DALLAS -– After generating 80 shots attempts against the Canucks on Thursday in a 3-2 loss, the Sharks probably don’t need to make a whole lot of major adjustments headed into Saturday’s tilt with the Stars.
At the same time, the Canucks play a different style than Dallas, which is one of the fastest teams in the league when on its game.
“This team really can skate and they get up and down the ice quickly,” Todd McLellan said. “The [defensemen] are very active. The game itself is a little bit different than what the Vancouver one was like, but we’ve got to find ways to win and put points in the bank.”
Joe Pavelski said: “It’s a different team, they’re going to try and do a few different things, but the compete level has to be there. We’ve got to be skating. We could place a few pucks a little bit better at times, but overall it was a good game. There’s going to be mistakes and you work through them, and we’ve just got to find our way on top.”
One stat that stands out regarding the Sharks’ season so far is their outstanding first periods, but difficult thirds. San Jose has an NHL-best +13 goal differential in the first, but is being outscored 18-12 in the third. Against Vancouver, the Sharks couldn’t find the equalizer after dominating for most of the first two frames.
“There isn’t an adjustment being made as far as taking our foot off the gas or anything like that. It’s something that we’ve got to get through as a team,” McLellan said. “It’s just the way the league is, there aren’t any leads that are safe. You’re never out of it if you’re trailing. You’ve got to play all 60 minutes.”
McLellan was unhappy with the Sharks’ 18 missed shots against the Canucks. One of them, a Scott Hannan wrister that went high and wide, led to Vancouver’s late first period goal.
Hannan will be out as a healthy scratch against the Stars in favor of Matt Irwin, who is typically decent at getting shots through from the point.
“I’ll look to use my shot, and create space for other guys,” Irwin said.
San Jose would love to get its road trip off on the right foot, with a difficult game against the Blackhawks looming on Sunday.
“Any time you win on the road, especially early, it goes a long way,” Joe Pavelski said. “You don’t want to be sitting there a game or two games in without a win.”