|EDM||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|SJS||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||5|
GAME: Edmonton Oilers (32-21-9) at San Jose Sharks (28-23-9).
TIME: Thursday, 10:30 p.m. EST.
The Edmonton Oilers look to tighten their grip on a Western Conference playoff berth in the place where they play their best: the road.
The Oilers, holding down the eighth and final postseason berth in the West, begin a four-game trip against the San Jose Sharks.
Edmonton is 17-9-4 on the road, compared to 15-12-5 at Rexall Place. Only Detroit, Dallas, Buffalo and Ottawa have more road victories than the Oilers.
The Oilers have won four of their last six road games. They lost for the fourth time in their last six at home Tuesday with a 4-3 shootout defeat to the Stars.
Edmonton trailed 3-1 at the start of the third period, but Oilers forward Ryan Smyth sent a rebound past Stars goalie Marty Turco at 3:52 for his team-leading 29th goal. Center Shawn Horcoff tied it with 9:03 to go, beating Turco off a rebound.
The Oilers, though, failed to score on two shootout attempts as the Stars improved to 9-0 in shootouts on consecutive goals by Sergei Zubov and Jussi Jokinen. Edmonton used Mike Morrison in goal during the tiebreaker after Ty Conklin stopped 23 shots in regulation and overtime.
"I don't make the decisions," Conklin said. "I would have made a different one."
The unsettled goalie situation in Edmonton, in which neither Conklin, Morrison or Jussi Markkanen has seized control of the No. 1 job, became more complicated with the acquisition of Dwayne Roloson from Minnesota on Wednesday.
Roloson was 6-17-1 with a 3.00 goals-against average with Minnesota, though his .910 save percentage is markedly better than those of Morrison (.884), Markkanen (.880) and Conklin (.870).
"I think it means that they think they can win the Cup," Roloson's agent Mark Witkin said of the Oilers' acquisition of his client.
After playing at San Jose, the Oilers travel to Columbus on Saturday before facing the Wild in two straight games at the Xcel Energy Center on Sunday and Tuesday.
The Sharks opened the post-Olympic schedule with a 5-1 victory over Detroit on Feb. 28, but have since dropped three straight, all on the road.
An unusual goal decided a 5-4 overtime loss to Anaheim on Tuesday.
Former San Jose defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh was credited with scoring 58 seconds into the extra period. His slap shot had been stopped by Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov, but San Jose's Patrick Marleau picked up the rebound, and Anaheim center Samuel Pahlsson hit Marleau's stick as he carried the puck behind the net, causing it to roll behind Nabokov.
"I can't believe it went right into the net," Marleau said. "I went to make a move and all of a sudden I hit it straight in. There were a couple of hits on my stick, but it shouldn't matter."
The Sharks lost despite firing a season-high 48 shots at Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who stopped Joe Thornton on a breakaway early in overtime.
Sitting 11th in the West, San Jose trails Edmonton by eight points for the final playoff spot in the West. The Sharks have lost the last four meetings with the Oilers.
STANDINGS: Oilers - 73 points, 4th place, 4 PB, Northwest Division. Sharks - 65 points, 4th place, 20 PB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Oilers - Smyth, 29 goals; Ales Hemsky, 46 assists; Horcoff and Hemsky, 62 points; Jaroslav Spacek, 84 PIM. Sharks - Jonathan Cheechoo, 36 goals; Thornton, 64 assists and 88 points; Mark Smith, 81 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Oilers - Power play: 17.9 percent (70 for 392), 18th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.8 percent (308 for 372), 13th. Sharks - Power play: 18.0 percent (66 for 367), 16th. Penalty killing: 81.0 percent (243 for 300), 22nd.
GOALTENDERS: Oilers - Morrison (10-4-2, 2.83 GAA); Conklin (7-5-1, 1 SO, 2.85). Sharks - Nabokov (14-16-7, 1, 2.98); Vesa Toskala (9-6-2, 2.99).
SEASON SERIES: Oilers, 3-0.
LAST MEETING: Friday; Oilers, 3-2. At Edmonton, Alberta, all the scoring happened in the third period. After Thornton gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead at 15:23 of the third, Horcoff tied it at 16:28 before Hemsky scored the winner at 18:53.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Oilers - 17-9-4 on the road; Sharks - 17-7-5 at home.
|Mar 09 '06||EDM 2 at SJS 5||J. Thornton|
|Mar 03 '06||SJS 2 at EDM 3||A. Hemsky|
|Jan 19 '06||EDM 3 at SJS 2 - SO||R. Smyth|
|Nov 21 '05||SJS 1 at EDM 2 - SO||R. Smyth|