Patrick Marleau and the San Jose Sharks will try to continue their sizzling start to the season when they host the Vancouver Canucks at HP Pavilion on Sunday.
Marleau has scored two goals in every game this season, becoming only the second player in NHL history to begin a campaign with four straight multi-goal games. The only other player to pull off the feat was Cy Denney, who did it with the Ottawa Senators way back in 1917-18.
With Marleau providing eight of the team's 19 goals so far, the Sharks are off to a 4-0 start to the lockout-shortened season. It ties the club's best start to a season, matching the 2008-09 club.
Marleau scored twice and added an assist to help the Sharks remain perfect with a 4-0 win over the visiting Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. The left winger has eight goals and three assists to tie him with teammate Joe Thornton for the most points in the NHL this season.
Thornton posted a goal and an assist on Saturday, while Thomas Greiss made 24 saves for his first career shutout.
"The guy is just unbelievable out there," said Thornton about Marleau. "He's in great shape and he loves to score goals. He's always in the right area and it's great to have a guy like him on your team.
Sunday's test is the second part of a five-game homestand for San Jose. The Sharks will also welcome Anaheim, Edmonton and Nashville to complete the stay in Silicon Valley.
While the Sharks are unbeaten on the season, the Canucks enter Sunday's contest on a two-game win streak after dropping two in a row to begin the year.
Vancouver opened the season with a 7-3 home loss to Anaheim, but the Canucks avenged that loss in their most recent outing. Cory Schneider, who was pulled after allowing five goals in the season-opening rout against the Ducks, stopped all 30 shots he faced on Friday to earn his fifth career shutout and lead the Canucks to a 5-0 road win in Anaheim.
"Tonight was a positive step in the right direction," Schneider said. "The guys let me see the puck pretty good. Hats off to our guys for a solid effort. It's a team effort when you get a shutout."
Mason Raymond scored twice, while Daniel Sedin added a goal and an assist. Aaron Volpatti and Zack Kassian also registered a goal apiece for the Canucks, who went 3-for-9 on the power play.
"They came into our barn and did a number on us," Raymond remarked. "Tonight we returned the favor. We were able to capitalize on our power play. When we were up 3-0, we never stopped pushing."
Friday's game kicked off a three-game road trip for the Canucks, who had an excellent 24-12-5 mark as the guest in 2011-12. Vancouver will complete the swing Monday in Los Angeles.
The Canucks took three out of four from the Sharks in 2011-12 and Vancouver has claimed six of eight and seven of 11 overall in this series. San Jose has lost four straight home tests against the Canucks, but the clubs have split the last 12 encounters at the Shark Tank.