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The Malfeasant 7 return to Sharks lineup
Avalanche pummel Sharks 6-2
11/13/2021 - By Mike Lee
The cavalry arrived for the Sharks in Colorado on Saturday night, but they turned out to be more F-Troop than saving grace as San Jose dropped a 6-2 decision to the host Avalanche at Ball Arena. Mirroring their start in Winnipeg, the Sharks grabbed an early lead, then someone pulled the rug out from under them as Colorado would score 4 times before San Jose could respond. The 7 players who spent the last 6 games on the NHL's COVID protocol list were a combined -7 and spent most of the night trying to find their legs.

Like Thursday's game against the Jets, San Jose gave up goals in all three periods. Turnovers in the defensive zone haunted the Sharks all night. When they were able to move the puck into the neutral zone, they would frequently lose possession. Colorado emerged from a bout with the injury bug and won for only the 6th time this season, but they did it in resounding fashion.

Logan Couture gave the Sharks the early lead with a shot from the right side boards 3:17 into the contest. Mario Ferraro sent a pass from the blueline, hitting his captain who was parked between the right circle and the boards. Couture uncorked a shot that beat Darcy Kuemper for his 6th goal of the season.

Kevin Labanc took a tripping penalty at 8:30 of the period, which allowed the Avalanche to tie the game up. Samuel Girard just missed on a shot that rang off the crossbar, but Devon Toews made the Sharks pay on a blast from the blueline that beat Adin Hill.

The Sharks got a little complacent and it would cost them. Nazem Kadri pushed the lead to 2-1 on a goal from the right side at 13:55. The Avalanche forward took a Valeri Nichushkin feed from the left wing after slipping past the sharks defense. Radim Simek had peeled off for a change and nobody in teal covered Kadri who waited out Hill as he skated across the top of the crease from left to right. He would easily lift a shot past an outstretched Hill for his 4th goal of the season.

Jacob Middleton added to the Sharks woes when he took the third minor penalty of the period for San Jose. They had little opportunity to establish much offensive presence because they spent 30% of the period trying to kill penalties. A too many men penalty with 9 seconds left in the period showcased how out of synch the Sharks were with the wave of COVID protocol players all returning to the lineup at once.

The latter penalty would carry over to the 2nd period, but San Jose was able to kill it unscathed. Nick Merkley and Jasper Weatherby missed on golden opportunities at the 11 minute mark of the 2nd period. Merkley got past a defender off the right post, but Kuemper denied the one-time chance in tight. The puck kicked out to Weatherby in the slot, but his stick was clipped enough to force his follow up shot wide right.

The period unraveled at the 12:38 mark when Alex Newhook scored his 1st NHL goal. Turnovers burned San Jose, when Samuel Girard and Jayson Megna Helm setup Newhook with a feed for a one-time chance from the just outside the right post. Three Shark defenders got caught spectating as the Avalanche moved the puck up the left wing boards before while Newhook setup all by himself on the off wing.

San Jose snapped a power play dry spell when Newhook was called for high sticking at 14:54. The Sharks responded by giving up an awful short-handed goal, when Logan O'Connor took a centering feed from Darren Helm and raced past a stationary Burns before burying the breakaway chance.

Samuel Girard aided the Sharks at 7:46 of the 3rd period when he clipped Mario Ferraro with a high stick. San Jose used the man advantage to halve the Avalanche lead when Alexander Barabanov snapped a shot past Kuemper from the lost while traffic clogged up the front of the net.

Colorado responded immediately when Andre Burakovsky punched home a rebound from outside the right post after Girard bounced a blast off Hill from the high slot. The goal came 71 seconds after Barabanov's tally, pushing the Avalanche lead back to 3 goals.

For some reason, Sharks head coach Bob Boughner pulled Hill with 4 minutes remaining in the contest. That ended up helping Girard pad his personal stats, when he bagged an empty net goal at 16:37.

Game Notes:

* The Sharks activated the 7 players still on the NHL's COVID protocol list on Friday. That list included Jacob Middleton, Timo Meier, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Radim Simek, Kevin Labanc, Erik Karlsson and Jonathan Dahlen. San Jose returned Sasha Chmelevski, Joel Kellman, Artemi Kniazev, John Leonard, Jaycob Megnaand Nicolas Meloche to the San Jose Barracuda on Friday.

* After winning their first 4 games of the season, the Sharks have gone 3-6-1 following Saturday night's loss. The

* Tomas Hertl had another poor defensive game. He finished the contest a -3 and was repeatedly caught watching the play instead of moving his feet. He was flat-footed on Logan O'Connor's goal and was on the ice for 4 of Colorado's 6 goals.

* Samuel Girard finished the night with a 4-point game (1 goal, 3 assists) and Nazem Kadri add 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists). 12 different Avalanche players recorded points in the game.

* San Jose surrendered 19 goals in their first 8 games. They've given up 10 goals in the last 48 hours.


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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 1 0 1 2
COL 2 2 2 6
1st period - 1, Couture 6 (Ferraro, Meier), 3:17. 2, COL, Toews 2 (Girard, Kadri), 10:10, (pp). 3, COL, Kadri 4 (Nichushkin, Johnson), 13:55.
2nd period - 4, COL, Newhook 1 (Girard), 12:38. 5, COL, O'Connor 3 (Helm, Johnson), 15:33, (sh).
3rd period - 6, SJ, Barabanov 2 (Hertl, Karlsson), 9:02, (pp). 7, COL, Burakovsky 4 (Landeskog, Girard), 10:13. 8, COL, Girard 1 (Kadri), 16:37, (en).
Penalties
1st period - Burns, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 4:50; Labanc, SJ (tripping), 8:30; Middleton, SJ (interference), 14:18; Bench, SJ (too many men), 19:50.
2nd period - Newhook, COL (high sticking), 14:54.; Burns, SJ (high sticking), 17:07.
3rd period - Girard, COL (high sticking), 7:46.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Hill 30 25
SJ - empty net 1 0
COL - Kuemper 30 28
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 12 8 10 30
COL 10 11 10 31
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 2
COL 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Samuel Girard
Nazem Kadri
Logan O'Connor
Attendance
Ball Arena - 18,015
Officials
Referees: Pochmara, Brenk. Linesmen: Barton, Murchison.





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