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
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
"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
SEASON SERIES: 1-1-1.
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