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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, January 2nd (All times Eastern)

Edmonton Oilers (13-24-5) at San Jose Sharks (25-9-6), 10:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Jose Sharks will look to rebound by extending their point streak over the Edmonton Oilers to nine straight games as the two clubs clash on Thursday night.

The Sharks extended their winning streak to four straight games with a victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, but lost the road portion of the home-and- home set with a 6-3 decision on Tuesday.

Dan Boyle, Bracken Kearns and Logan Couture all scored for the Sharks, who saw starter Antti Niemi pulled early in the third period.

Niemi, in his league-leading 35th start of the season, gave up five goals on 34 shots. Backup Alex Stalock yielded a goal on four shots faced in 18-plus minutes of relief.

With the setback that saw Anaheim score three times in the second period, the Sharks fell seven points behind the Ducks for first place in the Pacific Division.

"We had a good push, and then nothing would come out of it and boom they score. I think we came out with early energy, but the second period we just got out-played. It killed the game plan," said San Jose center Joe Thornton.

The Sharks have executed their plan well as of late versus the Oilers, winning five straight in the series while going 6-0-2 in the past eight meetings. San Jose has not lost in regulation to Edmonton since Jan. 13, 2011 and has won six of the past eight played at home.

Niemi is 6-0-1 with a 2.35 goals against average in seven career starts against the Oilers, but did not play in the first meeting between the clubs back on Nov. 15 in Edmonton. Instead, Stalock posted 30 saves for the win.

Patrick Marleau had a goal and an assist, while Joe Pavelski scored.

On Tuesday, Pavelski was named to the U.S. Olympic squad for the upcoming Winter Games. He has 16 goals and 21 assists in 40 games this season with San Jose.

Nail Yakupov had the lone goal for the Oilers versus the Sharks and Devan Dubnyk made 34 saves.

Yakupov is expected to return to the Edmonton lineup after being a healthy scratch in Tuesday's 4-3 overtime loss to Phoenix. The second-year forward, who has six goals and 14 points in 39 games this season, skated on a line during practice on Wednesday with Jordan Eberle and Sam Gagner.

Edmonton has lost two straight after regulation following a two-game winning streak. The Oilers yielded a game-tying goal to the Coyotes with 1:10 left in regulation on Tuesday before Keith Yandle beat Ilya Bryzgalov for the winner with 6.5 seconds left in overtime.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, David Perron and Justin Schultz scored for the Oilers, who got three assists from Taylor Hall to give him eight points over his last four games.

"We managed to find our game and get a lead. We played them pretty well I thought," said Perron. "But we let the goalie down because he played really well for us."

Bryzgalov made 40 saves and is 10-11-4 with a 2.35 GAA lifetime versus the Sharks.

01/02 10:42:43 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
4th
ORL 73
CHA 82
 
Final
PHI 2
UTA 6
 
Final
CHI 86
LAC 96
Final
HOU 105
CLE 103
4th
ORL 73
CHA 82
 
4th
BOS 99
GSW 102
 
4th
IND 77
PHI 71
 
4th
SAC 83
POR 89
 
3rd
LAL 66
OKC 74
 
8:00pm Tonight
DEN
NOP
Final
NIAG 57
FAIR 56
 
Final
PETE 68
IONA 60
 
Final
RIDE 59
MAR 49
 
Final
MAN 69
QUIN 65
 
Final
UCONN 81
SMU 73
Final
CAL 73
ORST 56
Final
HOU 72
SFLA 55
Final
PROV 77
MARQ 66
Final
WISC 68
MSU 61
Final
MON 63
SIENA 57
 
2nd
WAKE 55
PITT 60
 
Half
STAN 30
OREG 36
 
1st
OSU 17
PURD 23
 
8:30pm Tonight
COL
ARST
9:30pm Tonight
UCLA
WASU
Final
WIN 5
LOS 2
Final
PIT 5
CLB 3
Final
FLA 4
TAM 3
2nd
WAS 1
TOR 0
 
8:00pm Tonight
DAL
ANA
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
STL