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Oilers end 11-game skid with win against Sharks

by Derek Van Diest

EDMONTON -- A little luck went a long way for the Edmonton Oilers and their long losing streak came to an end Sunday.

David Perron banked a shot in off San Jose Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon to give the Oilers a 2-1 win at Rexall Place. The victory snapped an 11-game losing streak and gave Edmonton its first win against a Western Conference opponent this season (1-12-4).

"It's funny, when you play the right way you get the bounces," Perron said. "We have to work for our bounces and it feels like the last few games we have done that. It was good to get rewarded.

"It's a big step in the right direction. It is nice to get the result and it shows everyone in the room when you do the right stuff on the ice for the most part of the 60 minutes, you will get rewarded."

Nail Yakupov also scored for the Oilers and snapped a 10-game goal-less drought. Goaltender Ben Scrivens made 20 saves for his fifth win of the season.

"That was by far our best game of the season, Yakupov said. "We played simple, we played strong, we fought for the puck. It was really good."

Tye McGinn scored for the Sharks, whose four-game win streak came to an end.

Alex Stalock made 22 saves in his first start for the since sustaining a knee injury on Nov. 8 in a 5-3 win against the Dallas Stars. The Sharks' backup goaltender was busy early when Edmonton outshot San Jose 11-2 in the first period.

Stalock's best save was made on Oilers center Mark Arcobello in the second period. Arcobello was set up by Steve Pinizzotto in front, but Stalock was able to dive out and turn the shot away.

"He was sharp, he made some real good saves in the first period when we needed him," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "He gave us a chance to get to the [intermission] and regroup. He looked comfortable and didn't fatigue at all. There were a lot of positives in his game."

The Sharks were playing their third game in four nights and fourth inside of a week. They defeated the Calgary Flames 3-2 on Saturday.

"If you go there, it begins to sound like we're using excuses," McLellan said. "Teams play that in the League all the time. They happened to be sitting since Wednesday and they were fresh, they took advantage of it.

"I still think that good teams can find ways, and we almost did. We stuck with it for a while. [You have to] find ways to win those games."

Yakupov put the Oilers ahead at 7:45 of the second period on the power play. The Oilers right wing was left unattended in front of the net and converted a centering feed from Jordan Eberle.

Stalock had been knocked down by Sharks defenseman Justin Braun on the play, leaving an open net for Yakupov.

McGinn tied the game with his first goal of the season at 9:51. Sharks forward Patrick Marleau won a race to the puck in the corner ahead of Oilers defenseman Andrew Ference and spotted McGinn in front with a behind-the-back pass. McGinn had made his way to the front of the net undetected by defenseman Justin Schultz and center Leon Draisaitl.

"I just tried to get to the net. [Marleau] is a great player, he can find you pretty much anywhere you are on the ice," McGinn said. "So I just tried to go to the net as quick as I could and he made a great pass."

Taylor Hall had an opportunity to restore the lead for the Oilers in the second period, but was stopped by Stalock in front.

In the third, Perron put the Oilers ahead with his fourth goal of the season and extended his point streak to four games.

Edmonton had not won since a 3-1 victory against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 9. The Oilers and Sharks play the second half of this home-and-home series Tuesday at San Jose.

"In that streak, I think eight games were one-goal games," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "There is a tipping point there. We don't want to get ahead of ourselves. We won by a goal and played a responsible game. That is the way we have to play every night. We are still looking for more offense and finish.

"We're not going to have a parade over this. We have to get right back to business and play this same team, which is an extremely hard team to play against."

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