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Sharks keep slim playoff hopes alive
SJ rallies late to beat Colorado 5-1
4/1/15 - By Mike Lee -

Let the teasing begin. Not mathematically eliminated, the Sharks knocked off the Colorado Avalanche 5-1 on Wednesday night to creep back into the playoff picture. San Jose sits 5 points back of the 8th and final playoff spot with 5 games to play. The Sharks could have sealed their own fate with a loss to Colorado, but they were the more committed team on this night.

Neither team looked as if they wanted the 2 points, as both struggled to generate much in terms of scoring chances through the first 35 minutes of the game. Alex Stalock made his 3rd consecutive start in goal for the Sharks, who have captured 5 of 6 points in that span. The Sharks netminder only faced 20 shots on the night, but his 15 saves through the first 40 minutes of play kept the Avalanche at bay.

The Sharks finally broke the ice when defenseman Scott Hannan deflected a Brent Burns shot past Colorado goaltender Reto Berra for his 2nd goal of the season. Hannan was loitering in the slot when he clipped Burns's shot, lifting it past Berra.

Chris Tierney made it 2-0 at 8:01 of the 3rd period, chipping home a rebound off Berra after Matt Nieto bounced a shot off the netminder's pad from outside the right post. Tierney eluded three Avalanche defenders as the puck kicked out to the right side of the crease for the put back.

Justin Braun took a delay of game penalty 36 seconds later to setup Colorado's lone tally. Matt Duchene fired a shot from the bottom of the right circle that Stalock seemed to have covered, but the shot hit his glove and flipped past him for Duchene's 20th goal of the season.

Patrick Marleau answered less than 2 minutes later, sniping a one-timer from the slot after Logan Couture slid the puck out to the front of the net from the end boards. Marleau dropped to a knee as he picked his target, lifting the puck past Berra for his 18th goal of the season.

Colorado head coach Patrick Roy rolled the dice and pulled Berra with 5 minutes remaining in regulation, but that simply served as a stat padding move for the Sharks. Couture scored an empty netter at 15:55, then John Scott followed with a long shot into the vacated goal 33 seconds later to cap the game's scoring.

Hannan suffered a scary injury early in the 3rd period, when a puck struck him in the face. The veteran defenseman immediately skated to the locker room for medical attention. His prognosis was not known.


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1 2 3 T
COL 0 0 1 1
SJ 0 1 4 5
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, SJ, Hannan 2 (Burns, Pavelski), 16:35.
3rd period - 2, SJ, Tierney 5 (Nieto, Fedun), 8:01. 3, COL, Duchene 20 (Redmond, Mitchell), 8:54, (pp). 4, SJ, Marleau 18 (Couture), 10:12. 5, SJ, Couture 26 (Karlsson, Burns), 15:55, (en). 6, SJ, Scott 3 (Smith), 16:26, (en).
1st period - Duchene, COL (tripping), 7:29.
2nd period - Burns, SJ (tripping), 19:18.
3rd period - Bruan, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 9:11.
Shots Saves
COL - Berra 28 25
COL - empty net 2 0
SJ - Stalock 20 19
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
COL 8 7 5 20
SJ 10 8 12 30
Power Play Conversion
COL 1 of 2
SJ 0 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Alex Stalock
Scott Hannan
Chris Tierney
Referees: Devorski, Watson. Linesmen: Sharrers, Wheler.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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