Sharks coach Todd McLellan has been happy with the way his less-experienced players have been competing in recent games, saying Tuesday that their efforts should make for great internal competition when the team's slew of injured forwards get healthy in the coming weeks.

Bracken Kearns has played in 12 straight games since he was recalled from Worcester, and Eriah Hayes has not looked out place in his five games with the Sharks. John McCarthy had just 13 shifts for 7:54 of ice time in Monday's 3-2 win over Calgary but won four of six faceoffs.

Those players have given the coaching staff something to think about when injured forwards such as Logan Couture, Raffi Torres and Adam Burish are ready to go. Marty Havlat and Mike Brown are available to play but were scratched from Monday's lineup.

"You don't want your players feeling uncomfortable, but you also want them on notice that there are players pushing," McLellan said. "If you feel like you're in competition with these individuals, you don't want to be looking over your shoulder, but you also want them to know that, 'Hey, I got to get going, too. When all of these guys get healthy, where am I going to be?' "

The Sharks are on a four-game win streak and are 5-2 since Couture's last game Jan. 5. Couture had surgery on his hand Jan. 8 and was projected to miss three to four weeks. Torres and Burish are feeling better, but it is unknown whether either will return before the Olympic break begins for the team Feb. 8.

Couture on Tuesday said he can stickhandle a bit but still is unable to shoot.