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Home cooking pots Sharks win
San Jose holds off Avalanche to start home stand
3/1/19 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks returned home from their recent road trip on Friday night, taking on a desperate Colorado Avalanche team at SAP Center. With a little more than a month to play and the Avalanche on the outside, looking in at the playoff race, Colorado had every reason to lay in on the line. The Sharks had other ideas, as they scored four times to hold off the Avalanche 4-3 in regulation.

Marcus Sorensen was the man of the hour, as the young Swede scored a pair of goals to lead San Jose. Martin Jones made 22 saves to help the Sharks keep pace with the Conference leading Calgary Flames.

San Jose kicked off a busy March, which throws 15 games at them in 31 days. The Sharks played the first of 11 home games. Home cooking is something the Sharks sorely missed.

Sorensen staked the Sharks to a 1-0 lead 4:18 into the contest, by redirecting a Brent Burns feed from the left wing boards. Sorensen sat parked to the left of the slot, when Burns gathered a faceoff draw and skated up the boards. The Sharks defenseman made a right turn to curl toward the slot before sending the puck to Sorensen. The Swede got his stick blade on the puck, lifting it over Semyon Varlamov's glove hand for his 12th goal of the season.

Timo Meier extended the Sharks lead to two goal, when he rifled a shot from the outside of the left circle while on the fly. Meier used defenseman Erik Johnson as a screen, as the two skated into the Colorado zone. Varlamov picked up the puck too late, as it floated past his left shoulder for Meier's 22nd goal.

The two goal lead was short lived once Nikita Zadorov notched his 7th goal of the season. Zadorov ripped a shot from the left dot after the Avalanche cycled the puck out of the right corner, moving it around the top of the zone. Marc-Edouard Vlasic had Matt Calvert tied up in front of the left post, but that created a diversion that impeded goaltender Martin Jones' sight line on the shot.

The Sharks put on a forechecking clinic over the final 4 minutes of the period. San Jose controlled the Avalanche defensive zone with the defensive corps continuously pinching to keep pucks in the zone.

That paid dividends late, when Sorensen punched home his second tally of the night after Kevin Labanc moved the puck down low and Tomas Hertl bounced the puck off the left post. Sorensen had position on Johnson, as the two faced the goal mouth from the right post. Sorensen used that position to easily jam the puck over the goal line as Varlamov allowed the puck to slip behind him.

A Brendan Dillon slashing penalty 9:32 into the 3rd period setup the second power play of the evening for the Avalanche. Mikko Rantanen made the Sharks pay, when he converted his 28th goal of the season 36 seconds into the power play.

Samuel Girard was sent off for tripping Meier on a scoring chance in front of the Avalanche net with 8:35 to play. The Sharks cashed in when Joe Pavelski pumped home a one-time chance from the left side after Kevin Labanc fed the Sharks captain from the slot.

Colorado would not go away. Girard made it a 4-3 game 6:33 left in regulation by snapping a shot from the right dot that squeezed between Jones and the right post. The goal was the 4th of the season for Girard.

Colorado pulled Varlamov with 1:33 left in regulation, and the Avalanche seemed to win every faceoff in that last 93 seconds to make things interesting. Colorado worked the puck to the front of the Sharks goal three times, but Jones kept it out of his net to earn his 30th victory of the season.

It was the fourth consecutive season with 30 wins or more.

Game Notes:

* Marcus Sorensen was sporting a nasty scar on his upper lip as he made his return to the lineup after taking a puck to the face in Columbus on the Sharks most recent road trip.

* Gabriel Landeskog recorded three primary assists in the game for Colorado.

* Rookie defenseman Radim Simek continued to show why head coach Peter DeBoer has so much confidence in the youngster. Simek was a +2, laid out 3 hits, but played fantastic positional hockey on Friday night.

* Joe Thornton continues to improve his game as he tries getting back to 100%. The Sharks centerman had one assist and was 10 of 13 on draws in the game.

* The Sharks play a rare Sunday evening game against the Chicago Blackhawks. It will be the first of two meetings between the two teams this month at SAP Center.





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Scoring
1 2 3 T
COL 0 1 2 3
SJ 1 2 1 4
1st period - 1, SJ, Sorensen 12 (Burns, Thornton), 4:18.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Meier 22 (Pavelski), 2:35. 3, COL, Zadorov 7 (Landeskog, Cole), 4:55. 4, SJ, Sorensen 13 (Hertl, Labanc), 19:36.
3rd period - 5, COL Rantanen 28 (Landeskog, Kerfoot), 10:08, (pp). 6, SJ, Pavelski 36 (Labanc, Couture), 12:39, (pp). 7, COL, Girard 4 (Landeskog, MacKinnon), 13:27.
Penalties
1st period - Simek, SJ (hooking), 13:48.
2nd period - Cole. COL (hooking), 10:48.
3rd period - Nemeth, COL (delay of game - puck over glass), 2:37; Dillon, SJ (slashing), 9:32; Girard, COL (tripping), 11:25.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
COL - Varlamov 40 36
SJ - Jones 25 22
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
COL 6 7 12 25
SJ 9 18 13 40
Power Play Conversion
COL 1 of 2
SJ 1 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Marcus Sorensen
Kevin Labanc
Gabriel Landeskog
Attendance
SAP Center - 17,351
Officials
Referees: Morton, Furlatt. Linesmen: Knorr, Mach.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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