The Sharks are trying to battle their way out of the bottom of the Pacific Division standings after compiling only 15 points and a 7-10-1 overall record through their first 18 games. San Jose’s -16 goal differential is the second-worst mark in the Western Conference. They will have their hands full against the Oilers, who enter the week leading the Pacific Division with 26 points and a 12-5-2 record through their first 19 games. Can the Sharks come out on top against the Oilers at the SAP Center on Tuesday night?
McDavid nets hat trick in win over DucksEdmonton won their second straight game on Saturday night, defeating the Anaheim Ducks 6-2 behind another big night from Connor McDavid. The Oilers’ star center netted a hat trick to become the eighth player in NHL history to record 400 points before their 23rd birthday. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also scored twice while Leon Draisaitl added four assists for the Oilers, who kept pace atop the Pacific Division standings with the win. Mikko Koskinen allowed only two goals in 33 shots for Edmonton, which has now notched points in five of their last six games (4-1-1).
Special teams have been a bit of a saving grace for the Oilers so far this season. Edmonton comes in scoring 3.00 goals per game, but a lot of their success has come on the power play. They have converted on a healthy 29.1 percent of their opportunities with the man advantage for the season, which ranks second in the NHL. The Oilers have also been solid on the penalty kill, fending off 85.7 percent of their total penalties for the year, which has played a role in them allowing only 2.47 goals per game (5th in the NHL).
Veteran Mike Smith is scheduled to be back between the pipes for the Oilers on Tuesday night. The 37-year-old has been one of the biggest early-season surprises for Edmonton through the first month of the season. In 10 starts, Smith is 5-4-1 with a 2.22 GAA and .926 save percentage. He’s allowed three goals or less in nine of his 10 games this season, including each of his last eight starts, and he’s been absolutely lights out on the road, sporting a 1.31 GAA and .957 save percentage away from home this year. Smith played in three games (two starts) against the Sharks last season, going 1-2-0 with a 2.91 GAA and .881 save percentage in those matchups.
Hertl scores for third straight game in Sharks' winSan Jose needed seven shootout rounds but the Sharks came away with a much-needed 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night to extend their current winning streak to three games. Tim Meier scored the game-winner in the shootout while Thomas Hertl also scored and Martin Jones allowed just one goal in 25 shots to help the Sharks keep their momentum alive. Hertl has now scored in three straight games and has 18 points over his last 13 games. He leads the team in points with 18 while Evander Kane has 10 goals to lead all scorers for San Jose.
The Sharks enter the week ranked among the league leaders in several major categories but poor defense and goaltending have held them back. San Jose ranks just outside the top-10 on the power play, where they have converted on 21.3 percent of their chances this season (13th in the NHL). They also rank as the NHL’s top penalty-killing team at an impressive 91.2 percent. However, the Sharks rank fourth in the league in goals against per game (3.56) and tied for 28th in the NHL in team save percentage (.882) through 18 games.
Tomas Hertl is putting on an absolute show pic.twitter.com/tqBqXkZgoB— Spittin' Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) October 4, 2018
Martin Jones is expected to be back between the pipes for the Sharks at home on Tuesday. He showed some life in his last start, allowing just one goal and stopping all seven of the shooters that he faced in the shootout. The 29-year-old comes in with a 5-7-1 overall record to go along with a 3.31 GAA and .889 save percentage in 14 games (13 starts). Last season, Jones went 1-0-1 in two starts against Edmonton but finished with a 3.99 GAA and .837 save percentage in those matchups.
- Oilers are 4-0 in their last 4 overall.
- Oilers are 8-2 in their last 10 vs. Pacific.
- Oilers are 4-0 in their last 4 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Sharks are 2-8 in their last 10 when their opponent scores 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Sharks are 3-7 in their last 10 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Sharks are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. Pacific.