Sharks hope to improve offense when facing Bruins

As has been the case all season, lack of scoring remains an issue for the San Jose Sharks.

The situation may not improve immediately as they're about to face a goaltender who has already dominated them once this season.

The Sharks hope to bounce back from a shutout loss when they continue a three-game homestand against Anton Khudobin and the Boston Bruins on Saturday night.

San Jose (10-7-0) failed to get any of its 35 shots past Roberto Luongo in a 2-0 loss to the Florida Panthers on Thursday night. The Sharks are one of six teams in the league to average fewer than 2.6 goals per game, and they're 27th in the NHL in scoring average at home (2.45 goals per game.)

"You're not going to win games in this league, many of them, if you're scoring two or less," said forward Logan Couture, who leads the Sharks with 10 goals and 15 points. "We're not really getting many chances in the slot where we should be."

Two of San Jose's best offensive players, Joe Pavelski and Brent Bruns, continue to sputter as the first quarter of the season winds down. Pavelski, who still needs one goal for 300 in his career, is stuck on four goals. Burns, who totaled 95 goals in the past four seasons, has yet to light the lamp.

Pavelski is not worried.

"Right now, we've been winning games. It would really be nice to be scoring a lot, but it doesn't affect our game a lot when we're winning," the Sharks captain said. "It's going to come. I think we have enough belief that it's going to come in this room."

San Jose looks to avoid its fourth consecutive loss to Boston. The Bruins (7-7-4) have outscored the Sharks 10-4 during the winning streak. But if San Jose rediscovers its offensive touch on Saturday, it will come against Boston's backup.

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Friday that Khudobin would make his second straight start in place of Tuukka Rask. The native of Russia is 4-0-2 with a 2.48 GAA as a starter this season. Khudobin turned away 27 of 28 shots in a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, and has surrendered just five goals in his last three starts for a .949 save percentage.

On Oct. 26, the Bruins came away with a 2-1 win in Boston behind 36 saves from Khudobin.

"We're gonna go back to Anton," Cassidy told the team's official website. "Obviously a solid game (Thursday) night, good first go-around against San Jose. His numbers have been good, so we'll give him an opportunity.

"We're just going to run with Anton. He's playing well, so we might as well enjoy that luxury."

Joe Thornton scored against the team that drafted him first overall in 1997 and dealt him to San Jose in 2005. However, rookie Danton Heinen collected the first two goals of his NHL career, including a short-handed marker, to lift the Bruins.

"It was pretty cool," Heinen, a fourth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, told the league's official website. "Obviously, it's something you dream of your whole life and you're kind of just going into shock for a bit there."

The 22-year-old has a goal and an assist during the Bruins' four-game trip that ends Wednesday night in New Jersey.

Boston will face a stingy goalie regardless of who starts for San Jose. Jones is 8-5-0 with a 2.13 goals-against average, and backup Aaron Dell is 2-2-0 with a 1.94 GAA.

The Bruins may be without Torey Krug, who missed Thursday's win with an upper-body injury. Krug is Boston's top-scoring defenseman with three goals and eight assists in 16 games.

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