SAN JOSE -- Sharks coach Todd McLellan is optimistic center Scott Gomez will be available to play against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday in Game 3 of their opening round series at HP Pavilion.

Gomez, out with soreness since he took a big hit April 23 against the Dallas Stars, skated again Saturday at the Sharks practice facility. He skated before games one and two in Vancouver but was held out of the lineup both times.

"There's no doubt we'd like to get him into the series. He makes a big difference to our team, especially with the power play," McLellan said. "He's got the ability to control the puck. As soon as he's ready and feels good and knows that he can go into that type of competitive environment and contribute, then we'll use him."

San Jose went 0 for 5 on the power play in Friday's 3-2 overtime win over the Canucks, who were effective in bottling up the neutral zone on the penalty kill and not allowing the Sharks to skate into their offensive end unimpeded. Gomez is usually part of the second power play unit.

"This time of year, you just want guys to score," Gomez said. "You're not worried about, 'If I was out there, this would have happened.'"

Gomez is eager to rejoin a playoff push after missing the postseason in 2012 with the Montreal Canadiens, who finished fifth in the Northwest Division.

"This is the real season, this is what you play for," Gomez said Saturday. "Regular season's great, but this is the fun part. To know that you're playing in the playoffs, especially after missing it last year. You know you have a chance to win the Stanley Cup. ... You want to be out there, but we'll see what happens."

Jason Demers did not skate Saturday and will not play Sunday, McLellan said. Marty Havlat, who took a stick to the groin from Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa early in Game 1, will be evaluated Sunday morning, according to McLellan.

For more on the Sharks, see David Pollak's Working the Corners blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/sharks.