The Sharks have already squandered their fair share of points this season to lesser talented clubs.
Add a loss to lowly Edmonton to the list.
The Oilers ended an 11-game losing streak with 2-1 win over the Sharks on Sunday at Rexall Place. David Perron’s shot deflected in off of Brenden Dillon at 10:26 of the third period for the game-winner, as Edmonton beat a Western Conference team for the first time this season (1-12-4).
The Sharks saw their season-high winning streak halted at four games, while the Oilers won for the first time since Nov. 9 at the New York Rangers.
The teams will rematch for the second half of a home-and-home on Tuesday at SAP Center.
After a scoreless first, the clubs traded second period goals. The Oilers scored with Dillon in the box for holding, as Nail Yakopov directed it into an open net after Justin Braun toppled over an aggressive Alex Stalock just outside the crease at 7:45.
Tye McGinn, likely only playing due to injuries to Matt Nieto and Tyler Kennedy, finally got his first goal in a Sharks uniform to tie it at 1-1. Patrick Marleau made it happen, as he spotted McGinn streaking towards the net while Andrew Ference was bearing down. Marleau delivered a perfect backhanded pass from the corner to McGinn’s stick at 9:51.
McGinn, who hadn’t done much in his first 16 games with the Sharks despite some chances in a top six role, had sat out the last two games as a healthy scratch.
San Jose didn’t have a power play until early in the third period, when it got two. Boyd Gordon’s high-stick of Logan Couture just 21 seconds into the frame didn’t result in any Sharks shots on goal, but Steve Pinizzotto’s roughing minor shortly after led to a few good chances for San Jose. Ben Scrivens stopped all four shots he saw during the two minutes, though.
The Oilers outshot the Sharks 11-2 in the first period, although there was no scoring in the opening frame. Stalock stopped an open look by Taylor Hall on an Edmonton power play with 4:43 to go on what was one of a few good scoring chances for the Oilers, who had not played since Wednesday.
The early highlight for the Sharks was Tommy Wingels plastering Oilers defenseman Tyler Pitlick with seven minutes to go, as Pitlick skated behind the Edmonton net just before he was leveled by the shoulder of San Jose’s biggest hitter.
Stalock was playing for the first time since Nov. 8. He had minor left leg surgery shortly after playing and beating the Dallas Stars that night, 5-3.
The Sharks split their two games in a quick Alberta road trip, including a 3-2 victory in Calgary on Saturday.
Edmonton was 1-for-2 on the power play. San Jose had killed off 11 of its previous 12 penalties in its last four games before Sunday.
The Sharks were 0-for-2.
Stalock fell to 2-3-1 on the season, allowing two goals on 24 shots.
Scrivens, who had a 59-save shutout against the Sharks at Rexall Place last January, earned his first win since Oct. 27 in improving to 5-9-3. He allowed just one goal on 21 Sharks shots.
Marleau increased his point-streak to five games, with one goal and six assists over that span. Wingels’ four-game streak (3g, 6a) came to an end.
Nieto (lower body) and Kennedy (upper body) were not able to play, so McGinn got back in on the third line wing. Kennedy left Saturday’s game against Calgary in the first period and did not return, while Nieto missed his second straight.
Mirco Mueller had been a healthy scratch for the previous three games, but was inserted back in for Matt Irwin. He was issued a delay of game minor in the first period, but the Oilers did not convert.
After Tuesday’s rematch with Edmonton at SAP Center, the Sharks will host Minnesota on Thursday and Nashville on Saturday. A five-game homestand continues with the Oilers again on Dec. 18, and St. Louis Blues on Dec. 20.