Senators-Sharks Preview

The Associated Press

With their depth on full display, the San Jose Sharks are off to another superb start.

While the Ottawa Senators have recorded at least one point in every game thus far, they still have plenty to clean up.

The undefeated Sharks try to keep rolling against the Senators, who continue a season-opening six-game road trip Saturday night.

After opening a franchise-best 7-0-0 in 2012-13, San Jose has outscored opponents 21-5 in winning each of its first four games this season. Six players have at least two goals, including rookie Tomas Hertl with a league-leading six.

"We're just deep - really, really deep - and we want to come at you every night, and we have been doing that early," captain Joe Thornton told the Sharks' official website. "That's how our offense has been this year, all four lines have been going good, and I don't think (coach Todd McLellan) is afraid to put anybody on the ice right now. It's nice seeing everyone can score."

"We're winning by community right now."

Brent Burns had a goal and an assist and Thornton and Logan Couture both set up two scores in Thursday's 4-1 win at Vancouver. Antti Niemi, who has started all four games, made 25 saves to lower his goals-against average to 1.25.

"You've got to give them some credit. They've got a good team over there, play a great system," Canucks captain Henrik Sedin said.

The Sharks now return home, where they are 25-2-5 dating to March 22, 2012. San Jose had limited Ottawa (1-0-2) to five goals during a five-game winning streak in the series before losing the last matchup, 4-1 on Jan. 19, 2012.

Since holding Buffalo scoreless on four power-play chances in a season-opening 1-0 victory, the Senators have killed just eight of 12 penalties in their last two games. Ottawa suffered a 5-4 shootout loss to Toronto last Saturday before falling 4-3 to Los Angeles in overtime Wednesday.

While the Senators stormed back after allowing three first-period goals, they lost on Jeff Carter's power-play tally 28 seconds into OT.

"We can't just sit there and say 'The officials don't like us or anything like that," coach Paul MacLean told the team's official website. "We have to stop taking penalties. We've got to get our feet moving. We've got to play harder and stop putting ourselves and putting our team in a bad spot."

Craig Anderson, who stopped 28 shots, has allowed four goals in back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 7-10, 2011. He is 3-6-0 with a 3.15 GAA in nine career starts against the Sharks.

Niemi, meanwhile, is 1-1-0 with a 2.00 GAA and one shutout against the Senators. He is 14-1-1 with a 1.83 GAA in his last 17 starts on home ice.

Thornton has five goals and 14 assists during an 18-game stretch versus Ottawa, and Patrick Marleau has 14 points over his last 12 in the series.

Senators newcomer Bobby Ryan, who has three points in the last two games, has seven in his last seven meetings with the Sharks.

San Jose will again be without defenseman Brad Stuart as he serves the second of a three-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of New York Rangers forward Rick Nash on Tuesday. Stuart is eligible to return Thursday.

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