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National Hockey League

NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, January 31st (All times Eastern)

Edmonton Oilers (4-2-0) at San Jose Sharks (6-0-0), 10:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The San Jose Sharks will try to keep their perfect record intact when they host the Edmonton Oilers for Thursday's showdown at HP Pavilion.

At 6-0, the Sharks are off to the best start in franchise history and after Chicago lost in a shootout on Wednesday, San Jose is the only unbeaten left in the NHL this season.

The Sharks have defeated the opposition by a combined 26-10 score over their six games, but the team's last win was anything but lopsided. San Jose tied Tuesday's home game against Anaheim late in regulation and later won the tilt in a shootout.

Logan Couture scored his fourth goal of the season to tie the game at 2-2 with 2:45 remaining in the third period. He took a drop pass from newcomer Scott Gomez and ripped a shot past Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller.

Michal Handzus beat Hiller over the glove for the lone shootout goal, which lifted the Sharks to the 3-2 win. San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi had turned away the Ducks' first two shooters, Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry, before getting a little help from the crossbar on Teemu Selanne's bid.

Joe Pavelski lit the lamp in the first period for San Jose, while Niemi finished with 28 saves.

"It was a frustrating night, but at least we found a way to win," said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan.

San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle missed the game with the flu and is questionable for Thursday's game. Boyle leads all San Jose defenseman in goals (2) and assists (4) this season.

The Sharks are 4-0 as the host this season and have two games left on a six- game homestand. San Jose will complete the stay at the Shark Tank in Saturday's game against Nashville.

San Jose beat the Oilers earlier this season, posting a 6-3 win in Edmonton on Jan. 22. The Sharks have won six of nine overall in this series and the Oilers have dropped five of seven in Silicon Valley.

However, Edmonton is riding a two-game win streak after beating Phoenix in overtime on Wednesday. Nail Yakupov scored with 1:08 left in overtime to help the Oilers record the 2-1 road win.

On the power play in the extra session, a shot from Taylor Hall at the right point hit off the hand of Ray Whitney in the slot and popped into the air. Parked at the right side, Yakupov whacked it in for the winner.

Lennart Petrell scored the other Edmonton goal, while Devan Dubnyk stopped 27 shots for the Oilers, who have won three of their last four games.

Edmonton nearly won the game in regulation, but Nick Johnson scored with 19 seconds left in the third period to tie the score at 1-1.

"Dealing with that late goal and sticking with it to get the two points showed a lot of character," Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger said.

Edmonton began a three-game road trip on Wednesday and will complete the swing Saturday at Colorado.

01/31 10:58:13 ET

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