justin Braun
Mirco Mueller – Matt Tennyson
Taylor Hall – Leon Draisaitl – Teddy Purcell
Jujhar Khaira – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jordan Eberle
Matt Hendricks – Mark Letestu – Lauri Korpikoski
Luke Gazdic – Anton Lander – Iiro Pakarinen
Darnell Nurse – Andrej Sekera
Oscar Klefbom – Justin Schultz
Brandon Davidson – Eric Gryba
Goals per game: 2.63 (13th)
Goals-against per game: 2.67 (18th)
Power play: 18.7 percent (15th)
Penalty kill: 81.1 percent (12th)
Goals per game: 2.46 (20th)
Goals-against per game: 2.93 (26th)
Power play: 18.7 percent (16th)
Penalty kill: 80.2 percent (17th)
Sharks: Ben Smith (concussion) and Marc-Edouard Vlasic (lower body) are out.
Oilers: Rob Klinkhammer (lower body), Connor McDavid (fractured clavicle), Nail Yakupov (sprained ankle), Benoit Pouliot (lower body) and Andrew Ference (undisclosed) are out.
The Sharks and Oilers will face off three more times, including Todd McLellan’s return to SAP Center on Jan. 14, San Jose’s final game at Rexall Place on March 8, and fourth and final meeting on March 24 in California.
The Sharks are 21-4-3 in their last 28 matchups with Edmonton, including 11-3-1 on the road.
Odds and ends
*This is the first game that McLellan will coach against the Sharks, since he and the team parted ways after seven seasons together on April 20.
*The Sharks are 1-6 without one of their top four defensemen, getting outscoring 29-13 in the process.
*The Sharks are 10-1 when leading after the first, 0-9 when trailing, and 4-3 when tied.