Reuters - Mon, 22 Mar 09:03:00 2010
The San Jose Sharks succumbed to their sixth consecutive loss with a 5-1 defeat to NHL basement dwellers Edmonton.
The Sharks are in the midst of their longest losing streak since 2005 but are still only a point behind Western Conference leaders Chicago.
"Right now we just don't have enough players every night," San Jose coach Todd McLellan told the Mercury News.
"We get two or three back to where they're supposed to be and then another two or three drop off. And you can't have that."
Oilers' rookie goaltender Devan Dubnyk had 27 saves to earn the win, though his shutout bid was spoiled when Ryane Clowe scored the Sharks' only goal with 3:02 left to play.
Edmonton took control with first-period goals from Robert Nilsson and Dustin Penner. Fernando Pisani made it 3-0 in the second before Shawn Horcoff and Aaron Johnson tacked on scores in the third.
The Oilers (23-42-7) have won two in a row while San Jose (43-19-10) have lost the first five games of a six-game road trip.
San Jose had hoped to snap out of their slump against Edmonton, who they beat in their six previous encounters. The Sharks have been outscored 27-12 in their last six games.
Leading scorer Patrick Marleau has not scored in his last five outings and managed just one shot against the Oilers.
Dubnyk recorded his second successive win after needing 14 tries to get his first on Friday.
"We stayed in our spots, blocked a lot of shots and cleared pretty much every rebound. It was a complete 60 minutes," Dubnyk said. "Everyone is just settling in and feeling comfortable. It's unfortunate it's this late, but it's important for us to start to create an identity."
San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov allowed five goals on 25 shots.