The San Jose Sharks have the most points in the NHL, but they certainly didn’t look like it in their last game.
The Sharks will try to rebound from their most lopsided home loss in nearly two years Friday night when they visit the slumping Edmonton Oilers.
San Jose (16-6-4) leads the league with 36 points after winning the Presidents’ Trophy last season, but didn’t appear to justify that position after losing 7-2 to Central Division-leading Chicago on Wednesday. The Sharks trailed by seven midway through the third period while giving up a franchise-record three short-handed goals in their worst home defeat since falling 7-1 to Buffalo on Dec. 8, 2007.
“I don’t think frustration is the word,” said defenseman Dan Boyle(notes), who scored his fifth goal of the season Wednesday. “We should be embarrassed about the way we came out and played. That was ugly. Seven goals? That’s breakdowns from everybody. That’s just bad hockey.”
San Jose now plays the next two games on the road, including Sunday in Vancouver, before opening a five-game homestand against Ottawa on Tuesday. The team is 9-5-2 away from HP Pavilion.
Despite losing to the Blackhawks, Dany Heatley(notes) has four goals and two assists - including one on Boyle’s goal Wednesday - over the last three games. The left wing ranks among the league leaders with 18 goals and 29 points, and has eight goals and eight assists on the road.
Heatley has three goals and six assists in eight games against the Oilers (10-12-3).
The Sharks could use a better performance out of Evgeni Nabokov(notes), who is likely to get the start in net. He was pulled after the second period Wednesday for allowing four goals on 29 shots. He’s 2-1-1 with a 3.54 goals-against average in his last four games.
Nabokov has won his last three games at Edmonton, posting a 0.67 GAA with one shutout.
The Sharks went 3-0-1 against the Oilers last season, winning both meetings at Edmonton to improve to 4-0-1 in their last five visits.
The Oilers are 4-10-2 in their last 16 games, scoring more than three goals only three times. That funk also comes after a promising 6-2-1 start to the season.
They’ll try to conclude a five-game homestand above .500 after falling 3-1 to Los Angeles on Wednesday.
“It was one of those games that was up there for grabs by one of the two teams and they got it and we didn’t,” coach Pat Quinn said. “We played just poorly enough to not win it and they played just well enough to win it. They’re going home with two points and we are sucking wind.”
Khabibulin has missed four games, and his return is uncertain. He’s 7-9-2 with a 3.03 GAA in 18 games after joining Edmonton as a free agent from Chicago last summer.
If he’s unable to play, Jeff Deslauriers will get a fifth consecutive start. He’s split the last four games with a 2.76 GAA and one shutout after going 1-1-1 with a 1.96 GAA in his first three games.