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Sharks advance on 3rd period comeback
Avalanche succumbs to San Jose in 6 games
4/24/10 - By Mike Lee -

When compared to their first round series a year ago, the Sharks took a huge step forward with a 5-2 win in Denver on Saturday night, dispatching the Colorado Avalanche in 6 games in a tightly contested matchup. Where they buckled last season, the Sharks overcame a 3rd period deficit in Game 6, scoring 4 goals in the last 20 minutes to end the series. Joe Pavelski scored a pair of goals to lead San Jose , including the game winner.

Pavelski had a monster series, leading San Jose with 5 goals and 3 assists. He would score the Sharks first and third goals on a night when San Jose needed to battle back against an Avalanche team that was fighting for its season. San Jose wasted little time picking up where they left off in Game 5, when Pavelski converted for his 4th goal of the series just 47 seconds into the game.

San Jose took the opening faceoff and steamed into the Colorado zone. They would cycle the puck around the right corner before Ryane Clowe pushed it to the end boards. Pavelski scooped it up and wrapped a shot from his knees that beat Craig Anderson on the left post for the 1-0 lead.

Clowe earned the primary assist on the play, his 6th of the playoffs. He would tack another later in the game to tie Pavelski with 8 points in the series (1 goal, 7 assists).

A Kent Huskins hooking penalty at 4:36 of the period, put the Avalanche on the power play, but the Sharks denied Colorado from getting any shots on goal.

The Devin Setoguchi-Pavelski-Clowe line just missed on another golden opportunity 9 minutes remaining in the period. Clowe threw the puck on net, creating another wrap-around chance off a deflection for Setoguchi.

Marek Svatos was sent off for high-sticking Logan Couture at 12:05, but the Sharks power play turned in a lethargic two minutes and came away with nothing on the chance.

Setoguchi would just miss again, 5 minutes into the 2nd period. Pavelski put a shot on goal from the left side. Anderson gave up a meaty rebound that landed right on Setoguchi’s stick for a back-hand chance from the slot. The forward redirected a shot sailed over the crossbar.

Svatos would tie the game at 6:14 after driving around the left side, leaving Joe Thornton in his wake before cutting across the slot from left to right and sliding a shot past Evgeni Nabokov for his 1st goal of the series.

The Sharks didn’t exactly play stellar defense on the plat, failing to collapse on the Avalanche forward, who carried the puck into the zone with speed.

Neither team would take the initiative over the remainder of the period. John-Michael Liles would take a holding penalty with 3:28 left in the period, but Patrick Marleau would follow that up with an interference penalty 70 seconds later.

Marleau and Thornton teamed up for a nice chance in front of the Colorado net 4:30 into the 3rd period, but Anderson denied the Sharks from taking the lead. Where the Sharks top line failed, Colorado ’s would prevail. Brandon Yip and Paul Stastny teamed up to give Colorado the 2-1 lead at 4:51, after some defensive miscommunication created the crack needed to slip one past Nabokov. Thornton was covering Yip through the slot, but he assumed he was getting help from Huskins on the weak side. Stastny stick-handled along the right-wing boards, before sending a pass past Thornton to Yip on the left post. Yip swatted the puck past Nabokov to give Colorado their first lead of the game.

Dan Boyle would tie the game right back up less than three minutes later on a blast from the blueline that caught the upper-right corner. Anderson failed to pick up the puck, because Ryane Clowe was parked at the top of the crease, screening the Avalanche netminder.

San Jose would regain the lead 89 seconds later on Pavelski’s 2nd goal of the game. After taking a lead pass up the left wing boards, Pavelski skated in on Anderson on a 2-on-1 with Setoguchi on his right. The centerman wound up for the shot, but mishandled it for a split-second before whipping a shot top-shelf.

The Sharks found themselves on another 2-on-1 chance with 3:51 left in regulation, but Manny Malhotra’s scoring chance was denied by Anderson to keep the game within a single goal.

Marleau would follow that up with a partial breakaway a minute later after Torrey Mitchell hit him with a laser, but the former captain sent a chance wide of the net from point-blank range.

Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco pulled Anderson with 1:40 to play for the extra attacker, but that would fail to provide the push required to get the tying goal.

After failing one empty-net chance, Devin Setoguchi would convert at 19:08 to ice the game. Douglas Murray would tack on another empty-netter, albeit meaningless 21 seconds later from center ice.

Game Notes:

The Sharks were a career 1-5 in Game 6 when leading a series 3-2. The Avalanche were once again without forward Milan Hejduk, who suffered an apparent concussion in Game 3 after running into teamm Paul Stastny. Avalanche Peter Mueller never saw the ice in the series. Murray finished the evening with a goal and 2 assists.


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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 1 0 4 5
COL 0 1 1 2
1st period - 1, SJ, Pavelski 4 (Clowe, Blake), 0:47.
2nd period - 2, COL , Svatos 1 (Cumisky, Foote), 6:14.
3rd period - 3, COL , Yip 2 (Stastny, Galiardi), 4:51. 4, SJ, Boyle 2 (Heatley, Pavelski), 7:33. 5, SJ, Pavelski 5 (Clowe, Murray), 9:02. 6, SJ, Setoguchi 3 (Murray, Boyle), 19:08, (en). 7, SJ, Murray 1 (Thornton, Mitchell), 19:29, (en).
Penalties
1st period - Huskins, SJ (hooking), 4:36; Svatos , COL (high sticking), 12:05.
2nd period - Nichol, SJ (roughing), 14:27; Stewart , COL (roughing), 14:27; Liles , COL (holding), 16:32; Marleau, SJ (interference), 17:42.
3rd period - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 18 16
COL - Anderson 32 30
COL - empty net 2 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 10 13 11 34
COL 7 8 3 18
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 2
COL 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Pavelski
Ryane Clowe
Marek Svatos
Attendence
18,007
Officials
Referees: Joannette, Lee. Linesmen: Devorski, Sharrers.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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