THE SKINNY: The Oilers’ fading playoff hopes took yet another hit as they continued to stagger down the stretch with their sixth loss in the last seven games, courtesy of the Sharks. They’ve lost four straight games at Rexall Place, including the first three on this homestand.
THE QUOTE: “You’ve got to take the shackles off and play the game aggressively,” coach Craig MacTavish said of his team’s failure to generate offence. “That’s our mindset. We’ve been guilty the last couple games of being too much of a counter-punch team.”
THE BIG PLAY: Already up 1-0, the Sharks took a 2-0 lead 8:22 into the second period when defenceman Dan Boyle jumped up from the point on a power play and banged Joe Pavelski’s rebound past Dwayne Roloson.
UNHAPPY HOME: The term “home-ice advantage” doesn’t apply to the Oilers. With this loss they’re 16-16-6 for 38 points at home. They’ve got more wins, 20, and points, 43, on the road.
SAM SCORES: Sam Gagner ended a six-game goalless drought when he took a Robert Nilsson pass and snapped a shot that tipped off Christian Ehrhoff’s stick past Evgeni Nabokov to cut San Jose’s lead to 2-1 at 18:18 of the second period.
THE NEXT GAME: The Oilers host the Vancouver Canucks Saturday.