Winless Sharks try to turn it around vs. Panthers

The San Jose Sharks are desperate for a win.

San Jose, which has lost its first five games — four of them in regulation — visits the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night in Sunrise.

“Our inability to execute for 60 minutes is apparent,” Sharks center Nico Sturm said. “We do a lot of good things, but we don’t do them the whole game.

“We’ve got phases where it looks really good. But then we do other things worse than we did the last game.”

Indeed, the Sharks are next-to-last in the NHL in goals per game (1.40) and last in shots per game (23.8).

On the power play, the Sharks are 2-for-17, which is 23rd in the league at 11.76 percent. They are ahead of the Panthers, who rank 25th (10.0).

“Our power play finally looks better,” Sharks center Tomas Hertl said after Saturday’s 5-1 loss at the Nashville Predators. “But it’s still not good enough.”

Hertl leads the Sharks with five points. Filip Zadina leads San Jose with two goals.

The Sharks have two former Panthers stars in their lineup: wingers Anthony Duclair and Mike Hoffman.

Duclair scored just two goals in 20 games for Florida last year. But he posted 31 goals for the Panthers the previous season.

Hoffman scored 14 goals for Montreal last season. But he scored 65 goals in two seasons with the Panthers (2018-20).

This season, Duclair and Hoffman have combined to score just one goal.

The Sharks are splitting their goalie duties between newcomer and former New Jersey Devils netminder Mackenzie Blackwood (3.89 goals-against average in three games) and holdover Kaapo Kahkonen (3.60 GAA in two games).

Florida, meanwhile, is in the middle of a four-game homestand, during which they are 1-1 after dropping a 5-3 decision to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.

The Panthers lost despite outshooting the Canucks 19-4 in the third period, which left Florida coach Paul Maurice to call for more effort throughout games.

“I don’t expect us to play all three periods like we played the third,” Maurice said. “But we can look like we did in the third on a more consistent basis.”

Sam Reinhart has been consistent, scoring a team-high six goals in five games. He also leads the squad with eight points.

Newcomer Evan Rodrigues, who has seven points, leads Florida with five assists.

But in a sense, the Panthers have yet to flow. Matthew Tkachuk, who had 40 goals and 109 points last season, has no goals and four points. Carter Verhaeghe, who had 42 goals and 73 points last season, has just two goals and no assists. Aleksander Barkov, who had 23 goals last season and 39 in the previous campaign, has just one.

Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has started all five games and is 2-3-0 with a 3.06 GAA. Backup goalie and eight-year veteran Anthony Stolarz could make his Panthers debut on Tuesday.

On the injury front, the Panthers appear to be more short-handed than the Sharks.

Florida is missing defensemen Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour and forward Sam Bennett. Those three players combined last season to produce 46 goals and 117 points.

Veteran Sharks center Mikael Granlund, who scored 10 goals last season, has a lower-body injury and is expected to return during this road trip.