The San Jose Sharks have hit a rough patch in their schedule, dropping their last two outings in their first losing streak of the new year, but they remain in first place in the Pacific Division. They're sitting one point above the Los Angeles Kings, while having played just 45 games to the Kings' 49. Still, in perhaps the most competitive division in the league, the Sharks need to get back in the win column sooner rather than later, and they've got a chance to do so on Monday when they travel to Edmonton to take on the struggling Oilers.
Edmonton is trying to shake off a losing streak of their own, having dropped their last three outings, including a 1-0 shutout to the St. Louis Blues, a 4-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets and a 6-2 beatdown at the hands of the Calgary Flames in their most recent outing. San Jose took the first meeting between these two teams this season, with Patrick Marleau scoring in the third period to list the Sharks to a 3-2 victory.
The Oilers have only won five games in their last 25 times out, and their loss to the Flames really hurt, falling to Calgary for the ninth straight time and the fourth time this season. Lee Stempniak had a hat trick and an assist, and the Oilers will either be totally devoid of any fire or looking for blood to get back in the win column. San Jose is riding Logan Couture right now, who has 20 goals on the season, and Dan Boyle is also hot with points in six of his last eight games.
After the game against Edmonton, the Sharks will take on the aforementioned Flames on Tuesday, before going off for an entire week, not resuming until they face the Blue Jackets on the following Tuesday.