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Sharks run out of gas in Denver
Avalanche take 4-3 shootout win
2/24/15 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks up and down February continued on Wednesday night as San Jose wrapped up their 5-game road trip with a 4-3 shootout loss to the host Colorado Avalanche. Joel Ward salvaged a point for the Sharks with a goal in the final 1:31 of regulation, but then San Jose wouldn't come any closer to the net in the overtime and shootout. Martin Jones made 38 saves in a valiant performance, but the defense in front of him wasn't up to the task against the hungrier Avalanche.

Truth be told, the Sharks were lucky to leave Denver with a point. Colorado outplayed them most of the night, and for good reason. The Avalanche sit perched in the 8th position in the Western Conference standings. They were the motivated team, and San Jose looked like the club simply trying to get home.

The 1st period was new acquisition showcase time as players who were acquired earlier this week by their respective teams scored goals. Nick Spaling, the forward San Jose grabbed from the Toronto Maple Leafs along with Roman Polak, scored a goal in his first game for the Sharks. The goal came on Spaling's first shift, off his first shot as a Shark. the forward carried a puck up the right side before snapping a shot past Avalanche backup goaltender Calvin Pickard for the 1-0 Sharks lead.

Colorado acquired a player from Toronto themselves in Shawn Mathias who converted in the period. Mathias punched home a rebound from the top of the crease after Carl Soderberg tried getting a puck past Martin Jones with a backhand shot form the right side.

Brent Burns made it a 2-1 Sharks lead 1:50 into the 3rd period by wrapping a puck around the left post, bouncing his shot off defenseman Erik Johnson's skate and into the goal.

A Joonas Donskoi holding penalty three minutes later allowed the Avalanche to tie the game, when Jerome Iginla converted on the ensuing power play. The Shark killer pumped a one-timer fom the top of the left circle past Jones to knot he game at 2-2.

Gabriel Landeskog gave Colorado the lead with 8 minutes and change left in regulation. Andrew Bodnarchuk carried the puck up the right side, trying to jam the puck past Jones near the right post. Landeskog put on the breaks just outside the crease and two a pair of hacks at the puck as defenseman Justin Braun stopped short of Landeskog's position, allowing the Avalanche captain to gain the position required to score the go-ahead goal.

Not that Colorado needed to score, but they were held without a shot over the final 8:15 of the 3rd period.

Ward's heroics came late in regulation. Joe Thornton stickhandled along the right wing boards and hit Ward with a pass as the forward back skated to the front of the Avalanche net. Ward redirected Thornton's pass past Pickard for his 17th goal of the season.

In the overtime, San Jose missed on two golden opportunities when both Donskoi and Burns had breakaway attempts. In both cases, Pickard stood tall, deflecting both scoring chances.

In the shootout, Pickard stopped chances by Donskoi and Joe Pavelski. McKinnon scored int eh opening round, then Matt Duchene ended things with a goal in the 3rd round.


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1 2 3 OT SO T
SJ 1 0 2 0 0 3
COL 1 0 2 0 1 4
1st period - 1, SJ, Spaling 2 (unassisted), 2:10. 2, COL, Mathias 7 (Soderberg, Beauchemin), 13:02.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 3, SJ, Burns 20 (Hartl, Martin), 1:50. 4, COL, Iginla 18 (Barrie, Ladneskog), 5:35, (pp). 5, COL, Landeskog 15 (Bodnarchuk), 11:45. 6, SJ, Ward 17 (Thornton, Pavelski), 18:29.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - COL: McKinnon (goal), Landeskog (miss), Duchesne (goal). SJ: Donskoi (goal), Pavelski (miss).
1st period - Duchesne, COL (high sticking), 4:45.
2nd period - Karlsson, SJ (holding), 15:12.
3rd period - Donskoi, SJ (holding), 5:13.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 41 38
COL - Pickard 33 30
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 9 7 15 2 33
COL 11 14 11 5 41
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 1
COL 1 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Gabriel Landeskog
Nathan McKinnon
Joel Ward
Referees: Rooney, Walsh. Linesmen: Amell, Grandt.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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