Although the San Jose Sharks haven't been at their best over the last few weeks, they'll likely benefit from a return to HP Pavilion.
The Sharks - owners of the league's best home record - look to avoid a fourth straight defeat overall Tuesday night against an Edmonton Oilers team seeking to match its season-high four-game winning streak.
Western Conference-leading San Jose (37-8-9) reeled off four consecutive wins from Jan. 17-29, but has since dropped six of its last seven (1-2-4).
During that stretch, the Sharks also collected points in all but one stop on their season-high five-game road trip (1-1-3), which concluded with three straight losses. The last two came by a 6-5 margin, most recently against Atlantic Division-leading New Jersey on Sunday.
"We're going home with five of 10 points and we had a chance for 10 of 10, and we were right there again (Sunday)," coach Todd McLellan said. "It's a mistake here, a save there that makes a difference, and we are not getting them offensively or defensively. We have to tighten up in a couple of areas."
McLellan's club was particularly troubled by the penalty kill. San Jose allowed three power-play goals for the second straight game after killing off 22 of 24 penalties in the previous eight contests.
Still, it was another strong night for San Jose's offense, which ranks fourth in the NHL with 3.5 goals per game. Against New Jersey, captain Patrick Marleau had his team-high 30th goal and added an assist, while Sharks leading scorer Joe Thornton had two assists to give him 64 points.
Offensive production also hasn't been a problem for the Sharks at home, where they've scored 3.8 goals per game - the fourth-highest average in the NHL - while going a league-leading 23-2-3.
San Jose, which is opening a three-game homestand, hopes its success at HP Pavilion can help prevent its first four-game slide since an 0-4-1 stretch from Feb. 12-20, 2008.
The Sharks will also be trying to avoid their first three-game skid at home since dropping five straight (0-3-2) from Dec. 15, 2007-Jan. 3, 2008.
But San Jose is likely to be wary of a visit from Edmonton (29-23-4). The Sharks have lost three straight home contests against the Oilers, falling 3-2 in overtime on Dec. 6 in the lone matchup there this season.
Edmonton fell 4-1 at home to San Jose on Jan. 9 in the most recent meeting, but hasn't seen the loss column much lately. It has put together a 4-1-1 run to pull into a three-way tie for sixth in the tightly packed West.
"Every game is so important right now," said forward Ales Hemsky, who has team highs in goals (18) and points (50). "We need every point we can get."
Monday night's 3-1 victory at reeling Phoenix was the Oilers' third straight overall, putting them in position for their first four-game winning streak since starting the season 4-0.
Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff each contributed a goal and assist for Edmonton, which has won the first two stops on its four-game road trip.
The Oilers have gotten outstanding goaltending from Dwayne Roloson, who has started their last six games and compiled a 1.62 goals-against average during the winning streak.
After making 28 saves versus Phoenix, it's unclear if Roloson will start again Tuesday. However, he's been in net both times versus the Sharks thus far and is 5-3-0 with a 2.80 GAA in his last eight against them.