Thursday, November 30, 2023
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NHL Preview: Edmonton Oilers (2-8-1) at San Jose Sharks (1-10-1)



OILERS ALL-TIME vs. SAN JOSE 135 62-68-11-5 460 493 34-24-7-3 28-29-5-5

OILERS vs. SAN JOSE – 2023-24 0 0-0-0 0 0 0-0-0 0-0-0


• Thursday’s game will mark Edmonton’s first of three games against the Sharks this season and the first of two games in San Jose. The next time these teams meet is on December 28th in San Jose. • The last time these teams met was on April 13th in Edmonton, where the Oilers defeated the Sharks 5-2. • Connor McDavid leads the Oilers with 39 career points (16G, 23A) against the Sharks. Sam Gagner leads the Oilers with 45 career games against San Jose.


The Oilers head into San Jose for the first time this season after they accumulated a 4-0 record against the Sharks in 2022-23 and have won their last five games straight in San Jose.


The Oilers rank T-4 th in the NHL in first period goals (15) through 11 games. In 2022-23, the Oilers ranked 1st in the NHL in goals for in the first period (92) and the second period (128).


Mattias Ekholm’s powerplay goal last game against Vancouver marked is his first of the season and first since 2018-19. Ekholm has recorded three points on the season (1G, 2A) and averages 19:48 in ice time per game. Ekholm played his 750th career game on Nov. 6 at VAN.


The last time the Oilers and Predators faced each other, six Oilers (Hyman, Draisaitl, Bouchard, McDavid, Foegele and Nugent-Hopkins) posted multi-point efforts in the win.


Connor McDavid began the season on a six-game point streak that ended on Nov. 2 vs. DAL, recording seven points (2G, 7A) as well as five power play points since the start of the season. This was the second time Connor McDavid has had a season-opening point streak of at least six games. His longest is 17-games achieved in 2021-22. Below are McDavid’s point streaks of 4+ games starting from the Oilers from the start of a season.


Leon Draisaitl scored twice on the power play on Oct. 17 at NSH and now sits at 128 career power play goals. His 127th power play goal in the 1st period against Nashville, moved him into sole possession of 1st in power play goals in Oilers franchise history. Ryan Smyth and Glenn Anderson sit second with 126.


Record: 9-1-0

GF: 46 GA: 23

2022-23 4/13/23 @ EDM 5-2 W

2022-23 4/8/23 @ SJS 6-1 W

2022-23 3/20/23 @ EDM 5-4 W (OT)

2022-23 1/13/23 @ SJS 7-1 W

2021-22 4/28/22 @ EDM 5-4 W (OT)

2021-22 4/5/22 @ SJS 2-1 W (OT)

2021-22 3/24/22 @ EDM 5-2 W

2021-22 2/14/22 @ SJS 3-0 W

2019-20 2/6/20 @ EDM 6-3 L

2019-20 11/19/19 @ SJS 5-2 W



Forward Anthony Duclair has registered consecutive first multi-point efforts entering Thursday’s game against Edmonton, posting back-to-back games with both a goal and an assist. Three of those four points have come on the power play, including a goal and a helper against Pittsburgh on Saturday (Nov. 4) and another assist Tuesdsay (Nov. 7) against Philadelphia. It’s the seventh time that Duclair has recorded back-to-back multi-point games in his career. He has factored into each of the Sharks’ last four goals. Duclair found the back of the net for the first time as a member of the Sharks on Oct. 19 against the Boston Bruins, with an assist from linemate Tomáš Hertl. Per NHL Edge, Duclair is tied for ninth among league forwards with three shots of 90 mph or faster. Duclair, acquired in a July 1 trade with Florida, had a career-best 31 goals in his last full season in 2021-22, a campaign that finished with 58 points and a plus-19 rating.


Forward William Eklund started the year with two points in the first six games, including his first goal of the season against Carolina on Oct. 17, and added his second goal of the campaign on Tuesday (Nov. 7) against Philadelphia, a power play strike that proved to be his first career game-winning goal. As of games ending Nov. 7, the Stockholm, Sweden native ranks near the top of the NHL in skating distance (80th percentile) at 33.88 miles and in speed bursts over 20 miles per hour (82nd percentile) with 20. Eklund, the seventh-overall selection in the 2021 NHL Draft, has 10 points (4g, 6a) through 29 career NHL games. Thursday’s game against Edmonton will be the first time Eklund has faced the Oilers in his young career.


Goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood turned in yet another stellar effort on Tuesday (Nov. 7) in helping the Sharks earn their first win of the season, making 38 saves on 39 shots faced. Per NHL PR, his save total was the second-most in Sharks history for a goalie in his first win with the club, lesser than only Troy Grosenick’s 45 on Nov. 16, 2014. Blackwood ranks fourth in the NHL following games on Nov. 7 with 75 high-danger saves on the year per NHL Edge and is in the 72nd percentile among league goaltenders with four games with a SV% greater than .900. Blackwood started his Sharks tenure with a remarkable 51-save effort against the Colorado Avalanche on Oct. 14, including stops on his first 48 shots faced in the game. It remains the most by a NHL netminder in any game this season, represents the most by any NHL goalie in a debut with a new team since at least 1955-56, per NHL PR, and was the most by a Sharks netminder in this millennium (Steve Shields – 51, Oct. 14, 1999, 5-1 W at NSH).


