Sports

With more speed and stellar goaltending, Sharks carry new identity into playoffs

  • San Jose Sharks left wing T.J. Galiardi goes flying as he tangles with Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick and Los Angeles Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr in the third period of an NHL hockey game in Los Angeles Saturday, April 27, 2013. The Kings won, 3-2. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

    San Jose Sharks left wing T.J. Galiardi goes flying as he tangles with Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick and Los Angeles Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr in the third period of an NHL hockey game in Los Angeles Saturday, April 27, 2013. The Kings won, 3-2. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)  (The Associated Press)

  • San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi, of Finland, can't block a goal by Los Angeles Kings left wing Dustin Penner, not shown, with Los Angeles Kings left wing Kyle Clifford (13) in the foreground in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Los Angeles Saturday, April 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

    San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi, of Finland, can't block a goal by Los Angeles Kings left wing Dustin Penner, not shown, with Los Angeles Kings left wing Kyle Clifford (13) in the foreground in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Los Angeles Saturday, April 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)  (The Associated Press)

The San Jose Sharks have searched for an identity on their journey through this lockout-shortened season.

There was the high-powered power play that helped them get off to a record-setting start. Then came an offensively challenged seven-week stretch that jeopardized their playoff chances, followed by a strong closing stretch that has the team brimming with confidence heading into the postseason.

With three potent scoring lines, a goaltender playing at the top of his game and more speed throughout the lineup, the Sharks head into the playoffs starting Wednesday night in Vancouver with the roster and style of play they hope can succeed in the postseason.