The 2017 Oilers jumped 21 spots to finish the season in eighth spot overall with 103 points, going undefeated at Rogers Place in the final nine home games. Couture says he is still in pain and the injury has not fully healed. He has done his part and more to help the Edmonton Oilers make the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in more than 10 years.
The Edmonton Oilers on the other hand, have been on a tear. Are they in a prime position to unseat the defending Western Conference champions? "We don't really want to take our guys out of the rhythm that they're in". There isn't much onus put on regular season series, though they can hold a little bit of weight. The Oilers are averaging 2.9 goals per game and are scoring on 22.7 percent of their power play opportunities.
Advantage: San Jose. The Oilers don't have a weapon like Burns, and the Sharks are simply deeper one-through-six, including the third pair of David Schlemko and Brenden Dillon.
After a sluggish first period, Edmonton opened the scoring 61 seconds into the second when Eberle's shot ramped up off Stecher's stick and beat Miller upstairs on the shortside for his 17th after Vancouver turned the puck over. The Oilers also lead the Sharks in all goaltending categories except goals against average, but it's a small difference. He's still only 20 years old, and in just his second season, and he might already be the NHL's best player.
Haley: Attack on Syria 'one of the president's finest hours'
Officials are hoping that this can be leveraged to bring a new diplomatic push to end the 6-year-old civil war in Syria. The U.S. believes the Syrian regime used chemical weapons on a northern Syrian town, killing dozens including children.
The Oilers are the main show in town and ticket demand reflects that, Mason said. The Sharks, however, can derive some hope from some potential shorthanded regression for the Oilers. Defensively, the Vancouver Canucks are allowing 2.9 goals per game and are killing 76.9 percent of their opponents power plays.
How about a few days in San Francisco to see the Oilers take on the Sharks later in the series?
An 11-year playoff drought has clearly left Oilers hockey fans hungry. As for overall energy, the Sharks looked gassed over their final few weeks, perhaps feeling the effects of their long run last season combined with the World Cup in the September and the condensed National Hockey League schedule. Edmonton then went on to the Stanley Cup Final, where it lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games. "That's what a winning culture is, not being satisfied with yourself, not being satisfied with the fact that you're losing".
Elsewhere, Shea Theodore scored 53 seconds into overtime to give the Anaheim Ducks the Pacific Division title with a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Similar to the Washington Capitals, they carry with them a reputation as being chokers when it matters most. How long any of these line combos last tonight is going to be fun as well, as with this likely being the last home game for Willie Desjardins, he may just try and go out in a Megna-spattered blaze of "glory".