Forward Tomáš Hertl leads the Sharks with seven points (1g, 6a), entering Thursday’s game against Edmonton. With his goal on Oct. 21 against Nashville, the centerman is now just two goals back of Owen Nolan (206) for fifth on the Sharks’ all-time goals list. With his pair of helpers on Oct. 17, Hertl (453 points) surpassed Nolan (451) for sixth on San Jose’s all-time points list and moved beyond Jeff Friesen for eighth on the team’s all-time multi-assist games list (38), and his multi-helper game against Pittsburgh tied him with Erik Karlsson for seventh. Hertl entered 2023-24 after posting a career-best 41 assists in 2022-23, a season in which he tallied 63 points (22g, 41 a) in 72 games. It was the second time in his career that he hit the 20-goal plateau in consecutive seasons and the first since 2017-18 (22) and 2018-19 (35).


Forward Kevin Labanc has found the score sheet in each of his last two games played, tallying an assist in each contest. Dating back to last season, his previous two strings of points in consecutive games were at least three games each, registering four points (2g, 2a) in three games from Apr. 1 – Apr. 6, 2023 and tallying four points (2g, 2a) in four games from Dec. 3 – Dec. 9, 2022. Against Edmonton, the forward has clicked for 13 points (7g, 6a) in 20 career games.


Nico Sturm has been dominant at the faceoff dot so far this season, leading the NHL at 64.8-percent on draws through games ending Nov. 7 (min. 50 faceoffs) after a 6-for-6 showing Tuesday against the Flyers. He also paces the league at 67.2-percent at even strength and is fifth in shorthanded FOW% with a 57.1-percent clip (min. 20 SH FO). Sturm went 17-for-20 (85.0%) Oct. 27 at Carolina, the third-best single-game effort at the dot in his career (min. 10 faceoffs). Sturm’s strong start comes on the heels of posting the 21st-best season in Sharks history at the dot (min. 100 FO) in 2022-23, winning 55.8-percent of his draws on the season.


Forward Fabian Zetterlund scratched the goal column for the first time with the Sharks since being acquired as part of the trade that sent Timo Meier to New Jersey in February, opening the scoring in San Jose’s Tuesday (Oct. 17) tilt with Carolina. Adding an assist later in the contest, Zetterlund tallied his first multipoint game in teal and sixth of his career. The Swedish forward followed up with his second goal in teal a week later, scoring on the power play in the Sharks’ contest at Florida (Oct. 24). The Swedish forward took sole possession of the team lead in goals, power play goals and power play points with his strike against Vancouver on Nov. 2. Per NHL Edge, Zetterlund ranked in the 98th percentile for top skating speed, a 23.19 mph burst (0:50, second period) on Nov. 2 vs. Vancouver, is in the 92nd percentile for speed bursts over 20 mph (27), and 83rd percentile for top shot speed (91.40 mph), as of games ending Nov. 7.


Defenseman Jan Rutta tied his career high with five blocked shots in San Jose’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning (Oct. 26), the fourth time in his career he has stepped in the way of a full handful of shots in one contest. Rutta ranks second on San Jose with 24 blocked shots on the year and is fourth in the group (min. 3 GP) in blocked shots per 60 minutes, 6.29, the highest of his career. According to NHL Edge, Rutta also fired the seventh-fastest shot by a skater this season, clocking in at 100.11 mph at 5:43 of the first period against Boston (Oct. 19).


The Sharks acquired D Calen Addison from Minnesota on Wednesday (Nov. 8) in exchange for F Adam Raska and the team’s 2026 fifth-round pick. In 92 NHL games, Addison has tallied 38 points (5g, 33a). So far in 2023, the Brandon, Manitoba native has five helpers through 12 games. He is coming off a career year in which he posted 29 points (3g, 26a), leading Wild defensemen in assists and finishing second among the group in scoring.


Defenseman Kyle Burroughs has been among the league’s best in taking the body on the season, concluding Tuesday’s game against Philadelphia (Nov. 7) ranked 11th among NHL defensemen with 27 hits. Burroughs’ 6.62 hits-per-60 leads Sharks blue-liners (min. 3 GP). He also ranks third among Sharks defensemen with 23 blocked shots on the season. The Vancouver native has logged a career-high 20:23 TOI per game played since joining San Jose on a three-year deal, signed over the offseason, and is on pace for career bests in hits and blocked shots. His 23:31 TOI against Pittsburgh on Saturday was his most as a Shark.

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