Sharks dominate Oilers, who drop 6th straight at home

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Edmonton Oilers, playing on three days rest and looking to end their home woes against the exhausted San Jose Sharks, couldn't.
It was more of the same in a 3-1 loss that dropped the last place Oilers to 1-7 at Rexall Place and 4-15-2 overall.
The Oilers have been outscored 23-3 in their last seven home games.
"I'm just so tired of coming in here after games and having to give a reason why we lost," said dejected Oilers left winger Taylor Hall. "We just gotta win. It doesn't matter how you win, if you're goalie stands on his head or you get lucky, you just have to win games.
"It's been tough to do that this year. We're all trying really hard but we're not winning games. Something is not clicking for us and we have to figure out what that is."
At the other end of the standings, it was more of the same for San Jose, who jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first 24 minutes and to win for the third time in four road games, upping their record to 13-2-5.
Though it looked like an easy game on paper, the Sharks only had to look back a few days to remember the last time they took a bottom-feeder lightly.
But Sharks coach Todd McLellan said he didn't plan to use the Nov. 5 loss to Buffalo as a motivational tool.
"They're smart people," he said of his players. "If I have to go in and remind them what happened 10 days ago, I'd be disappointed."
The Sharks, playing their second game in as many nights, and fourth road game in the last six nights, were supposed to be the more sluggish of the two teams. And the Oilers, having been shut out in three straight home games, were supposed to be the more desperate.
It didn't quite work out that way, however, as San Jose swarmed Edmonton from the opening faceoff. They hit the post 11 seconds into the game, outshot them 14-6 in the opening period and headed into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead.
Center Joe Pavelski scored his seventh of the season at 15:44 and rookie forward Tomas Hertl scored his team-leading 12th at 17:13. Center Joe Thornton assisted on both as the shell-shocked Oilers were shut out at home for the 10th-straight period.
The Sharks, well aware that the Oilers are a fragile bunch right now, wanted to jump on them early.
"We're trying to play fast, get that first one in the net and play from there," said Pavelski. "That's kind of how we've broken teams down. Those two goals helped give us a little momentum."
They carried it into the second period, where they put seven quick shots on Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk and San Jose had the first seven shots of the second period, extending their lead to 3-0 on left winger Patrick Marleau's 10th at 3:45. Thornton assisted on that one, too.
"Coming off back-to-back nights, you want to get off to a good lead and we were able to do that with two early first ones," said Thornton. "We just kind of rolled on after that."
Then, finally, the Oilers scored at home. Right winger Nail Yakupov's goal at 12:48 ended a home-ice scoreless streak of 214:52.
The goal seemed to lift the Oilers out of their week-long malaise. They came to life, shifting the momentum in their favor, and controlling the rest of the second period and much of the third.
"I don't know if it was desperation," said Oilers coach Dallas Eakins. "I thought it was more 'Hey, we can play with these guys, what's the big deal? Maybe we are as good as they are.'"
They couldn't score, though, and lost their sixth straight at home.
NOTES: The Oilers had to send their fifth leading scorer, C Mark Arcobello, to the AHL Friday morning to make room for D Oscar Klefbom after getting caught shorthanded on defence. They aren't carrying an extra D-man and with one of their defencemen (they won't say who) a little iffy, they had to scramble to get Klefbom to town. ... Oilers D Justin Schultz (who's been out for seven games with a groin injury), says he hopes to be back by Tuesday's game with Columbus. ... Injured Sharks RW Brent Burns is back in an orange no-contact jersey, prompting head coach Todd McLellan to say his recovery has "stalled a little bit." ... San Jose has one more game left on their five-game road trip, Sunday in Chicago. ... C Joe Pavelski's first period goal gives him at least a point in eight of San Jose's last nine games.

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