SAN JOSE -- With their hopes for a Pacific Division title dwindling, the Sharks face exactly the kind of team that has given them problems lately when they meet the non-playoff-bound Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.

San Jose is 2-3-2 in its last seven games and although one of those wins came last week against Edmonton, the Sharks have left points on the table over that stretch against four teams that won't be in the postseason.

So does coach Todd McLellan need to remind his players not to take the Oilers for granted?

"I hope we don't do that," he said. "We've learned some lessons -- we've been taught some lessons, I don't know if we've learned them -- from some teams that will not make the playoffs. We haven't had much success against those on some nights."

As an Edmonton team that did defeat San Jose 1-0 on Jan. 29, he added, "We've played them enough, I think we understand them enough to know that they can win a game 6-1 on any given night against any team in the league."

Is there a common theme in San Jose's losses to lower-ranked teams?

"Inconsistency," McLellan said. "We were sloppy at times, play real well for 15 minutes in a period and go to sleep for five. Details. That maybe gets away from us a little more against the non-playoff teams than against the Bostons and St. Louis."

Goalie Antti Niemi, who backstopped the Sharks to a 5-2 win one week ago in Edmonton, will be back in net for San Jose.


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With 103 points and six contests remaining on the schedule, the Sharks trail the Anaheim Ducks by three points and have played one more game. On Monday night, the Ducks overcame a four-goal deficit to beat the Winnipeg Jets in overtime, 5-4.

  • James Sheppard's 14 points over the last 20 games has earned him the Sharks' player of the month honor for February-March. The two months were combined because of the Olympic break.

  • Sharks forward Logan Couture will take part in a live chat with beat writer David Pollak at noon Wednesday. Here is the link: http://www.mercurynews.com/sharks/ci_25460469/live-chat-logan-couture-san-jose-sharks-wednesday

    For more on the Sharks, see David Pollak's Working the Corners blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/sharks. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/PollakOnSharks.