EDMONTON – James Reimer will make his second start for the Sharks on Tuesday in Edmonton as the Sharks close out a brief two-game trip through Alberta.
Reimer lost his first game with San Jose on Saturday to Vancouver, 4-2, surrendering three power play goals but none at even strength. He’s 4-0-0 with a 1.64 goals-against average and .952 save percentage in five career games against Edmonton.
The Oilers bring a 4-1-1 mark in their last six into Tuesday’s game. It’s the first time San Jose will see Connor McDavid, too.
What does McDavid bring to his team?
“It’s similar to what Joe Thornton has meant to the San Jose Sharks for the last 10 years. Makes other players better,” Pete DeBoer said. “Number one centers in this league are few and far between. I’m sure he still has a lot to prove, but there’s no doubt in watching him, the sky is the limit for what he’s capable of doing and how good he is.”
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The Sharks will play 12 of their final 16 games at home after Tuesday. Although they are an impressive 24-9-3 on the road as opposed to just 12-14-3 at SAP Center, DeBoer is content with the schedule for the final month.
There hasn’t been much practice time since the All-Star break, as the Sharks have played 13 of 18 on the road. That’s probably led to some of their uneven performances of late, including Monday’s game in Calgary in which they escaped with a 2-1 overtime win despite getting badly outplayed by the Flames.
“I’m looking forward to having that home schedule, getting some quality practices for the first time in probably a month-and-a-half and getting things tightened up for the playoffs,” DeBoer said.
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Tuesday marks the Sharks’ final game at Rexall Place, as the Oilers will open a new arena for the 2016-17 season.
“Any time they close an old rink it’s a little bit sad, but I talked to Todd [McLellan] here today, and the plans for the new rink look amazing,” DeBoer said. “I think it’s going to be an incredible facility.”