After splitting the first four games of their second-round series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks are set for Game 5 at SAP Center on Saturday.
The clubs have each won a game at home and on the road. Following the contest, the teams will meet again in Denver on Monday for Game 6.
Recapping Game 4
Netminder Philipp Grubauer stopped all 32 shots he faced to record his first career playoff shutout as the Avalanche blanked the Sharks in a 3-0 win at Pepsi Center on Thursday. After a scoreless first period, Nathan MacKinnon found the back of the net midway through the second frame, extending his scoring streak to eight games (six goals, seven assists). In the third stanza, Colin Wilson added a tip-in tally on the power play. The outing was sealed with an empty-net goal from Erik Johnson with less than two minutes remaining.
What To Watch
Colorado killed both penalties it took in Thursday's contest. The club has gone 10-for-11 (90.1 percent) in man-disadvantage binds through four games in the second round and lands tied for third among teams still competing in the playoffs with an 81.8-percent success rate on the PK. The Avalanche also shares the NHL-lead for most shorthanded goals for as Matt Nieto has notched two so far for the club.
After blanking the Sharks on Thursday, Grubauer recorded his first career shutout in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The netminder has posted a 2.17 goals-against average and .930 save percentage in the postseason, which rank sixth and seventh in the NHL, respectively. Grubauer has played in each playoff contest for the Avalanche so far and has seen action in 13 total playoff games over his career (7-4). On the other side of the ice, Martin Jones, who made 25-of-27 saves for San Jose on Thursday, owns a .910 save percentage and 2.84 goals-against average through 11 playoff tilts.
Players To Watch
Colorado: Right Wing Mikko Rantanen
Rantanen recorded two assists in Thursday's clash to register his fifth multi-point performance of the playoffs, the most of any player in the NHL. Rantanen is tied with MacKinnon for the scoring lead in the postseason with 13 points (five goals, eight assists). They are the highest-scoring Avalanche players in a playoff run since 2002 (Peter Forsberg, 27; Sakic, 19; Alex Tanguay, 13; Greg deVries, 13). Rantanen has notched five points (two goals, three assists) on the power play during the playoffs, which stands tied for third-most in the NHL.
San Jose: Left Wing Evander Kane
Kane did not reach the scoresheet in Thursday's whitewash but recorded three shots on goal and four hits. The forward has racked up a career-high six points (two goals, four assists) in the playoffs so far and is tied for fifth in the NHL with 43 hits. During the regular season, Kane put up 56 points (30 goals, 26 assists) and finished second on the Sharks in shots (268).
Game 5 of the second-round series between the Avalanche and Sharks is slated for 8 p.m. MT. The game can be watched nationally in the United States on NBCSN, viewed online at NBCSports.com or streamed on select devices with the NBC Sports App. The contest will be televised throughout Canada on Sportsnet, CBC and TVA Sports. The radio broadcast can be heard locally on Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM or online at ColoradoAvalanche.com.
Tune in to Altitude TV before and after Game 5 for complete coverage of the Avs. Avalanche Face-off starts at 7:30 p.m. and the Avalanche Locker Room Report begins immediately following the conclusion of the contest.
The Avalanche's official playoff watch party, presented by Coors Light, is at Sports Column in downtown Denver. Fans can watch Game 5 with mascot Bernie and the RAM Trucks Avalanche Ice Girls and win prizes, including signed memorabilia.