Though the San Jose Sharks have one regulation loss in their last 12 games, coach Todd McLellan does not want his team to become complacent.
McLellan expects the visiting Sharks to be sharp again Saturday night when they try to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second time in 10 days.
Two nights after suffering a frustrating 5-4 overtime loss at Minnesota on Tuesday, San Jose (24-11-5) rebounded with a more spirited effort during a 2-0 win at Winnipeg for its fifth victory in six games.
"It was very much a team game," McLellan told the NHL's official website. "We felt like we had control basically all the way. When you're playing that way, you're usually doing a lot of good things."
San Jose has done plenty well during its current 9-1-2 stretch. That included a 2-1 home win over Columbus (12-26-5) on Jan. 5. Joe Thornton and Ryane Clowe each scored in that contest as the Sharks improved to 28-9-4 all-time against the Blue Jackets.
Thornton has 11 goals and 25 assists in 28 career games versus Columbus.
All-Star Logan Couture did not record a point against Columbus last week, but has a goal in each of the last two games. He scored his 18th on Thursday and Antti Niemi made 24 saves for his second shutout of the season.
Niemi, who has a 1.74 goals-against average while winning four of his last five starts, did not face the Blue Jackets in the first meeting and could also sit out this contest with a game in Chicago on Sunday against his former team.
Backup Thomas Greiss stopped 23 shots versus Columbus for his fifth win in nine games this season.
The Blue Jackets avoided a third consecutive defeat by winning 4-3 over Phoenix on Friday to give interim coach Todd Richards his first win in his home debut after replacing the fired Scott Arniel on Monday.
"Sometimes it's just a simple thing (like) change," said Richards, whose team fell 5-2 at Chicago on Tuesday in his debut as Columbus coach. "As a coach, you come in and it's a different voice, a different way.''
Rick Nash scored his team-leading 15th while Derick Brassard added a goal with an assist for his first multipoint game in more than three weeks for the Blue Jackets, who are minus key performers Jeff Carter (shoulder), R.J. Umberger (concussion) and James Wisniewski (ankle).
Nash has three goals in the last three games, but has been held without a point in his last two games against the Sharks since he recorded a hat trick in a 3-0 win at San Jose on Nov. 20, 2010.
Curtis Sanford, who stopped 37 shots against the Sharks last week and made 32 saves Friday, could give way to Steve Mason in this back-to-back scenario.
Mason, pulled after allowing four goals on 16 shots during a 7-4 loss at Anaheim on Sunday, has allowed three goals each while losing his last two home starts versus San Jose.