Oilers up next for red-hot Sharks
The San Jose Sharks have surged up the Pacific Division standings on the strength of four straight wins and 11 in their last 14 games.
The Sharks look to continue their good fortune on Saturday when they play the third contest of their four-game Canadian road trip against the Edmonton Oilers.
"You like to think that you can rise to the occasion as a group. I think we did that (on Thursday)," forward Evander Kane said after collecting two goals and an assist, as San Jose (32-16-7, 71 points) moved within two points of first-place Calgary with a 5-2 victory over the Flames.
"Those points are so valuable. It's a four-point game against a team we're chasing."
Kane, who resides one point shy of 400 for his career, also recorded two goals and an assist in the last encounter with Edmonton -- a 7-2 romp on Jan. 8 in San Jose.
Tomas Hertl joined Kane by scoring two goals and setting up another versus Calgary to boost his point total to eight (five goals, three assists) in his last four games.
Defenseman Brent Burns, who leads the team in assists (50) and points (61), scored and set up two goals to match Kane and Hertl with a three-point performance against the Flames. Burns has two goals and seven assists during his five-game point streak and has five points (one goal, four assists) in three meetings with the Oilers this season.
"Last game it was (captain Joe Pavelski), (Thursday's) game it was Kaner, and next game it's going to be Logan (Couture). That's the way it works around here," said Joe Thornton, who had set up Kane's first-period goal for his 1,000th point with the Sharks. Thornton's 1,047 career assists are two shy of Hall of Famer Gordie Howe for ninth place on the all-time NHL list.
The 39-year-old Thornton will also move up in the games played list when he dresses for his 1,540th contest on Saturday, tying Shane Doan and Johnny Bucyk for 15th all-time.
While San Jose is challenging for Pacific Division supremacy, Edmonton (24-25-5, 53 points) entered Friday two points behind St. Louis for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference, with the Canucks also at 55 points and the Avalanche and Blackhawks at 53.
The Oilers snapped a six-game skid and posted just their sixth win in 21 outings (6-13-2) with Thursday's 4-1 victory in Minnesota.
Leon Draisaitl scored for the fifth time in three contests to wrest the team goal-scoring lead from captain Connor McDavid, who set up two tallies for the second straight game to boost his club-best totals in assists (49) and points (80).
McDavid has recorded three goals and as many assists against the Sharks this season, while Draisaitl has scored two goals and set up three others in the series.
Cam Talbot turned aside 35 shots versus the Wild to notch his first win since a 4-3 shootout victory against Florida on Jan. 10.
"He gives us a chance to win and I thought the guys played hard for him and he played hard for them. He's got some confidence going and that's good for him," coach Ken Hitchcock said of Talbot, who surrendered all seven goals on 40 shots in a 7-4 setback to San Jose on Dec. 29 before permitting four on 17 shots in the loss on Jan. 8.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 8, 2019