It's too easy to say the San Jose Sharks won Thursday night's game because they scored more goals than the Buffalo Sabres.
The Sharks' special teams came alive in that 5-1 victory, as the power play looked the best it has so far in this early season.
"This game, I think, was similar (to past games) in a lot of aspects," Joe Pavleski told the media after the game. "Except we got some special teams production."
After going 2-for-21 on the man advantage through their first six games of the regular season, San Jose put three PPGs on the board, including back-to-back markers in the first period to give them the early 2-0 lead.
"All those (other) games we've had chances to take the lead, tie a game up, and we've come up empty," Pavelski said. "And tonight we got off to a great start."
But the five-goal game says more about the Sharks than just what they can do on the power play. This is a team that created grade-A chances on their early road trip but didn't have the goals to show for it. With persistence, that trend changed Thursday night on the Sharks' home ice.
"We executed tonight, and we finished our chances," Sharks' coach Peter DeBoer summarized. "It's that simple."
As impressive as the power play was on Thursday night, San Jose has to carry that production over to more games. They will get an opportunity to do that right off the bat on Saturday night when they host the New York Islanders.
The Isles blanked the Sharks in New York almost two weeks ago. Despite being shut out, that game wasn't unlike the games against the Rangers and Devils where the Sharks lost by one goal. San Jose had their opportunities but couldn't find the back of the net.
That's difficult to do against a team like New York who's coming off a 7-2 victory over the LA Kings. The Sharks appear up to the challenge, though, and will look to turn the tide this Saturday when the Isles pay SAP Center a visit.
"We created enough offense on the road trip to score goals," DeBoer said. "We didn't score and we had to stick with it. We did tonight and hopefully we can carry that over."