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Sharks aim to stay on track against Oilers
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Jose Sharks were mired in an extended winless drought earlier this month, but the club will shoot for a third straight win when they visit the struggling Edmonton Oilers in Friday's tilt at Rexall Place.
San Jose began the season with six straight wins and was 10-1-1 after 12 games. However, the Sharks went 0-1-4 over their next five games before notching recent road victories in Calgary and Vancouver.
The Sharks began a five-game swing with Sunday's shootout loss at Winnipeg before ending the slide with Tuesday's 3-2 overtime win against the Flames. San Jose again needed overtime to earn its second straight win on Thursday, downing the Canucks by a 2-1 score.
Dan Boyle scored on the power play at 2:38 of OT to lift the Sharks past Vancouver. In the extra session, Henrik Sedin was called for hooking at 2:07 and the Sharks took advantage. Logan Couture faked a shot from the high slot and passed it over to the left circle for Joe Pavelski, who one-touched the pass over to the right where Boyle wristed it home.
Tomas Hertl scored with 65 seconds left in the third period to tie the game for the Sharks. Antti Niemi made 34 saves in the win.
"We weren't the better team tonight and we have been on the other end of that where we were the better team and found a way not to win it. Tonight we found a way to come back," Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said.
San Jose is now 7-1-3 on the road this season and will complete its swing Sunday in Chicago.
While San Jose tries to put its recent slump even further in the rearview, the Oilers are still trying to turn around their season-long woes.
With 10 points and a 4-14-2 record, Edmonton is ahead of only Buffalo in the overall NHL standings. The Oilers have just one win over their past 10 games (1-8-1) and have dropped four straight in regulation since posting their last victory on Nov. 5 at Florida.
The Oilers dropped three straight on the road after opening a four-game swing with the win over the Panthers. Edmonton returned home to face Dallas on Wednesday, but the home test failed to change the struggling club's fortunes, as the Stars notched a 3-0 win at Rexall Place. It was the third straight shutout loss on home ice for the Oilers.
Edmonton mustered only 22 shots on net Wednesday and Kari Lehtonen stopped every one of them. The scoring drought at Rexall Place marks the longest streak of consecutive home losses via shutout in franchise history.
"It's extremely frustrating not to put some in the back of the net," said Oilers captain Andrew Ference. "It's one of those games again where you can point to positives but at the end of the day, you don't get the job done and don't score and you lose the tight ones."
Devan Dubnyk stopped 23-of-24 shots in defeat for the Oilers, who have managed to score only two goals over their last five home games.
Edmonton will enter tonight's tilt with a home scoring drought of 182 minutes, 4 seconds. The club's last tally at Rexall Place came on a Justin Schultz goal in the third period of a 4-1 loss to Washington on Oct. 24.
The Oilers are 1-6-0 on home ice this season. Including this evening's game, Edmonton will play host in four of its next five tests.
San Jose has taken three straight, five of six and nine of its past 11 games in Edmonton and the Oilers have dropped four in a row overall in this series.
11/15 11:07:46 ET