SHARKS (24-14-2) at OILERS (21-14-7)
9 p.m. ET; SNW, CSN-CA, NHL.TV
Sharks team scope
San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic is expected to play after being hit in the face with a puck against the Philadelphia Flyers on Jan. 2. Vlasic, who has missed the past four games, took part in an optional morning skate Tuesday. "It was unlucky, it could have happened to anybody," Vlasic said. "It's your turn to block and you get it in the face, it's not something you want to get. I was fortunate enough not to lose any teeth and I'm glad I'm feeling better today. The swelling is going down. Until the nerves heal, there will still be some pain." San Jose ended a three-game losing streak with a 6-3 win against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. The Sharks begin a two-game Alberta road trip tied for first place with the Anaheim Ducks in the Pacific Division and one point ahead of the Edmonton Oilers. "When you get to that halfway mark you start thinking a little bit more about positioning," center Joe Pavelski said. "These guys have played well, they gave us a good game the other night [3-2 overtime win on Dec. 23], so it'll be competitive. We understand the situation in the standings. Everyone is so close together, so any time you can get a couple of points, it's important." Forward Patrick Marleau will play his 1,452 NHL game, passing Teemu Selanne (1,451) for 24th place on the all-time list.
Oilers team scope
The Oilers, who haven't made the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2006, are competing for first place in the Pacific. "We're past the halfway mark and we're into January now and this is uncharted waters for our team," coach Todd McLellan said. "We're going to hear this question numerous times playing against our divisional opponents and our conference opponents, we will start the year playing four-point games and it's new for us. We're not going to make a big deal about it, but we have to play better than we did in San Jose to have a chance to win." Forward Patrick Maroon leads the Oilers with 16 goals. He has five goals in his past three games playing on the top line with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. "You don't usually see a guy that big with such soft hands that can get up and down the ice well," McDavid said. "He's definitely feeling good about himself, so hopefully, we can keep that going." Edmonton won two of four games (2-2-0) on its recent road trip. The game against San Jose is the first of a six-game homestand.
Sharks projected lineup
Timo Meier -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski
Kevin Labanc -- Logan Couture -- Joonas Donskoi
Patrick Marleau -- Chris Tierney -- Joel Ward
Melker Karlsson -- Mikkel Boedker -- Tommy Wingels
Paul Martin -- Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon -- Dylan DeMelo
Scratched: Mirco Mueller, Tommy Wingels
Injured: Tomas Hertl (knee), David Schlemko (upper body)
Oilers projected lineup
Patrick Maroon -- Connor McDavid -- Leon Draisaitl
Milan Lucic -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Jordan Eberle
Benoit Pouliot -- Drake Caggiula -- Zack Kassian
Matt Hendricks -- Mark Letestu -- Anton Lander
Kris Russell -- Adam Larsson
Andrej Sekera -- Matthew Benning
Oscar Klefbom -- Eric Gryba
Scratched: Anton Slepyshev, Brandon Davidson
Injured: Iiro Pakarinen (knee), Andrew Ference (hip), Darnell Nurse (foot), Tyler Pitlick (knee)
Mueller will sit out with Vlasic returning to the lineup. Vlasic is expected to play with Braun on the Sharks second defensive pairing. … Eberle was moved up to the Oilers second line to play with Lucic and Nugent-Hopkins after being demoted to the third line against the Ottawa Senators on Sunday … The Oilers assigned forward Jesse Puljujarvi to Bakersfield of the American Hockey League on Monday and recalled Slepyshev. Puljujarvi, chosen with the No. 4 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, has one goal and seven assists in 28 games this season. … Gustavsson cleared waivers and will back up Talbot.
Marleau has three goals and three assists in his past five games .… Pavelski has five goals and five assists in his past nine games. … Ward has one goal and three assists in his past two games. McDavid has five assists in his past three games.