If the Edmonton Oilers are to match their longest winning streak of the season, they’ll need to end their struggles against the San Jose Sharks.
The Oilers look for a third straight victory while trying to avoid a seventh consecutive loss to the visiting Sharks on Wednesday night.
One night after Edmonton (17-32-6) snapped an 0-5-1 slide with a 5-1 home rout of Nashville, it scored two third-period goals en route to a 4-2 victory at Vancouver on Monday. David Perron recorded his second career hat trick as the Oilers won back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 23 and 27.
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Last in the Western Conference, Edmonton is looking for anything positive to build on. The Oilers won a season-high three in a row Nov. 16-21, which was also the last time they took two straight home contests.
"We’re slowly getting stronger and it’s good for the group," coach Dallas Eakins said.
The Oilers broke out offensively in their last two contests after recording 12 goals during the recent six-game skid. Perron leads the team with a career-high 22 goals, five of which have come in the last five contests.
"I try to bring my best game every night," he said.
"We have to learn from the way we are playing (now). That’s the way we need to play, and we’re going to get a lot of points as a team if we do that."
Earning two points has been difficult during Edmonton’s 0-4-2 slide against the Sharks (34-13-6). The Oilers have totaled 12 goals in that span and been outscored 8-2 in the two meetings this season.
Both Oilers goals in those games have come from Nail Yakupov. Perron has been held without a point in the matchups.
San Jose has won 16 of 20 in this series and four straight at Edmonton, where it’s 11-1-2 in its last 14.
Looking for a season-high fourth consecutive road victory, the Sharks try to bounce back after their six-game winning streak ended with a 1-0 loss to Los Angeles on Monday. San Jose was held to nine shots in the first two periods and its 23 for the game equaled its second-lowest total of the season.
"That’s just the way it goes," forward Bracken Kearns said. "You’ve got to find a way in those (tight) games."
Sharks backup Alex Stalock made 20 saves, but Anze Kopitar’s second-period goal ended the goaltender’s team-record scoreless streak at 178 minutes, 55 seconds.
Stalock stopped 30 shots during a 3-1 win at Edmonton on Nov. 15, but he may sit in favor of Antti Niemi, who has a 2.18 goals-against average during a four-game winning streak.
Niemi is 3-0-0 at Edmonton, and also has a 2.18 GAA while going 7-0-1 overall against the Oilers.
Joe Pavelski’s four-game goal streak ended in San Jose’s 3-2 overtime win over Minnesota on Saturday, and his five-game point streak (seven goals, three assists) was snapped Monday.
Among the league leaders with 28 goals, Pavelski has two and an assist against the Oilers this season. He has three goals and four assists during the six-game winning streak in the series.