The Sharks made it a point against Dallas to play disciplined hockey. Theyll need to repeat that performance tonight against Colorado when the teams meet for the first time this season.
Colorado enters the game with the second best power play in the NHL at 26.1 percent, trailing only Vancouver. The Sharks penalty-kill, which improved to 28th in the league with its 3-for-3 performance against the Stars, could be in for a tough test.
Digging a little more into the stats, the Sharks enter the game as the third best five-on-five team in hockey scoring at 1.39-1 ratio. The Avalanche are 25th in the league at just .75 goals foragainst when both teams are at full strength.
Colorados Matt Duchesne and Milan Hejduk have four power play goals each.
The Sharks power play, which scored twice Saturday on goals from Brent Burns and Logan Couture, has risen to third in the league at 22.6 percent.
Two is better than one: The Sharks outscored the Stars 2-0 in the second period on Saturday night, and for the season, have a 28-11 advantage in the middle frame. Several times, their strong second periods have helped to erase a lackluster effort out of the gate.
Whatever were doing, I want us to keep doing, said McLellan after Saturdays 4-1 win in Dallas. Obviously, wed like to start better. I can answer all those questions over and over again, but until we solve it, well just keep working at it.
The Avalanche, incidentally, have been outscored 24-16 in the second period.
Goalie watch: The starting goaltenders for both teams were unclear as of Sunday morning. Antti Niemi is playing his strongest hockey of the season, though, and it wouldnt be surprising to see him start both ends of a back-to-back for the first time this year.
In each of the last two games, both Sharks wins, Niemi has faced plenty of rubber in the first period in holding his team in the game. He stopped 16 shots in the first period against Detroit on Thursday, allowing one goal, and all 14 pucks thrown his way by the Stars last night.
If theres one benefit to San Jose coming out flat, its that Niemi enjoys the early action.
Its easier if you get lots of shots in the first, especially if they dont score too many. Its easy to keep going after that, he said.
Colorado could go with Jean-Sebastien Giguere rather than starter Semyon Varlamov, after Giguere shut out the Stars on Friday, 3-0. The former Duck has impressive numbers in seven games, with a 1.68 goals-against average and .934 save percentage.
Varlamov, who was acquired this summer via trade with Washington, is winless in his last six decisions.
Odds and ends: The Sharks enter Sunday with the best win percentage in the NHL (.676), tied with the New York Rangers. San Jose scored first for just the sixth time on Saturday. They are 6-0 when doing so. Colorado is without center Mark Olver and winger Peter Mueller, each of whom have head injuries. The Avalanche will play the second of an eight-game homestand tonight, and have won just two of their last nine games overall. The Sharks host the Blackhawks on Wednesday.