VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Sharks might have ended their five-game winless streak with that 3-2 overtime victory in Calgary, but one pattern from their losing ways continued.
San Jose had at least one lead in each of its last six games, only to have the opposition come back and tie. Three times the Sharks held a one-goal lead over the Los Angeles Kings before losing in overtime. Against the Winnipeg Jets, San Jose led 2-0 before losing in a shootout. One-goal leads didn't last against the Vancouver Canucks, Buffalo Sabres and Phoenix Coyotes.
And whether all that is a serious concern depended on whom you asked Wednesday after the Sharks prepared for Thursday night's game against Vancouver.
"When you haven't won a lot, you get a little tighter," coach Todd McLellan said of the response when a two-goal lead gets cut in half. "But we're a confident group. We think we can play through that."
Protecting a lead is not something on a to-do list that can be addressed in practice, McLellan added, but teams can focus on cleaning up the small mistakes that enable opponents to come from behind.
"The to-do list is winning a faceoff on a penalty kill and going to the right spot," McLellan said, alluding to the mistake Joe Thornton made that led to Calgary's second goal Tuesday night. "And if you do that, then you protect the lead."
Against the Flames, the Sharks led 2-0 until the third period, then came back to win in overtime.
So was there a here-we-go-again factor after the Sharks gave up the first goal to Calgary?
"You can't think like that," Dan Boyle said. "We're all competitive guys. You've got to go out there and be confident and change the outcome of the game."
So does McLellan want his players to remember that game as a motivational tool Thursday night?
"I think they should, yes," the coach said. "We were thoroughly beaten that night. There was a little more battle in the Canucks than us, and we didn't get our noses over the pucks when we had to and really didn't establish our game at all."
And it has provided Sharks forward Tyler Kennedy a sharp example as to how travel in the Western Conference differs from that in the East, where Kennedy toiled for six seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
"You change time zones like you change your underwear. It's crazy," Kennedy said. "I can't believe it."
On this trip, the Sharks do not have two consecutive games in the same time zone as they zigzag from Central Standard Time to Pacific Standard Time and back with games in Mountain Standard Time in between.
Thursday night's game also wraps up the season series between the Canucks and Sharks, who became divisional rivals after realignment. San Jose won the first two games this season.