SAN JOSE -- The Sharks will be looking for ways to shut down the NHL's leading scorer Thursday night when Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby makes his first appearance here since November 2009.

But San Jose coach Todd McLellan stressed that it's not just Crosby, whose 83 points are 13 more than any other player has registered, that the Sharks need to worry about tonight against the Eastern Conference's top team.

"Sid's a tremendous player, but he's not an individual," McLellan said. "He has the ability to use his linemates so well. It's not a single player that becomes the ultimate danger there, it's the group of players. And I think that's a credit to him. He can make other people better."

Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59), of Switzerland, blocks a shot by Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) in the first period of an
Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59), of Switzerland, blocks a shot by Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) in the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, March 4, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) ( Mark Humphrey )

Crosby was out with a head injury the last time the Penguins played here on Nov. 3, 2011. Overall, the Sharks have limited him to no goals and four assists in the five games in which Crosby has faced them.

So does Crosby, who has 267 goals in 531 NHL games, make note of which teams he still hasn't scored against and make any extra effort that night?

"I probably thought about that three years ago, but it didn't do me too well," he said, laughing. "Not trying to think about it too much."

He did mention that the Penguins have struggled in San Jose, where they have not won since Oct. 22, 1997.

"This building hasn't been too good to us," Crosby said. "That's something that's brought up when we're playing here so we're well aware of it. But you try not to think about it, you just go out there and try to play the same way."

Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic was a teammate of Crosby's on Team Canada at the Sochi Olympics and said he was an equally nice guy on and off the ice.

"He leads by example and scored a big goal when we needed him. That's why he's the best player in the world," Vlasic said.

Did he pick up anything in Russia that he can use Thursday night against Crosby?

"I played against him in junior, played against him in the NHL. I know what he does," Vlasic said. "Obviously, he's got great linemates, so it will be a tough challenge for me and (Jason Demers) tonight, but we look forward to it."

Crosby also had nice things to say when asked about Vlasic.

"He's just solid," he said when asked if he learned anything about the defenseman as an Olympic teammate, "nothing that I didn't expect having played against him in the past. He was exactly what I was used to seeing -- a guy who could skate himself out of trouble pretty easily. He makes a good first pass and can get a shot through from the point. He's just really steady. He doesn't make a lot of mistakes.