Oilers embracing spoiler role

Oilers embracing spoiler role
March 12, 2012, 5:43 pm
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Programming note: Catch Sharks Pregame Live tonight at 6 p.m. and stay tuned for Sharks-Oilers hockey from Edmonton when the puck drops at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California!

EDMONTON The Edmonton Oilers arent going to make the playoffs this season, but that doesnt mean theyre packing it in for the final 14 games of their regular season.

In fact, the Oilers are looking forward to trying to put a dent in the hopes of their opponents that are battling for playoff position. That includes tonights game against the reeling Sharks.

You play for pride, for sure. I think everyone in here is competitive and theyre going to go out here and give their best, said Edmontons leading scorer, Jordan Eberle. I think when it comes down to it you have to find things that motivate you, and personally its fun to be the spoiler to try and upset teams and upset what theyre trying to do.

Ryan Smyth said: Its a great motivation that those teams are fighting that we have a chance to knock them out and play spoiler. Youve got to take pride in yourself and as an organization, too.

The Oilers already have one win over the Sharks this month, last Tuesday, when they beat San Jose in a shootout, 3-2. It was Edmontons only win in its last six games (1-4-1).

San Jose is in the midst of a five-game losing streak (0-3-2), and has dropped 14 of 18 overall (4-11-3).

Devan Dubnyk, who started in net and recorded the win for the Oilers on March 6 at HP Pavilion, will be back between the pipes tonight.

He also relishes the spoiler role.

It certainly is part of it, Dubnyk said. You approach the game the way that makes it just as important for you, as it does the other team. Theyre fighting to get in and youre fighting to keep them out, and you have to look at it that way so the games are certainly meaningful and you go out and play hard.