SAN JOSE – The Sharks enter the final stretch of their six-game homestand looking for a win against the division rival Edmonton Oilers, a team embattled with drama heading into Tuesday's contest.
Edmonton fired coach Todd McLellan just 11 hours before the Sharks were set to host their former coach and the Oilers. Ken Hitchcock, formerly behind the bench with the Dallas Stars and the St. Louis Blues, came out of retirement to coach Connor McDavid and company. The Oilers were previously one of the top teams in the Pacific Division, before winning only three of their last 10 games.
The Sharks, on the other hand, went 7-3-0 in their last 10, and are coming off a 4-0 shutout of the Blues on Saturday. Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said after the victory that the Sharks' "attention to detail all over the ice was the best it's been in probably a week or so."
Although Aaron Dell pitched the shutout for San Jose on Saturday, starter Martin Jones is expected to be back between the pipes against the Oilers.
DeBoer said forward Tomas Hertl will return to the lineup after missing the last two games with a lower-body injury. The Sharks recalled winger Lukas Radil from the Barracuda, although he's expected to be an extra skater versus Edmonton. Dylan Gambrell was reassigned to the AHL club, which has a game against the Colorado Eagles on Friday.
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Sharks projected lines and pairs
Evander Kane – Joe Pavelski – Joonas Donskoi
Tomas Hertl – Logan Couture – Timo Meier
Marcus Sorensen – Joe Thornton – Kevin Labanc
Barclay Goodrow – Antti Suomela – Melker Karlsson
Joakim Ryan – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – Erik Karlsson
Martin Jones – projected starter
Oilers projected lines and pairs
Drake Caggiula – Connor McDavid – Leon Draisaitl
Ryan Spooner – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Alex Chiasson
Milan Lucic – Cooper Marody – Patrick Russell
Jujhar Khaira – Kyle Brodziak – Zach Kassian
Oscar Klefbom – Adam Larsson
Darnell Nurse – Matt Benning
Jason Garrison – Kris Russell
Cam Talbot – projected starter