There's just something about facing the Canadiens that helps the Sharks turn things around.
San Jose continued its success against the Habs on Thursday, relying on special teams and good goaltending to register a 4-2 victory in Montreal.
Here are three takeaways from Thursday's game:
Aaron Dell was outstanding
The Sharks really couldn't have asked for a better performance out of Dell. He built on his previous outing against the Chicago Blackhawks by stymying the Canadiens' speedy offense and being particularly impressive on the penalty kill, especially in the second period when he stopped a flurry in the final seconds of a Brent Burns penalty.
Dell's performance no doubt will earn him more starts, something head coach Peter DeBoer is aiming to give his backup netminder this season. With both of San Jose's goalies currently playing well, the Sharks can focus their efforts on cleaning up their defense.
Potent power play
Of San Jose's special teams, the penalty kill has gotten the most attention so far this season since it has been near the top of the league. But the Sharks' power play has also been clicking since Patrick Marleau returned to the team and the units were reconfigured. Both units have done a much better job with offensive-zone possession and getting the puck to the net instead of passing it back and forth to each other.
And you can't talk about the Sharks' power play without mentioning Evander Kane and his team-leading six goals with the man-advantage. He has done a really good job establishing a net-front presence overall this season, but his work driving the net on the power play has been especially impressive.
Cleaning up the rest of their game
Unfortunately, not every aspect of San Jose's game came around on Thursday night, and neutral-zone turnovers continued to be an issue for the Sharks against the Habs. Had Dell not been standing on his head all game, Montreal might have taken over in the latter part of the second period when the Sharks stopped getting shots to the net and started giving the Canadiens room to get back in the game.
Needless to say, that relaxed approach won't fly against other teams. Like, for example, the high-powered Toronto Maple Leafs -- who have scored the second-most goals in the league -- who San Jose will face on Friday.