SAN JOSE -- Perhaps getting into the spirit of playoff gamesmanship, Sharks coach Todd McLellan said Saturday that he wouldn't mind if the Vancouver Canucks started Cory Schneider in goal for Game 3 of their opening-round series at HP Pavilion.
Schneider, for undisclosed reasons, missed the final two games of the regular season and did not dress for the Canucks in their first two playoff games against the Sharks.
But he made the trip to San Jose on Saturday, leading to speculation that he'll be in net for Sunday's game.
Schneider went 17-9-4 for the Canucks this season and was in net for Vancouver in all three of its regular season meetings with the Sharks.
Backup goalie Roberto Luongo started the first two games of the series and was especially solid for Vancouver in Game 2, making 30 saves, including 10 in a busy first period.
"It may be a great thing for us. I think Luongo's been tremendous," McLellan said. "If they want to take that quality of a goaltender out of the lineup and go to the other one, we'll take our chances with that as well."
Before his team left for the Bay Area, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault told reporters that Schneider's status is still day to day. Per Canucks team policy, injured or ill players are not made available to the media.
Before the series began, Schneider practiced and said he wanted to play in Game 1, and Vigneault on Wednesday morning said Schneider was ready to play. Schneider, though, was still scratched from the lineup, and the Canucks had Joe Cannata as the backup.
"If we throw the same chances we've thrown on Luongo, hopefully we'll get the same results," Sharks center Joe Pavelski said. "It has to be about us and what we're doing, and we can't get away from it whether it's Luongo or Schneider in the net. We have to get traffic there and we have to get pucks there."
"Coming down the wing, he can shoot the puck as hard as anybody I've seen," McLellan said, adding that Burns is like former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Wendel Clark with his wrist shot and snap shot.
"That may have fooled the Vancouver players. Every one of us on the bench was yelling, 'Shoot, it, shoot it.' Until we said, 'Good pass.' Then it was over."
Playing mainly as a defenseman, Burns has one goal and six assists in 18 career playoff games over four seasons, including two with Minnesota in 2007 and 2008.
"I remember playing against Colorado (in 2008) when I was with Minnesota and playing defense, matching up against (Peter) Forsberg," Burns said. "I still think of that as some of the most fun I've had and the best hockey that I've played."
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. "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 Friday against the Canucks, who were effective in bottling up the neutral zone on the penalty kill. Gomez is usually part of the second power play unit.
Gomez is eager to rejoin a playoff push after missing the postseason in 2012 with the Montreal Canadiens.
"This is the real season, this is what you play for," Gomez said Saturday. "Regular season's great, but this is the fun part. ... You want to be out there, but we'll see what happens."