Oilers can’t grasp winning formula as they lose again

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The losses keep coming for the Edmonton Oilers.

The latest came Thursday, as they were thumped 5-1 by a San Jose Sharks team that had been recently ripped publicly by head coach Todd McLellan. That’s now three straight losses for the Oilers, although they got the single point in back-to-back defeats to Phoenix to end December, who continue to occupy space at the bottom of the Pacific Division.

Devan Dubnyk took the loss, allowing five goals on 36 shots faced. The Sharks took control on the score board late in the first period, on goals from Brent Burns and Patrick Marleau 49 seconds apart to give San Jose a 2-0 lead.

Bracken Kearns, the 32-year-old minor league journeyman who only broke into the NHL in the 2011-12 season, scored again for San Jose. He now has three goals – including his first in the NHL back on Dec. 29 – in his last three games.

A tough night for Edmonton’s goalie once again. A difficult night for the team in front of him. It isn’t getting any better for Oilers fans.

“We were playing fine until the second goal. It was laid on a platter along the wall. Big problem,” said head coach Dallas Eakins afterward, as per the Oilers’ Twitter account.

“We have to step away from this whole idea that ‘we’re skilled, we’re skilled, we’re skilled.’ We have to defend first,” he added.

On the bright side, sophomore Nail Yakupov, who had gone from being a healthy scratch to the second line for this game, scored the lone Edmonton goal. It was his seventh of the season.