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Avalanche Has "More To Give" For Game 2

Colorado remains confident after loss to San Jose Sharks

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

SAN JOSE, Calif.--The Colorado Avalanche has been down 1-0 in a series before during these Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the players are well aware there is still a lot of hockey to be played in the best-of-seven set.

Colorado lost Game 1 in the first round to the Calgary Flames but bounced back to win four straight contests and eliminate the Western Conference's top regular season team in five games.

The Avs are in a similar situation to begin Round 2 after falling 5-2 to the San Jose Sharks in the opening contest on Friday night. Colorado now turns its attention to the second outing on Sunday afternoon before heading home for Games 3 and 4.

"You watch the video, you learn from your mistakes and then move on," said goaltender Philipp Grubauer. "You can't draw on that too much because if you drew on that too much, it's stuck in your head for Game 2. So you've got to get rid of it and everybody is professional like that."

From its 8-0-2 run down the stretch of the season to clinch a playoff spot, to its two comeback victories in the opening round against the Flames, the Avalanche has shown a knack of being resilient in these types of situations.

Colorado has an even-keel approach heading into Game 2, but there is a heightened sense of urgency to not let the Sharks grab a two-games-to-one lead in the series.

"It's one game. The good thing is we play another one and then another one and another one. This group fights through a lot of stuff," said Grubauer. "We were down a game in Calgary. We were down 2-0 in a couple games and we came back, so it shows the resiliency of the team. We keep getting to those moments, but we come back."

Head coach Jared Bednar was positive about his squad following Game 1, and he felt the same way after reviewing the video and practicing on Saturday afternoon. But the Avs bench boss did see some things that the club needs to be better at if it wants to move onto the next round.

"I liked a lot of the things we did yesterday. I liked a lot of our players. I just didn't love a lot of our guys," Bednar said. "I think we all have another step that we can take to get back to where we were last series and where we're going to need to be in this series in order to win."

The Avalanche went 1-for-3 on the power play in Game 1, but the two chances that it didn't score on came early in the second period with the Sharks' Brenden Dillon serving a double-minor penalty for high sticking.

Colorado led 2-1 at the time, and a goal or two there could have swung momentum heavily onto its side. Instead, San Jose killed the penalties and took advantage of its opportunities on rushes and fortunate bounces to take a 3-2 lead heading into the second intermission.

Bednar said he views the Avs' mistakes in Game 1 as correctable, and he likes his players' mindset heading into Sunday's matchup.

"[The Sharks] were a little bit opportunistic, and they turned it up for a portion of that game where we were unable to stay with them," Bednar said. "We got to be better there. We got to be able to turn the tide and change the momentum when they make a push like that.

"Our guys feel like they have more to give too."

The Avalanche held a full-team practice at Solar4America Ice in San Jose on Saturday afternoon, with nearly everyone skating. Forward Colin Wilson was the only player not on the ice, but he was in the locker room during media availability and is expected to play on Sunday.

Bednar said it is possible that he could make changes to his lineup for Game 2, but he had yet to finalize any details.

The only difference to the team's forward combinations and defensive pairings during 5-on-5 drills on Saturday was Sven Andrighetto taking Wilson's spot on a line with Carl Soderberg and Mikko Rantanen. Andrighetto and defensemen Mark Barberio, Ryan Graves and Patrik Nemeth were the squad's healthy scratches on Friday.

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