Sharks Look For Season Sweep Of The Oilers

Jan 31, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (8) shoots and scores Edmonton Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk (40) during the second period at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Sharks (12-10-6) take on the Edmonton Oilers (11-11-6) in the third and final meeting of the year.  San Jose has won both games so far by a combined score of 9-5 with each win coming at the beginning of the season during their seven-game win streak.

The Edmonton Oilers are starting to heat up just a bit coming off a win against the Nashville Predators three days ago.  With the win they are 3-0-1 in their last four games and have not lost in regulation.  Their overtime loss was to the Detroit Red Wings.

For the Sharks it was another disappointing loss to a team within their division two nights ago in Anaheim and at the moment find themselves in eighth place in the conference. Tonight is a big game with the Oilers only two points behind the Sharks for that final spot.

Leading the way for Edmonton in points and goals is forward Sam Gagner.  He has 27 total points and has scored 11 times this season, three more than the next highest scorer on the team.  Second on the team in total points with 26 is Taylor Hall who also leads the team with 20 assists.

For San Jose Patrick Marleau still leads the team in goals with 15 while captain Joe Thornton leads in in points with 27 and assists with 22.

The good news is they have a few guys waking up on offense as well with rookie defenseman Matt Irwin having scored a goal in three straight games while converted forward (for the time being) Brent Burns is now up to six points during his four games on the front lines.  Also, Marleau has tallied a point in each of his last five games with two goals and three assists during that span.  Lastly forward Scott Gomez has had an assist in each of his last four games although he is also a -5 during that span and seems to be struggling defensively.

What To Watch For

Tonight could be a low scoring affair with two teams who have struggled to score goals this season although the Sharks look to be on the upswing in that department.  However, based on what we have seen this season from both teams it is much more likely that the score will be lower scoring.

With that being said I think if either team can get out to a quick lead, or multi-goal lead, it might make for a bad time for the team chasing  because of Sharks and Oilers’ inability to score many goals.  This is especially true for the Sharks who have gotten three goals behind both the Kings and the Ducks in their last two games and have not been able to make up the difference.

Topics: Brent Burns, Edmonton Oilers, Joe Thornton, Matt Irwin, Patrick Marleau, Sam Gagner, San Jose Sharks, Scott Gomez, Taylor Hall

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