The Oilers host the Nashville Predators on Hockey Day in Canada this Saturday. The game can be seen on Sportsnet and CBC and heard on the Oilers Radio Network, including 630 CHED. Puck drop is 5:08 p.m. MT.
The Oilers raged with a wave of offence early, with Sam Gagner backhanding home the opening goal from the slot 4:04 into the first period.
Connor McDavid turned on the jets 1:16 later and delivered another sensational solo marker, burning Mario Ferraro outside for his 30th of the campaign with shades of his effort against Toronto and Morgan Rielly exactly one month earlier.
But even the captain admitted to hearing the 'Jaws' music get louder and louder.
"Even though we were up two, they were still taking the play to us," McDavid said. "We found a way to get couple, which was good, but they took it to us all night."
Things were levelled at two through 20 minutes after Timo Meier tipped one past Koskinen and Evander Kane capitalized on a Sharks four-minute power-play with Oscar Klefbom in the box serving a double minor for high-sticking.
San Jose put three more on the board in succession before Ethan Bear popped the water bottle 5:33 into the final frame off helpers from Jujhar Khaira and Riley Sheahan.
But Kevin Labanc restoring the three-goal lead would all but condemn the Oilers to their second-straight defeat to Pacific Division opposition with the club sitting third in the division with a 28-20-6 record and 62 points.
"That's on us to find a way to motivate each other, but there's no excuse for it," defenceman Darnell Nurse said. "We're in a tight race, and you come and play a team in your division that's a good veteran team that knows it's never out of it. We have to find a way to play hard in those games."
After three emotional contests - twice against the Calgary Flames and once with the St. Louis Blues - the Oilers haven't been able to channel that intensity in two-straight games against the Sharks and Coyotes.
"It definitely looks that way," McDavid said. "We're at our best when we're playing with emotion, being physical and in guys' faces... Two nights in a row where we've been pretty flat, and maybe it's a little bit of a letdown from those games with Calgary and whatnot.
"We can't make excuses for ourselves. We have to be better."
Tyler Benson logged 9:25 of ice time in his NHL debut on a line with Gaetan Haas and Alex Chiasson, taking the opening faceoff alongside McDavid and Josh Archibald in front of friends and family.
The Oilers host the Nashville Predators on Hockey Day in Canada this Saturday at 5:00 PM MT.
"We'll get a good practice tomorrow and get ready for Nashville coming in," Head Coach Dave Tippett said.