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Sharks rewarded for strong effort
Colorado holds SJ until the shootout
10/28/14 - By Mike Lee -

Building on their strong performance in Anaheim on Sunday night, the Sharks kept up the pressure on the second leg of their road trip in Denver, but it took 65 minutes and a shootout to be rewarded for their effort. San Jose out played the Colorado Avalanche for the majority of the evening, but it took extra time and the skills competition to lock up two points in a 3-2 barn-burner.

Good work habits should go rewarded, so it would have been a travesty for the Sharks to lose on a night when they dominated their opponent.

Avalanche Semyon Varlamov stood on his head, nearly stealing a win for Colorado who skated on their heels all night long. Some teams are happy the break the 20 shot mark in a game, but San Jose amassed 23 by the end of the 1st period. It was raining pucks in the Avalanche crease all night, but Varlamov kept his team in the game and actually gave them a chance to win the tightly contested game.

Brent Burns put the Sharks up 1-0 midway through the opening period, deflecting a Mirco Mueller shot as he sat parked in front of the Avalanche net. Mueller rip a bomb from the blueline, and was originally credited with the goal, but the scorekeeper rightfully credited Burns at the 1st intermission.

Tomas Hertl missed pushing the Sharks lead to a second goal minutes later when he threw a backhand shot from in tight off the crossbar. Hertl had a wide open net to shoot at, but lifted it a hair too high, preventing him from notching his 3rd goal of the year.

San Jose out-shot Colorado 23-8 in that 1st period.

The Sharks picked up where they left off in the 2nd period by peppering Varlamov with a steady stream of shot. Their inability to get any of those past the Russian netminder magnified the game's next tally.

A Tyson Barrie hooking penalty at 12:26 setup the sharks second power play opportunity of the game. That opportunity turned into disaster when Alex Tanguay received a long dump in pass from Erik Johnson then worked his way past Brent Burns and Logan Couture before lifting a shot past Antti Niemi to knot the game at 1-1. Couture's defense was particularly irritating, as his meek poke check attempt looked half-hearted, and it did nothing to stop Tanguay who simply skated around the Sharks forward before snapping home his 4th goal of the season.

The NHL is too competitive to let your guard down and Niemi let a momentary lapse turn into a 2-1 deficit. Daniel Landeskog carried the puck up the left side 3 minutes into the 3rd period and was forced to the outside by Burns, but the Avalanche captain whipped the puck on net from a sharp angle. Niemi had position, but he allowed Landeskog's shot to slip past his left skate and catch the inside of the right post for the go-ahead goal.

Logan Couture goal tied re-tied the game two minutes later, but flipping a rebound past Varlamov. Justin Braun fired a shot on net from 30 feet off the rush, squarely hitting the left pipe. The puck kicked out to the slot where a trailing Couture put the second chance past Varlamov for his 5th goal of the year.

Colorado put a shot on net with 8:30 to play that Niemi stopped, but it sat perched in the middle of the crease with the Sharks netminder on his back.

Varlamov's heroics were upstaged late in regulation and overtime by Niemi who turned the tables on Colorado and made several circus saves late to keep the tie preserved. Patrick Marleau was called for an iffy slashing penalty with 1:05 left in overtime to setup a brief power play in the extra session, but Niemi stood tall.

In the shootout, Marleau atoned for his overtime penalty by snapping a shot past Varlamov in the opening round of the shootout. Niemi stopped Tanguay, then Joe Pavelski ripped a shot top shelf to put the Sharks up 2-0. Niemi stuffed Matt Duchesne to wrap up a well-deserved two points.

It was fitting that Pavelski found the back of the net. He had plenty of warm up, firing 10 shots on goal during the game.



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Scoring
1 2 3 OT SO T
SJ 1 0 1 0 1 3
COL 0 1 1 0 0 2
1st period - 1, SJ, Mueller 1 (Thornton, Burns), 9:23.
2nd period - 2, COL, Tanguay 4 (Johnson, Hejda), 13:24, (sh).
3rd period - 3, COL, Landeskog 4 (O'Reilly, Hejda), 3:04. 4, SJ, Couture 5 (Wingels, Braun), 5:03.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - SJ: Marleau (goal), Pavelski (goal), (). COL: Tanguay (miss), Duchesne (miss).
Penalties
1st period - Nieto, SJ (goaltender interference), 4:24; O'Reilly, COL (interference), 17:18.
2nd period - Burns, SJ (interference), 2:15; Barrie, COL (hooking), 12:26; Landeskog, COL (cross checking), 15:54.
3rd period - Redmond, COL (tripping), 5:36; Burns, SJ (roughing), 14:29; Mueller, SJ (roughing), 14:29; Iginla, COL (roughing), 14:29; Talbot, COL (roughing), 14:29.
Overtime - Marleau, SJ (slashing), 3:55.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 33 31
COL - Varlamov 51 49
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 23 18 8 2 51
COL 8 9 12 4 33
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 4
COL 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Antti Niemi
Semyon Varlamov
Logan Couture
Attendence
14,552
Officials
Referees: Jackson, Rehman. Linesmen: Brisebois, MacPherson.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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