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Oilers to host Sharks in home opener

by Adam Kimelman /

SHARKS (1-0-0) AT OILERS (1-0-0)


Season series: This is the first of three meetings between the teams. They split four games last season, with each decided by one goal. Both Oilers wins came via the shootout.

Big Story: This should be an interesting matchup between San Jose's veteran talent against the Oilers' youth brigade.

Team Scope:

Sharks: Paired with Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Brad Stuart was a plus-1 with one shot in his second debut with San Jose.

Taken by the Sharks with the third pick of the 1998 NHL Draft, he spent his first six seasons in San Jose, and then was re-acquired from the Detroit Red Wings in June.

"It felt good. It was strange, but it was good," Stuart told on Monday. "I was excited about it, and to get that first game out of the way is nice. I'll start to feel a little more comfortable, I think, now that we've all gotten back to the swing of things."

He said he also enjoyed playing alongside Vlasic.

"He's a good, smart defenseman, and those are always the easiest guys to play with," Stuart said. "It will take us a few games to kind of learn how to read off of each other a little bit better, but I think for the most part it's been good."

Oilers: For his first game as a full-time NHL coach, Ralph Krueger wasn't very nervous. In fact, he said his first game, a 3-2 win in Vancouver on Sunday, was easier than some of his previous coaching jobs.

"I'm used to coaching [international] teams where everything is a one-off, where you would coach at the Olympics or the world championship, and you had to win every game, whether it was France or Belarus," he told the Edmonton Journal. "This is 48 games. I was very calm and relaxed."

Krueger had filled in for former coach Tom Renney last season after Renney's father died and when he sustained a concussion, but now it's his team, and his systems. Well, at least some of them.

"We have a new specialty team," Krueger said. "That's all Freddie [Chabot, goalie coach]," Krueger said.

Who's hot: Sharks forward Patrick Marleau started the season the right way, scoring a pair of goals in San Jose's season-opening 4-1 win in Calgary on Sunday.

Injury Report: Sharks forward Jason Demers is out with a wrist injury, while defenseman Brent Burns is questionable while recovering from hernia surgery. … The Oilers are missing defenseman Andy Sutton (knee) and Theo Peckham (hip flexor), forward Ryan Jones (eye) and goalie Nikolai Khabibulin (hip).

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