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Avs spoil Blackwood's gem
Sharks goaltender debuts with 51 saves in shootout loss
10/14/2023 - By Mike Lee

MacKenzie Blackwood made his debut for the Sharks on Saturday night, and he promptly turned in a 51 save performance to set a new franchise record for saves by a goaltender in his San Jose debut. Problem is, he let in a goal late in regulation, then lost in the shootout on a Mikko Rantanen shot. Goaltending has not been a strength for the Sharks the past few years, but Blackwood's performance gives the San Jose faithful a glimmer of hope. At least for a night.

Blackwood was more than deserving of a win, but the Sharks were essentially overmatched all night. The 52-21 shot disparity was proof alone that the puck spent way too much time in the Sharks zone and the goaltending was as sharp as could be. The Sharks also killed 5 penalties to setup what should have been a victory.

The Sharks made things more complicated for themselves by taking a slashing penalty 3:34 into the contest. The Avalanche power play moved the puck with its typical precision, but the Sharks penalty killers managed to keep the puck out of their own net.

Thomas Bordeleau celebrated his 1st career NHL goal 8:42 into the contest, when he tipped a Matt Benning shot past Colorado netminder Alexander Georgiev. Benning ripped a shot from near the top of the right circle, sending the waist-high puck perfectly for Bordeleau's stick blade.

Givani Smith was sent off for tripping midway through the frame, but the Sharks penalty killers rejected Colorado's 2nd threat on the man advantage.

Sharks goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood got a piece of an Avalanche shot that slid past him, parking itself less than a foot from the Sharks goal line. Jan Rutta saved the day by swooping in and sweeping the puck safely away from the goal mouth.

Luke Kunin had a breakaway chance 7 minutes into the 2nd period but his scoring chance was turned aside by Georgiev. Kunin would find himself in the back of the net, but sans the puck it wouldn't add to the Sharks goal total.

A suspect hooking call on Jan Rutta was followed by a high sticking call to Kunin, giving the Avalanche a brief 5-on-3 power play. Sa Jose killed Rutta's penalty, then Valeri Nichushkin was called for interference to even things back up.

Artturi Lehkonen just missed evening up the game 3 minutes into the 3rd period after a pivot move from 6 feet out had him facing the net. Lehkonen's shot rang off the left post to keep San Jose in front.

Alexander Barabanov had a breakaway chance 7 minutes in but Devon Toews held him on the play, drawing a penalty.

Blackwood made the saves of the net midway through the period when he stoned Nathan McKinnon twice in tight quarters.

Cale Makar finally solved Blackwood with 1:26 left in regulation to tie the game. It was a perfect storm against San Jose on the play. Tomas Hertl tried to slip a turnover to Luke Kunin for a clearing chance, but Kunin lost sight of the puck allowing Colorado to keep it in the zone. Matt Benning broke his stick seconds later, allowing Makar to carry the puck to the high slot and snap the tying goal home.

It was a cruel outcome for Blackwood who never saw the shot with several players creating a visual screen out in front of the net.

Nathan MacKinnon was sent off in the overtime after he extended his knee to hit Fabian Zetterlund in the Avalanche zone, but the Sharks would not capitalize on the ensuing 4-on-3 power play. San Jose squandered 4 power play chances on the night, which also hamstrung the offense.

Bordeleau took a holding penalty with 32 seconds left in the extra frame, but Colorado would not score.

Game Notes:

* Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic was injured in the opening period and did not return. The nature of his injury is unknown.

* Thomas Bordeleau gave the Sharks a scare 2 minutes into the 2nd period, when he was checked into an open bench door by Miles Wood. The young forward was favoring his right leg as he was helped to the locker room following the hit. He would return 3 minutes later.

* Jeff Hackett held the team record for saves by a goaltender in their debut with 48

* Blackwood became the first Sharks goaltender to record 50 or more saves and not win the game.

* Through 2 games, the Sharks are averaging 1.00 goals per game. They're not going to win many games without scoring goals.


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1 2 3 OT SO T
COL 0 0 1 0 1 2
SJ 1 0 0 0 0 1
1st period - 1, SJ, Bordelau 1 (Benning, Hoffman), 8:42.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 2, COL, Makar 2 (Nichushkin), 18:34.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - SJ: Barabanov (miss), Eklund (miss), Hoffman (miss). COL: MacKinnon (miss), Rantanen (goal).
1st period - Benning, SJ (slashing), 3:34; Smith, SJ (tripping), 10:38.
2nd period - Droin, COL (holding), 2:43; Rutta, SJ (hooking), 15:05; Kunin, SJ (high sticking), 16:39; Nichushkin, COL (interference), 18:27.
3rd period - Toews, COL (holding), 7:06.
Overtime - MacKinnon, COL (kneeing), 1:58; Bordeleau, SJ (holding), 4:28.
Shots Saves
COL - Georgiev 21 20
SJ - Blackwood 51 50
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
COL 16 15 19 2 52
SJ 9 8 4 1 21
Power Play Conversion
COL 0 of 5
SJ 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
MacKenzie Blackwood
Cale Makar
Thomas Bordeleau
SAP Center - 17,435
Referees: #30 Kendrick Nicholson, #45 Cody Beach. Linesmen: #89 Joe Mahon, #50 Scott Cherrey .

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