SAN JOSE -- The Sharks will be seeking their 10th consecutive regular season and playoff victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night. But for that to happen, San Jose knows it has to improve its recent performance.

"They've got their big guys going, they've got good goaltending and we have to be at our best — a lot better than we have been the last couple games — to beat these guys tonight," Logan Couture said.

The Sharks already have two victories over the Canucks this season, but Vancouver is playing much better hockey now as coach John Tortorella has had more of an impact and put Ryan Kesler on a line with Henrik and Daniel Sedin. The Canucks are 5-1-1 in their last seven games while the Sharks are without a win in their last three, though San Jose has picked up one point in each.

Vancouver Canucks’ Bo Horvat, 53, chases down the puck as San Jose Sharks’ Jason Demers, center, and Canucks’ Pascal Pelletier, right,
Vancouver Canucks' Bo Horvat, 53, chases down the puck as San Jose Sharks' Jason Demers, center, and Canucks' Pascal Pelletier, right, look on during first period preseason NHL hockey action in Vancouver, British Columbia on Monday Sept. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck) ( DARRYL DYCK )

Todd McLellan has criticized his team for not coming out strong against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night, a game San Jose eventually lost 5-4 in a shootout. Even after the win, Buffalo still has the fewest points in the NHL.

But McLellan acknowledged it shouldn't be a problem getting his team up for the Canucks.

"Vancouver seems to bring the best out in us," the Sharks coach said. "The rivalry exists. They've played extremely well lately and they have one line that's clicking and doing a lot of scoring for them so we'll have to be aware of that. And maybe that'll be a real good motivator for us as well."

Going three games without a win didn't seem to be too big a concern for the Sharks, but Couture has been criticial of the team's recent performance.


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"Personally I don't even think about the points. I think it's the way our team played," Couture said. "The last couple of games we haven't played very well. We had a chance to get a couple points in each of those games, which I'm sure we would have liked to do, but we have to play a lot better.

"Not every game are we going to be at our best, we know that," he added. "But we have to find guys that play better every single night."