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7:30 PM PT8:30 PM MT9:30 PM CT10:30 PM ET3:30 GMT11:30 8:30 PM MST10:30 PM EST7:30 UAE (+1)22:30 ETNaN:� BRT, November 20, 2018
SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, California  Attendance: 17,562

Hitchcock-led Oilers look to alter fortunes vs. Sharks

Edmonton Oilers at San Jose Sharks

  1. Connor McDavid scored in both of Edmonton's games over the weekend to reach 99 goals for his career. The 21-year-old winger's next goal will make him the youngest player to reach 100 since a 20-year-old Steven Stamkos did it on December 20, 2010.
  2. Joe Pavelski has at least one goal in four straight games, totaling six goals and three assists in that span. The only time the 13-year veteran has had a longer goal-scoring streak was a five-game stretch early in the 2015-16 season.
  3. This is the first meeting of the season between these Pacific Division foes after the Sharks won the final three matchups last season, scoring 15 goals. Pavelski had four goals and six assists in last season's four meetings.
  4. The Oilers have lost four in a row on the road and six of seven overall, giving up at least four goals in every loss. They are allowing 4.14 goals per game since November 5, tied with Ottawa for worst in the NHL.
  5. The Sharks' last 15 opponents are 1-for-36 on the power play, the best penalty-kill percentage (97.2) in a 15-game span in franchise history. It's the best by any team since the Islanders' 37-for-38 stretch to close the 2015 calendar year.
  6. Cam Talbot has lost five straight starts -- one shy of a career worst set in February 2016 -- while posting a 4.63 goals-against average and an .845 save percentage. Teammate Mikko Koskinen has never lost two straight NHL starts and has won four of six this season, posting a 2.68 GAA and a .917 save percentage.

A new voice will be behind the Edmonton Oilers' bench starting Tuesday night.

Ken Hitchcock will debut as the team's 15th head coach when the Oilers meet the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center.

Hitchcock, who ranks third on the all-time wins list with 823, takes over for Todd McLellan, who was fired Tuesday morning. Edmonton will be the fifth different stop for the 66-year-old Hitchcock after he coached the Dallas Stars twice as well as the Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets and St. Louis Blues.

A native of Edmonton, Hitchcock guided the Stars to their only Stanley Cup championship in 1999.

Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli said in an interview Tuesday that he worked with Hitchcock at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and brings solid structure.

"He's a very good tactician. What I saw was a high level of input in a short period of time," Chiarelli said. "He can instill something in short order and institute and direct it."

Chiarelli said Hitchcock would coach through the season.

While there's still more than 60 games left, the Oilers decided that a new voice was needed. Edmonton (9-10-1) has dropped six of its last seven after Sunday's 6-3 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights in what was McLellan's finale after three-plus seasons.

Cam Talbot allowed three goals in a 2:12 span of the second period -- including one while short-handed and one on the power play. The Oilers failed to bounce back after squandering a two-goal lead in the third period of Saturday's road loss to the rival Calgary Flames.

Though it's not yet known who will start against the Sharks, Talbot has lost five straight starts overall, posting a 4.63 goals-against average with an .845 save percentage. Backup Mikko Koskinen is 4-2-0 with a 2.60 GAA, a .917 save percentage and one shutout so far.

Offense is not an issue if captain Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl is putting the puck in the net. The linemates have accounted for more than 42 percent of the team's goals and are tied for the team lead with 12 each.

Draisaitl has three goals and an assist in a four-game points streak on the road, and McDavid has points in 10 of 11 games outside Edmonton in 2018-19. McDavid, a two-time scoring champion, also needs one goal for 100 in his career and has four in his last five visits to SAP Center.

Darrell Nurse said it's not time to push the panic button on the season just yet.

"The season is not getting away at all," the defenseman told the Edmonton Journal. "But we know we have to string some wins together here."

After taking the season series-opener in 2017-18, Edmonton has surrendered 15 goals while losing three straight to San Jose (11-7-3), which is looking for its fourth win in five games. Aaron Dell made 30 saves and Joe Pavelski stayed red-hot with two goals in a 4-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

"Tonight was kind of classic Shark hockey," said Pavelski, who was named the NHL's Third Star of the Week on Monday after collecting five goals and an assist in three games.

San Jose's captain already has a team-best 13 goals after registering 22 in 82 games last season. The 33-year-old Pavelski scored four times with six assists against Edmonton last season while none of his teammates logged more than five points.

"The age is irrelevant when you have a hockey IQ like that," coach Peter DeBoer said of the 13-year veteran. "He knows where to go, combines it with a competitiveness and he's willing to go to the tough areas of the ice and compete without thinking of it."

Unlike the Oilers, the Sharks have a solid No. 1 option in net and he's expected to get the nod Tuesday. Martin Jones is 8-2-1 in his last 11 starts in spite of a 2.91 GAA and .899 save percentage. He's also 3-2-1 with a 2.35 GAA in five career starts against Edmonton in Northern California.

San Jose's Joe Thornton has been held without a point in each of his last two games and still needs one assist to tie Mario Lemieux for 11th all-time with 1,033.

Updated November 20, 2018

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