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Sharks limp home after falling 3-1
SJ fails to take advantage of ailing Avalanche
2/6/18 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks have embarked on three 5-game road trips this season. They concluded the second trip on Tuesday with a disappointing 3-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center in Denver. After going 3-2-0 in the first trip, then followed that up with a 1-2-2 disaster as the new year kicked off. With the loss on Tuesday, San Jose capped their third trip 2-2-1, or 6-6-3 spanning all three trips. That's 15 points out of a possible 30, which seems apropos for a team that isn't bad enough to throw in the towel, but isn't really good enough to be taken seriously.

San Jose beat doormat teams in Columbus and Carolina on this trip, but also dropped games to two other teams that trail then in the standings in Detroit and Colorado.

The Avalanche should have been ripe for the picking. They were returning home after their own 6-game road trip, but more importantly were without their top two scorers, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. San Jose flopped instead.

The Sharks looked like world beaters in the opening 20 minutes, with the exception of the most important thing in hockey, which is scoring. San Jose out-shot the Avalanche 14-3 in the opening period, but could not find a way to get any pucks past goaltender Jonathan Bernier.

Forget the notion that the Sharks were a tired, road-weary team. Colorado has been gone longer and they had to deal with the news that MacKinnon's absence would be magnified by Rantanen's injury. The Sharks have gone 2-3-1 since Joe Thornton was sidelined with his knee injury.

San Jose either didn't have the firepower or the motivation to take on an Avalanche lineup that stung them for two goals early in the 2nd period.

Gabriel Bourque staked Colorado to a 1-0 lead just 2:31 into the middle period when his linemate J.T. Compher got a step on Brendan Dillon up the right wing. Dylan Demelo was no better, leaving his feet to try and catch Compher who slid a pass to Bourque on the left side for the easy deposit past goaltender Martin Jones.

Dillon and Demelo teamed up for more defensive magic when they allowed Tyson Jost to skate right past them and snap a wrist shot that Jones probably should have stopped. Thornton's absence had absolutely no influence on the Sharks horrific defense in this game.

Joel Ward cut the Avalanche lead in half with a put back chance from just outside the left post after Marc-Edouard Vlasic sent a shot in from the left post and catching Erik Johnson on the skate. Ward was lurking on the left side and swatted at the puck after it dribbled off Johnson and sat just outside the crease. Ward's shot tucked under the crossbar, hitting the camera mounted inside the goal, which confused everyone on the ice. A review confirmed Ward's 5th tally of the season.

San Jose made a push in the 3rd period, putting 13 shots on Bernier, but nothing seemed to challenge the former Los Angeles Kings backstop. Colorado countered with 10 shots themselves in the period.

Colorado had the only shot that crossed the goal line in the period, when Compher sent a puck the length of the ice with 3.6 left in regulation after the Sharks pulled Jones.

Game Notes:

* San Jose gets to polish up on defense against the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday. The expansion franchise has amassed the second best record in the NHL this season, shocking everyone with their consistency. Vegas lost on Tuesday night.

* Chris Tierney was the winner of the plus/minus ineptitude award, going a minus 3 in a game where the opposition scored three times.

* Joonas Donskoi and Logan Couture recorded 5 shots each to lead all skaters. Colorado only needed 20 shots to dispatch the Sharks.





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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 1 0 1
COL 0 2 1 3
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, COL, Bourque 3 (Compher, Jost), 2:31. 2, COL, Jost 4 (Yakupov, Girard), 4:45. 3, SJ, Ward 5 (Vlasic, Goodrow), 13:29.
3rd period - 4, COL, Compher 11 (Nemeth), 19:56, (en).
Penalties
1st period - Lindholm, COL (interference), 14:26; Boedker, SJ (holding the stick), 15:46.
2nd period - Johnson, COL (interference), 17:54.
3rd period - Demelo, SJ (slashing), 1:35.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 19 17
SJ - empty net 1 0
COL - Bernier 39 38
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 14 12 13 39
COL 3 7 10 20
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 2
COL 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Jonthan Bernier
Tyson Jost
Nikita Zadorov
Attendance
Pepsi Center - 13,349
Officials
Referees: StLaurent, McCauley. Linesmen: Gibbons, Mach.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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