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Back and forth thriller end in Shootout
Sharks extend win streak to 12 over Avalanche.
12/23/13 - By Mike Lee -

The Colorado Avalanche have an issue with the San Jose Sharks. In the 11 regular season games leading up to Monday night's game with San Jose, the Avalanche hadn't beaten the Sharks once. Make it 12. The two teams traded dramatic goals in a heart-pounding, back and forth affair that had to be resolved in a shootout. Three goals in the final 2 minutes of regulation left the sellout crowd buzzing and wondering who would walk away with the 2 points when all was said and done.

* It was the Sharks that prevailed in the shootout, powered by goals from Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau in the skills competition. Both players put pucks past goaltender Semyon Varlamov.

* Nathan MacKinnon scored the first of what would be 8 total tallies in the game at 11:05 of the opening period after Tommy Wingels was sent off for tripping the Avalanche centerman. MacKinnon fired a puck from the blueline, but Sharks forward Andrew Desjardins deflected it as it approached Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi.

* Andre Benoit would be sent off for elbowing James Sheppard 2 minutes later, setting up a Sharks power play. Defenseman Jason Demers cranked a shot from between the circles, beating Varlamov with his 2nd goal of the season.

* Gabriel Landeskog broke a 10-game goalless streak with his 10th goal of the season after the Sharks botched a scoring chance an extended stay in the Colorado end. Brent Burns and Patrick Marleau were tied up with each other along the left wing boards, when the Avalanche gained possession and steamed up ice. Landeskog was trailing on the Colorado break, then took a feed from Paul Stastny in the slot before slating in and beating Niemi.

* The Sharks would turn in one of the finest period of the season during the middle 20 minutes of the contest. Burns Pumped home a Joe Thornton feed 5:53 into the 2nd for this 10th of the season. Matt Irwin then cranked home a shot from the left side 8 minutes later to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead.

* It looked as if that lead would hold up, but a questionable tripping penalty on Patrick Marleau with 3:55 to play setup another Colorado power play goal. Erik Johnson sent a shot from the blueline that beat Niemi right after Marleau's penalty expired.

* Former Shark Jamie McGinn stunned the home crowd with a goal 12 seconds after Johnson's goal to convert a Sharks lead into a deficit in the blink of an eye. McGinn parked himself just outside the left post, before tipping a John Mitchell shot from the left wing boards. The redirect handcuffed Niemi and gave the Avalanche what appeared to be all they would need to win in regulation.

* Those plans would change when Joe Pavelski punched home a Thornton feed from behind the Colorado net. The Sharks had just pulled Niemi for the extra attacker when the puck was wound around the end boards. Thornton tracked it down to the left of the net, then caught Pavelski cutting down the slot. Thornton slid to the right side before sending a feed to Pavelski in the slot. The arena erupted as Pavelski slavaged at least a point with a mere 20 seconds left in regulation.

* In the overtime, the Sharks were awarded a power play after Johnson was whistled for holding Marleau. They would out shoot the Avalanche 5-2 in the overtime period, but couldn't get a puck past Varlamov.

Quotables:

Head Coach Todd McLellan: "Disappointing that we couldn't hold on [to the 3-2 lead] for whatever reason. I thought we played a pretty solid third. We weren't on our heels, we didn't back off, but sometimes that happens. To come back and respond with the goaltender pulled and then win it in the shootout alleviates some of that feeling down that we had there for a short period."

Todd McLellan (on breaking up the PP units): "I haven't felt that we've had a competitive set of power plays. What I mean by that is two groups that can fight for the ice time. Every time the power play came, a group of players would stand up or go out whether they got it done or not. The next group would go out and we just got in a rut. Now they don't know who will be starting. Now they all want that time. If one group is more productive than the other, they'll get it. It's a little more competitive amongst each other."

Joe Thornton: "It wasn't ideal with ninety seconds left [having to come back], it was a little disappointing that we let them back in the game. But we responded well with the 6 on 5 goal, and then in the shootout with Patty. It would have been nice to grab just two and not give them any, but that's the way it works sometimes."

Joe Thornton (on the new PP units): "It's the reason pretty much you win or lose in the NHL right now. Your PK has to be good and your PP has to be good. You know, our PP hasn't been very good. We've been able to win a couple games without it, but tonight it was something we needed and bailed us out."

Brent Burns: "I think we pride ourselves a lot on the second period, especially at home. We get a good change, keep the momentum going. Some nights it just feels like it's going well, and tonight was one of those nights."

Matt Irwin: "We all knew we had about a minute left to get the tying goal. The leadership group did a great job, got out there, and capitalized. Joe [Thornton] made a great play to Joe [Pavelski]. That's what those guys do."

Head Coach Patrick Roy: "It's too bad, but at the same time I think we showed a lot of character. I thought we had a really good start; we played a good game in the first and in the second I thought the length of our shifts were a little too long and they took advantage of it."

Patrick Roy (on the game as a whole): "They're a team that protects the puck really well and they had a lot of chances. Varlamov made some great saves in the second period. In the third [period] it was too bad because I thought we played really well and we scored two big goals, took the 4-3 lead and they made a great play at the end to tie the game. But I thought it was a great game for both teams-- and it was a great show for the fans."

Erik Johnson: "It's frustrating because we obviously tied it up late and they tied it up late too. It was really a strange game, probably from both teams perspective. For us it was just frustrating and they [probably] felt the same way when they gave us the lead. It was just a very strange game, and someone ultimately had to win the skills competition at the end."

Erik Johnson (on the end of the third period): "It was such a high to tie [the game], to go ahead, then a really crashing low when they tied it up. That's hockey I mean, what a great game for people that paid good money to come watch. For us we're happy with a point, disappointed we couldn't get the extra one but that's how it is sometimes. It's frustrating but we have a lot to look at and be happy with how we came back and ultimately gave our team a chance to win."



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Scoring
1 2 3 OT SO T
COL 2 0 2 0 0 4
SJ 1 2 1 0 1 5
1st period - 1, COL, MacKinnon 8 (O'Reilly, Johnson), 11:05, (pp). 2, SJ, Demers 2 (Thornton, Burns), 13:59, (pp). 3, COL, Landeskog 10 (Stastny, Parenteau), 19:11.
2nd period - 4, SJ , Burns 10 (Thornton, Irwin), 5:53. 5, SJ, Irwin 2 (Boyle, Wingels), 13:02, (pp).
3rd period - 6, COL, Johnson 6 (O'Reilly, Duchene), 18:09. 7, COL, McGinn 6 (Mitchell, Talbot), 18:21. 8, SJ, Pavelski 15 (Thornton, Burns), 19:40.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - SJ: Pavelski (miss), Couture (goal), Marleau (goal). COL: MacKinnon (miss), Duchene (miss).
Penalties
1st period - MacLeod, COL (fighting major), 2:26; Brown, SJ (fighting major), 2:26; McGinn, COL (fighting major), 8:54; Stuart, SJ (fighting major), 8:54; Wingels, SJ (tripping), 10:24; Benoit, COL (elbowing), 13:21; Couture, SJ (tripping), 14:57.
2nd period - MacKinnon, COL (high sticking), 12:28.
3rd period - Bench, COL (too many men), 7:10; Marleau, SJ (tripping), 16:05.
Overtime - Johnson, COL (holding), 1:54.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
COL - Varlamov 45 41
SJ - Niemi 33 29
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
COL 15 5 11 2 33
SJ 13 21 6 5 45
Power Play Conversion
COL 1 of 3
SJ 2 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Thornton
Brent Burns
Joe Pavelski
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: Dwyer, Kowal. Linesmen: Grandt, Sharrers.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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