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MORNING SKATE REPORT: Oilers at Sharks

The Oilers open a five-game Western Conference road trip at the Shark Tank

by Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

The Oilers begin a five-game Western Conference road stint with a match against the Sharks from SAP Center at San Jose.

You can watch the game on Sportsnet West or listen on the Oilers Radio Network, including 630 CHED.

Video: OILERS TODAY | Pre-Game at SJ 11.19.19

INSIDE THE OILERS

News and notes from Monday's Oilers practice, including the team's approach to their crucial five-game trip plus an update on Adam Larsson.

>> READ MORE IN THE INSIDE THE OILERS BLOG

PRE-GAME REPORT

SAN JOSE, CA - The Oilers dive right back into the Shark Tank a week after suffering a 6-3 loss to the dangerous San Jose Sharks, who are winners of six straight.

The Orange & Blue got their feet wet last Tuesday but couldn't resurface from the sinking waves of offence the Sharks manifested.

San Jose mounted a 3-0 lead through the opening 11:12 then added three more to keep the Oilers at bay.

"Last week, they were a desperate team and we weren't as desperate as we needed to be," Oilers Head Coach Dave Tippett said. 

SAP Center has never been an easy building to win in for the Oilers and the Sharks have always been a tough opponent. Edmonton is 1-7-1 in their last nine contests against their Pacific Division foe, getting outscored 46-26.

"It's nice to get another shot at it," Tippett said.

TIP OF THE FIN

In the last match versus the Sharks, four of the home team's goals were scored off redirections. 

It's no secret San Jose likes to use the high tip to their advantage given the club has tallied 12 tipped goals this year to lead the National Hockey League and also have the third-most shots tipped with 45.

Both a defenceman and forward from the Oilers offered how those goals can be reduced in the club's second dip with the Sharks.

Said defenceman Ethan Bear: "It's plays before the actual shot or tip-in that can be preventable. Getting inside position when they're trying to get to the net and then getting their sticks. If we can do that, then they don't get their free tips."

Zack Kassian, who has five goals and seven points in 22 career games against San Jose, described the Sharks' premeditated attack.

"It's like they come in layers around the net," he said. "Sometimes (Brent) Burns and (Erik) Karlsson, they're shooting five-feet wide but there's a stick there that's getting redirected on the net. That's what makes them so dangerous.

"It's hard to defend but we have to do a better job of closing in on them in the D zone to limit their time and space."

Video: PRE-GAME RAW | Zack Kassian 11.19.19

LINEUP NOTES

Hot off a two-goal performance against the Dallas Stars on Saturday, Jujhar Khaira was placed on the second line alongside Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and James Neal at Tuesday's morning skate. 

Alex Chiasson, who was sidelined in Saturday's matinee tilt due to illness, skated with Markus Granlund and Gaetan Haas.

"We're just trying to balance our lines out a little bit," said Coach Tippett. "You guys look at it more as top-six, bottom-six, other six. We're just trying to get some balance in our lineup."

On the back end, Adam Larsson continues to edge closer to returning to the lineup but will hold out against the Sharks.

In goal, Mikko Koskinen is expected to get the start. He is 7-1-2 this year with a 2.42 goals-against average and .921 save percentage.

Lines at morning skate appeared to be:

Draisaitl - McDavid - Kassian 
Khaira - Nugent-Hopkins - Neal
Nygard - Sheahan - Archibald
Granlund - Haas - Chiasson

Nurse - Bear
Klefbom - Jones
K. Russell - Benning

Koskinen
Smith

-- Paul Gazzola, EdmontonOilers.com

Video: PRE-GAME RAW | Dave Tippett 11.19.19

PREVIEW

OILERS (13-6-3) at SHARKS (10-10-1)

TV: 8:30 p.m. MT; Televised on Sportsnet West

Head-to-Head:

This is the second of four games between the Oilers and Sharks this season. Last week, the Sharks doubled up on the Oilers 6-3. 

Leon Draisaitl and Sam Gagner tallied a goal and assist each in the losing affair, and Mike Smith stopped 19 of 25 shots he faced.

Erik Karlsson potted three assists in the Sharks' victory, while Timo Meier, Barclay Goodrow and Logan Couture registered two points apiece.

Oilers team scope:

The Oilers enter the Shark Tank looking to return to the win column after squandering a two-goal lead in the third period against the Dallas Stars on Saturday. The club gained a point despite a 5-4 OT loss, decided by Jamie Benn's fourth-period backhander.

Twenty-two games into the NHL season sporting a 13-6-3 record, Head Coach Dave Tippett offered his thoughts on the Oilers, who lead the Pacific Division with 29 points and are second in the Western Conference.

"The top two guys (McDavid and Draisaitl) have been really good but if you look at the rest of our game, our goals against is pretty good, our PK has been good, our goaltending has been good," Tippett said. 

"There's a lot of little factors that are probably less heralded but have actually gone alright for us."

Sharks team scope:

The Sharks are one of the hottest teams in the NHL at the moment, having put together six consecutive wins with the latest being a 4-3 SO victory versus the Detroit Red Wings. San Jose has won five straight home games and outscored opponents 27-17 over their six-game winning streak.

The Sharks are seventh in the Pacific Division and 13th in the Western Conference with 21 points.

Evander Kane - who scored against the Oilers when the clubs met on Nov. 12 - leads the club with 12 goals. San Jose captain Couture is the assist-leader with 18 and Tomas Hertle tops all Sharks skaters with 21 points.

By the Numbers:

The Oilers are tied for fifth in the League in goals for with 71. ... Edmonton has allowed 61 goals against this year, owning a plus-10 goal differential (T-7th). ... McDavid leads the League in power-play points with 18 and Draisaitl is next best with 14. ... Draisaitl leads the NHL in power-play assists with 13. ... Oscar Klefbom is averaging 25:40 TOI per game, trailing only Sharks defender Brent Burns (25:47). ... The Oilers are 9-1-1 when scoring first while the Sharks are 6-1-1. ... The Sharks lead the League in tipped goals with 12 and have tipped 45 shots this year (3rd).

Injury Report:

OILERS - Adam Larsson (fractured right fibula) is on IR; Brandon Manning (hand) is on IR.

SHARKS - Dalton Prout (upper body) is day-to-day.

-- Paul Gazzola, EdmontonOilers.com

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