SAN JOSE -- The points haven't exactly come by the bushel in this series, but the Sharks' TJ Galiardi feels it's just a matter of time before he and linemates Joe Thornton and Brent Burns break out on offense against the Los Angeles Kings.
Going into Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Kings on Tuesday at HP Pavilion, Thornton has one assist on even strength and one assist on the power play, which came on Logan Couture's overtime goal in Game 3. Burns and Galiardi have been held pointless.
But the Thornton-Burns-Galiardi line controlled the puck for most of Saturday's game when they were on the ice at even strength and generated several quality chances. The pressure they applied in the Kings' defensive zone also helped to keep Mike Richards and Jeff Carter off the scoresheet for the first time in the series.
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick "has been playing great, but you look at last night we have so many where we're an inch away," Galiardi said. "Jumbo had one at the side of the net, another one on a wraparound. Usually those could have went in. ... It's going to come eventually."
Thornton and Burns combined for two goals and seven assists in the four-game, first-round sweep of Vancouver, and the matchup between their line and the Richards-Carter-Dwight King line figured to be one of the more tantalizing of the second-round series. Against the St. Louis Blues, Carter had three goals and Richards and King combined for seven assists.
"They're a great line, too," Burns said. "The Richards line, (with) Carter ... those two guys are great players. I feel like our line is playing some of our best hockey."
Havlat had just six shifts and was on the ice for 4 minutes, 52 seconds in the first period in Saturday's game before he left the game with a lower body injury. McLellan did not know if Havlat's latest injury was related to the one that he suffered in the first game of San Jose's opening-round series against the Canucks.
After Saturday's morning skate, Havlat informed McLellan that he was feeling well enough to play. But Havlat's injury, and one later suffered by Couture, left the Sharks with just 10 forwards for much of the second period and forced McLellan to juggle line combinations. Couture came back late in the second period.
"If you're hurt and you can't play, you can't play," McLellan said. "We can be as frustrated as we want. It was hard because we had to juggle the lineup, but we talked about the difference between injured and hurt. He's injured."
With Havlat unavailable, the Sharks might again look at inserting Tim Kennedy on the fourth line. Kennedy played in Game 2 in Los Angeles but was scratched for Game 3.
Follow Curtis Pashelka on Twitter at twitter.com/CurtisPashelka.