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Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks @NHLdotcom
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GAME: Edmonton Oilers (31-27-12-4) at San Jose Sharks (37-19-12-6).

TIME: Sunday, 8 p.m. EST.

The Edmonton Oilers are doing everything they can to sneak into the playoffs. The San Jose Sharks have much loftier goals.

Seeking their season-high fourth straight win, the Oilers continue their pursuit of a playoff berth when they visit Pacific Division-leading San Jose.

Strong play by Edmonton over the past three weeks has made it a four-team race for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference. The Oilers, battling St. Louis, Nashville and Los Angeles, have two games left against the Kings and one with the Blues.

Igor Ulanov scored with 1:31 left in regulation to cap a frantic six-goal third period and lift Edmonton to its third straight win, 5-4 over Nashville on Friday.

Ethan Moreau added two goals and an assist for the Oilers, who haven't lost in regulation in 11 games (6-0-2-3).

"It was a wild one, no question," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said after his team scored four times in the third. "It was a throwback to the early '80s around here. Last goal wins and we knew we had to win this game."

Friday saw Oilers forward Mike York return to the lineup after he missed four games with a finger injury. York is fourth on the team with 37 points despite playing only 54 games.

The Sharks increased their lead in the Pacific over Dallas with a 4-2 victory at Anaheim on Friday.

Nils Ekman set up a pair of third-period goals by Alex Korolyuk and finished with three assists for San Jose, 4-0-1 in its last five.

The victory allowed the Sharks - out of the playoffs last season - to keep the pressure on Colorado for second place in the West and Detroit for the conference lead.

"Our chances of catching Detroit are pretty slim - but, hey, we have a game left with them. And if we can get some help from some other teams here in Southern California, you never know," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "As crazy as it is, we could be playing Detroit for first place. But you don't want to get far ahead of yourselves."

With leading scorer Patrick Marleau mired in a 10-game goal drought, Ekman and Korolyuk have helped pick up the slack. Ekman has three goals and nine assists during a six-game point streak, while Korolyuk has seven goals and five assists in his last eight games.

STANDINGS (through March 19): Oilers - 78 points, 4th place, 15 PB, Northwest Division. Sharks - 92 points, 1st place, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Oilers - Ryan Smyth, Raffi Torres and Moreau, 20 goals; Smyth, 33 assists and 53 points; Jason Smith, 96 PIM. Sharks - Marleau, 27 goals and 52 points; Ekman, 29 assists; Scott Parker, 101 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 19): Oilers - Power play: 12.5 percent (38 for 305), 29th in NHL. Penalty killing: 80.5 percent (256 for 318), 28th. Sharks - Power play: 16.8 percent (52 for 309), 11th. Penalty killing: 85.0 percent (250 for 294), 7th.

GOALTENDERS: Oilers - Ty Conklin (14-12-4, 1 SO, 2.43 GAA); Jussi Markkanen (8-13-3, 2, 2.46). Sharks - Evgeni Nabokov (26-18-8, 8, 2.21); Vesa Toskala (11-7-4, 2.11).


LAST MEETING: Dec. 11; 2-2 tie. At San Jose, Calif., Marleau scored two goals and Nabokov stopped 42 shots for the Sharks.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Oilers - 11-15-8-2 on the road; Sharks - 20-6-7-2 at home.

Associated Press
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