An impressive stretch at home has the Edmonton Oilers overcoming a slew of injuries in an effort to turn their season around.
The Oilers aim for their longest winning streak at Rexall Place in almost eight years Wednesday night when they try to send the San Jose Sharks to a fifth straight defeat.
Edmonton (11-15-2) lost superstar rookie forward Connor McDavid to a broken clavicle five weeks ago and has since lost forwards Nail Yakupov (ankle) and Benoit Pouliot (lower body) and defenseman Andrew Ference (undisclosed). Left wing Rob Klinkhammer (leg) was already out, and there's no timetable for a return for any of them.
The Oilers are 6-7-2 without McDavid but have won four straight at home, including the first three of this five-game homestand after beating Buffalo 4-2 on Sunday.
They last won five straight as host during a seven-game run from Feb. 4-March 2, 2008.
“It's nice to win (these games) in a row at home,” left wing Taylor Hall said. “That's a big boost for our group. You look at the standings and we are getting closer and closer to where we want to be. As we start getting bodies back it's important for us to stay in it.”
Hall leads Edmonton with 11 goals and 17 assists, but he's done a lot of that damage at home with seven and 11. He has three of each over the last four games there after getting two points Sunday.
Hall, though, has one assist over his last five meetings with San Jose (14-13-0), and he was pointless in a 3-1 home loss April 9.
Jordan Eberle was also held off the score sheet in that matchup after collecting nine goals and 11 assists over the previous 19. Of his five goals this season, the right wing has scored four at home with all of them coming over the last five games.
The Sharks have been outscored 14-6 while losing four in a row after falling 4-2 at Calgary on Tuesday, opening an eight-game stretch with seven on the road.
“It's disappointing when you beat yourself,” coach Peter DeBoer told the team's official website. “We took eight minor penalties and handed them another couple goals on odd-man rushes – uncharacteristic stuff for us that we've got to clean up.”
San Jose hasn't lost five games in a row since Oct. 30-Nov. 10, 2013.
Joe Pavelski leads the Sharks with 12 goals and 13 assists, but his season-high goal-scoring drought reached six games Tuesday. He went seven games without a goal in March 2014.
Pavelski has 15 goals and 33 points in 36 career meetings with the Oilers but no points in his last two visits to Edmonton.
Patrick Marleau has 32 points in 35 games at Rexall. He scored the first of San Jose's three goals in the third period April 9, giving him five goals with four assists over the last seven games there.
It's unclear if Martin Jones or Alex Stalock will start in goal. Jones has lost three straight games with a 3.39 goals-against average and was pulled early in the second period Tuesday after allowing three goals on 14 shots.
Stalock stopped 18 of 19 attempts the rest of the way, but he's 2-3-0 with a 3.63 GAA in five starts.
They've both had success against the Oilers with Jones compiling a 1.01 GAA while winning two of three games. Stalock has the same record with a 1.68 GAA in three matchups.
- Alex Stalock
- Andrew Ference
- Benoit Pouliot
- Connor McDavid
- Edmonton Oilers
- Joe Pavelski
- Jordan Eberle
- Martin Jones
- Nail Yakupov
- Patrick Marleau
- Rob Klinkhammer
- San Jose Sharks
- Taylor Hall