After becoming the first road team to post a victory this postseason, the sixth-seeded Sharks look to take control of their Western Conference first-round series against the third-seeded Vancouver Canucks when they visit the Northwest Division champions for Game 2 today.
San Jose fell behind before scoring three unanswered goals en route to a 3-1 triumph in the series opener on Wednesday.
Vancouver’s only goal came after Sharks winger Raffi Torres inadvertently put the puck in San Jose’s net.
“I need more from the whole team,” Canucks coach Vigneault said after a short practice Thursday. “There’s no doubt there. All our players understand we have to get better and we’re going to get better.”
Sharks captain Joe Thornton and coach Todd McLellan said the Canucks came at them with a heavy forecheck, notably in the first period, but the visitors were able to adjust. Strategy aside, the Sharks are expecting the Canucks to display much more intensity today.
“You’ve got to think they’re going to come out [thinking] do-or-die next game,” Thornton said. “I expect their best effort — and I expect our best, too.”
The Canucks have struggled at home in the playoffs though. The hosts will attempt to end a five-game home playoff losing streak that stretches back to the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals.
But Vancouver’s recent home record shows it could recover quickly at Rogers Arena. The Canucks won eight of their last nine regular season games at home.
McLellan, whose club lost the Western Conference finals to Vancouver in 2011, believes that another win will put his club in good shape before the series shifts to San Jose for Games 3 and 4.
“Coming home with one [win] in the bank is good, but coming home with two in the bank is excellent — and that’ll be the goal,” McLellan said.