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Pavelski continues to own Colorado
SJ snaps 3-game losing streak in Denver
10/21/10 - By Mike Lee -

Joe Pavelski made his return to Colorado, where he almost single handedly knocked off the Avalanche in last spring’s opening round of the playoffs. The Sharks forward scored a pair of big power play goals to help San Jose jump out to a two-goal lead at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Goaltender Antero Niittmaki would make 29 saves to earn his first victory as a Shark. A complete performance from the entire lineup would help San Jose snap a three-game losing streak, as they kick off a 3-game road trip.

San Jose kept things simple early, focusing on the defensive side of the puck. A lot less razzle dazzle and more fundamental focus allowed them to weather a 15-shot opening period by the Avalanche. They would slip a little off a goaltending gaff, but settled down and control more of the ice.

Getting his first start in net since the second game of the Stockholm series with Columbus, Niittymaki got off to a rocky start. The Sharks netminder was a bit nonchalant with the puck midway through the 1st period, attempting a backhand clearing pass that he partially whiffed. Avalanche winger Chris Stewart intercepted the puck and tried to pull it back toward the goal mouth, but lost the handle, sliding it out into the slot. Niittymaki became entangled with defenseman Dan Boyle, who was scrambling to cover the crease, leaving the net wide open. Colorado defenseman Kyle Cumisky pinched down the middle of the ice and banged home his 1st goal of the year at 14:43.

San Jose got some relief from their 4th liners who generated some offense right before the 1st intermission to knot the game at 1-1. Scott Nichol tapped in a Jamal Mayers feed with 49 seconds left in the period. Mayers swooped in on a John McCarthy dump in near the left corner, sending a pass to the crease where Nichol was crashing for the redirect past Craig Anderson.

The Sharks would carry the momentum into the 2nd period, drawing a tripping penalty on Matt Duchene just 29 seconds in. San Jose would be helped out on the ensuing power play by Kyle Quincy who broke his stick off a Joe Thornton pass. Dany Heatley would setup Pavelski with a laser beam pass past two defenders through the slot. Pavelski would tap home the feed near the left post for the 2-1 Sharks lead.

Colorado would make Pavelski’s next tally a bit easier, by sending two players to the box 46 seconds apart. Kevin Porter was guilty of holding at 7:13, the T.J. Galiardi would flip a puck over the glass to earn a delay of game penalty. Heatley would setup another goal by blasting a shot on net from the point that Anderson stopped with a pad, but couldn’t cover. Pavelski was lurking around the same spot as his first goal and easily pulled the puck off Anderson’s pad and depositing it for his 2nd of the game.

Colorado would finally draw the Sharks into taking a penalty when Dan Boyle was sent off for interference at 6:38 of the 3rd period. They would cash in on Milan Hejduk’s 2nd goal of the season on a tap in from the front of the left post after a shot from Stewart was deflected by Niittymaki to the Avalanche winger.

San Jose would get themselves into hot water, when offsetting rouging calls to Ryane Clowe and Cody McLeod were sent off at 9:04. Niclas Wallin would follow Clowe to the box right off the ensuing faceoff for cross checking, giving the Avalanche an extended 4-on-3 power play. The Sharks penalty killers would step up and extinguish the threat by clearing a handful of pucks.

Niittymaki made a nice save on a one-time chance by Stewart with 4:30 to play, after the Avalanche forward drop own the slot and took a feed from behind the Sharks net. His play throughout the period would save the Sharks bacon.

Matt Duchene would put the Sharks on the power play with 3:44 to play, but Heatley would nullify the man-advantage by running into Anderson.

Colorado would pull Anderson with 1:30 to play and the Sharks would bag an empty-netter courtesy of an assist by linesman Tony Sericolo. Douglas Murray tried winding the puck out of the Sharks zone, but it hit Sericolo near the Sharks blueline. Logan Couture was heading up ice and suddenly found himself with the puck and a wide open net. He would easily shoot it down ice for his 2nd goal of the season.

Game Notes:

Mayers made his Sharks debut, logging just under 6 minutes of ice time on 10 shifts. He would record an assist, a shot on goal and one hit. McCarthy earned recorded his first NHL point with an assist on the Nichol goal.


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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 1 2 1 4
COL 1 0 1 2
1st period - 1, COL, Cumisky 1 (Stewart), 14:43. 2, SJ, Nichol 1 (Mayers, McCarthy), 19:11.
2nd period - 3, SJ, Pavelski 1 (Heatley, Marleau), 1:08, (pp). 4, SJ, Pavelski 2 (Heatley, Marleau), 8:44, (pp).
3rd period - 5, COL, Hejduk 2 (Stewart, Liles), 7:25, (pp). 6, SJ, Couture 2 (Murray, Boyle), 18:48, (en).
Penalties
1st period - None.
2nd period - Duchene, COL (tripping), 0:29; Porter, COL (holding), 7:13; Galiardi, COL (delay of game – puck over glass), 7:59; Duchene, COL (hooking), 10:34.
3rd period - Boyle, SJ (interference), 6:38; Clowe, SJ (roughing), 9:04; McLeod, COL (roughing), 9:04; Walling, SJ (cross checking), 9:08; Duchene, COL (high sticking), 16:16; Heatley, SJ (goaltender interference), 16:29; Stewart, COL (10 min misconduct), 19:19.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niittymaki 31 29
COL - Anderson 33 29
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 13 14 7 33
COL 15 6 10 31
Power Play Conversion
SJ 2 of 5
COL 1 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Pavelski
Chris Stewart
Scott Nichol
Attendence
12,803
Officials
Referees: Devorski, Kozari. Linesmen: Pancich, Sericolo.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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