Sharks, Oilers tangle in San Jose

The San Jose Sharks got their six-game homestand off to a to-back wins for the first time in almost a month when they entertain the Edmonton Oilers tonight at HP Pavilion.

The Sharks ended a three-game slide with a 5-4 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday in the back end of a home-and-home set. Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture scored in a 4:29 span of the third period, while Ryane Clowe and Michal Handzus also scored for San Jose, which won for the third time in 10 tries (3-5-2) and improved to 9-6-1 at home this season.

"I think we decided it was our turn to come back. It is a big win for us," Couture said.

Antti Niemi made 23 saves in a winning effort. The Sharks haven't recorded two straight wins since a four-game run from Nov. 17-23 and are tied with Phoenix for second place in the Pacific Division. Dallas currently leads the division.

San Jose will also welcome the Lightning, Kings, Ducks and Canucks to town on this current residency.

Edmonton is in the midst of playing 10 of 12 games on the road and will close out a three-game swing tonight. It dropped the opener of the trek by a 3-0 score at Calgary, then was doubled up by Phoenix in a 4-2 setback on Thursday.

Taylor Hall returned from injury to score a pair of goals and Devan Dubnyk made 38 saves for the Oilers, who have lost three in a row on the road and fell to 5-9-1 as the guest this season.

"We were not near as engaged as 18 skaters as we needed to be," said Oilers coach Tom Renney.

Renney's club has just five wins in the last 17 games (5-11-1) and will return home for two games after their tilt with the Sharks. Edmonton will then hit the road again for a seven-game trek from Dec. 26-Jan. 7.

Edmonton and San Jose are playing the first of four meetings this season. The Sharks won three of four matchups with the Oilers a year ago and have prevailed in nine of the previous 11 encounters with Edmonton. The Oilers ended a four-game road losing streak in this series with a 5-2 victory on Jan. 13, 2010.