Skip to main content

Looking to finish home schedule strong, Oilers face Sharks

Arizona Coyotes' Dylan Guenther (11), Sean Durzi (50) and Logan Cooley (92) celebrate a goal as Edmonton Oilers' Warren Foegele (37) skates past during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Friday April 12, 2024.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson Arizona Coyotes' Dylan Guenther (11), Sean Durzi (50) and Logan Cooley (92) celebrate a goal as Edmonton Oilers' Warren Foegele (37) skates past during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Friday April 12, 2024.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Share

The Edmonton Oilers will try to put the finishing touches on an outstanding regular-season home record when they host the San Jose Sharks on Monday.

The Oilers have one of the NHL's best home records at 27-9-4, and Monday represents the team's last game in Edmonton before the playoffs. The Oilers close out their schedule with back-to-back road dates against the Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

Edmonton's 3-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday all but officially confirms that the Oilers (48-25-6, 102 points) will finish second in the Pacific Division. With the Oilers' place in the playoff bracket essentially set, coach Kris Knoblauch views these last three games as "an opportunity" on a few different fronts, as he could "give guys a rest if it's needed, and giving guys a little more responsibility in certain situations."

"Any time you play (three games in four nights), it's difficult. ... Depending on the importance of the games in the standings, we have the opportunity to rest guys if they need it," Knoblauch said.

Connor McDavid's status looms large, as the superstar has missed Edmonton's last three games with a lower-body injury. McDavid is expected to be ready for the start of the postseason, but it isn't yet clear if the Oilers will get him back on the ice for at least one more regular-season appearance.

Though a deep playoff run is the top priority for McDavid and the Oilers, a notable milestone remains in play. McDavid has 99 assists this season, and one more helper would put McDavid alongside Bobby Orr, Mario Lemieux and (on 11 occasions) Wayne Gretzky as the only players in NHL history to post 100 or more assists in a season.

The Sharks (19-52-9, 47 points) recorded a far less welcome milestone on Saturday, as their 6-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild ensured that San Jose will have the worst record in the NHL. It is the first time the franchise has finished last in the league standings since the Sharks' inaugural 1991-92 season.

"At the end of the day, every single one of us (who's) going to be here next year has to take a long, hard look in the mirror and try not to be in the exact same position when we stand here next year," veteran forward Nico Sturm said after Saturday's game.

Mikael Granlund has 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) over an 11-game points streak. Collecting a point on Monday would tie Granlund for the second-longest points streak in San Jose team history.

Mackenzie Blackwood will likely again serve as the Sharks' starting goalie Monday after stopping 32 of 38 shots against Minnesota.

Stuart Skinner and Calvin Pickard have been alternating goaltending duties for Edmonton. Since Skinner started against Vancouver, Pickard should face San Jose if the Oilers maintain their rotation.

The Oilers are 9-1-0 against the Sharks dating back to the 2021-22 season. San Jose's only victory during that 10-game stretch was a 3-2 win Nov. 9, though Edmonton rebounded with a 5-0 shutout in the teams' next meeting on Dec. 28.

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

Katy Perry sings goodbye to 'American Idol'

Katy Perry said her goodbyes on 'American Idol' after seven seasons. On Sunday night’s live 'idol' season finale, a medley of Perry's hit songs were performed, including 'Teenage Dream,' 'Dark Horse' and 'California Gurls.'

Stay Connected