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Sharks hope to bounce back in home tilt vs. Oilers
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Jose Sharks will look to rebound by extending their point streak over the Edmonton Oilers to nine straight games as the two clubs clash on Thursday night.
The Sharks extended their winning streak to four straight games with a victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, but lost the road portion of the home-and- home set with a 6-3 decision on Tuesday.
Dan Boyle, Bracken Kearns and Logan Couture all scored for the Sharks, who saw starter Antti Niemi pulled early in the third period.
Niemi, in his league-leading 35th start of the season, gave up five goals on 34 shots. Backup Alex Stalock yielded a goal on four shots faced in 18-plus minutes of relief.
With the setback that saw Anaheim score three times in the second period, the Sharks fell seven points behind the Ducks for first place in the Pacific Division.
"We had a good push, and then nothing would come out of it and boom they score. I think we came out with early energy, but the second period we just got out-played. It killed the game plan," said San Jose center Joe Thornton.
The Sharks have executed their plan well as of late versus the Oilers, winning five straight in the series while going 6-0-2 in the past eight meetings. San Jose has not lost in regulation to Edmonton since Jan. 13, 2011 and has won six of the past eight played at home.
Niemi is 6-0-1 with a 2.35 goals against average in seven career starts against the Oilers, but did not play in the first meeting between the clubs back on Nov. 15 in Edmonton. Instead, Stalock posted 30 saves for the win.
Patrick Marleau had a goal and an assist, while Joe Pavelski scored.
On Tuesday, Pavelski was named to the U.S. Olympic squad for the upcoming Winter Games. He has 16 goals and 21 assists in 40 games this season with San Jose.
Nail Yakupov had the lone goal for the Oilers versus the Sharks and Devan Dubnyk made 34 saves.
Yakupov is expected to return to the Edmonton lineup after being a healthy scratch in Tuesday's 4-3 overtime loss to Phoenix. The second-year forward, who has six goals and 14 points in 39 games this season, skated on a line during practice on Wednesday with Jordan Eberle and Sam Gagner.
Edmonton has lost two straight after regulation following a two-game winning streak. The Oilers yielded a game-tying goal to the Coyotes with 1:10 left in regulation on Tuesday before Keith Yandle beat Ilya Bryzgalov for the winner with 6.5 seconds left in overtime.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, David Perron and Justin Schultz scored for the Oilers, who got three assists from Taylor Hall to give him eight points over his last four games.
"We managed to find our game and get a lead. We played them pretty well I thought," said Perron. "But we let the goalie down because he played really well for us."
Bryzgalov made 40 saves and is 10-11-4 with a 2.35 GAA lifetime versus the Sharks.
01/02 11:31:59 ET