SAN JOSE -- When the Sharks try to extend their season-opening winning streak to five games Saturday, it'll be a matchup of two teams that have gotten the most shots on net in the NHL.
The Sharks lead the league with an average of 40.5 shots per game and the Ottawa Senators are a distant second at 35.7.
But it's on the flip side of that stat -- shots against -- that the two teams go their separate ways. The 4-0 Sharks are second best in the NHL, allowing the opposition only 22.8 shots on the San Jose net while the 1-0-2 Senators are 29th in the league as they give up 36.3.
Sharks forward Patrick Marleau put the emphasis on keeping Ottawa's shot count down in getting ready for Saturday night's game.
"We want to make sure we don't let them get that many shots defensively," Marleau said Friday. "We don't want to get in that track meet going up and down. Just sustain pressure."
The two teams share a coaching root that could help explain all those shots on offense.
That has been part of Sharks coach Todd McLellan's philosophy since arriving in San Jose in June 2008 from the Detroit Red Wings, where he and current Ottawa coach Paul MacLean were both assistants to Mike Babcock.
But McLellan, who suggested shot stats might not be too reliable because of the small sample size this early in a season, wasn't so sure lineage explains the teams' one-two standing when it comes to shots.
"I'm obviously familiar with Mac and some of his ideas," the Sharks coach said, "but the one thing I've learned is when you leave a team and get out on your own, the game is ever-evolving and you come up with your own tendencies and ways."
McLellan's familiar with the "quality vs. quantity" debate when it comes to shots, but he has his reasons for being in the latter group.
"I have a belief when you shoot the puck, the defense has to do a certain job and it allows you to get the puck back if you're on your toes," he said. "It keeps momentum going, it keeps you in the offensive zone, it keeps players engaged."
No penalty was called at the time and Hertl was not injured by the shoulder-to-head contact at 19:46 of the second period.
But Friday, NHL executive vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan termed the play an illegal check because the head was the principle point of contact. The three-game suspension, Shanahan added, factored in Edler's status as a repeat offender as he was suspended last March for charging.
The Sharks are also without a defenseman because of a league suspension. Brad Stuart will miss the second of his three games Saturday night as punishment for his hit to the head of New York Ranger forward Rick Nash.