The Colorado Avalanche looks to finish its road trip on a high note when visiting the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday. It is the final contest of a two-game set between the clubs.
Colorado (11-7-1) fell 6-2 to the Sharks (8-9-2) on Monday, losing to the squad for the first time this season. Gabriel Landeskog found the back of the net on the man advantage for the second straight contest and Samuel Girard added a goal, his third of the campaign. Andre Burakovsky and Nathan MacKinnon both extended their point streak to three games with an assist each in the contest, while goaltender Philipp Grubauer made 21 saves.
After trailing 2-0 early in the second frame, San Jose rattled off six straight goals from six different players. Timo Meier recorded three assists on night, compiling three points for the second consecutive contest. Evander Kane (one goal, two assists) and Rudolfs Balcers (one goal, one assist) both tacked on multi-point efforts as well, while netminder Martin Jones denied 33-of-35 shots for his seventh victory of the year.
Wednesday's matchup is the fourth of eight meetings between the Avs and Sharks this campaign. For the Avalanche, it is the final away contest before a season-long, nine-game homestand starting on Friday versus the Anaheim Ducks.
Avalanche at San Jose Sharks
SAP Center | San Jose, Calif.
COLORADO-SAN JOSE CONNECTIONS
Joonas Donskoi skated for San Jose in his first four NHL seasons from 2015-2019… Cale Makar and Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro were college teammates at the University of Massachusetts Amherst for two seasons from 2017-2019… Sharks forward Matt Nieto played the past four seasons for the Avs from 2017-2020… San Jose defenseman Nicolas Meloche was drafted by Colorado in the second round of the 2015 NHL Draft (40th overall)… Sharks center Dylan Gambrell played at the University of Denver from 2015-2018… Avalanche video coach Brett Heimlich is from San Jose and spent 11 years with the Sharks organization from 2004-2015… San Jose head coach Bob Boughner finished his NHL playing career with the Avalanche from 2004-2006… Sharks NHL development coach Mike Ricci played for Colorado/Quebec from 1992-1998 and won a Stanley Cup with the Avs in 1996.
Through the first three contests against the Sharks this season, the Avs own a 2-1-0 record with a plus-3 goal differential, a 23.1 power-play percentage and a 91.7 penalty-kill success rate. After Monday's meeting, the Avalanche possesses a 50-39-12 franchise mark versus San Jose, along with a 5-5-0 record in the last 10 matchups.
Nathan MacKinnon has registered at least a point in four straight games against the Sharks, tallying a goal and five assist over that span. With a helper on the power play in Monday's contest, the forward passed Scott Young for sole possession of the sixth-most points in franchise history versus the Sharks with 23. On the man advantage, MacKinnon ranks second in goals and third all-time in points versus San Jose, collecting seven goals and four assists. Gabriel Landeskog's marker on the man-up unit in Monday's matchup was his first career power-play goal when squaring off against the Sharks.
The clubs will finish the eight-game season series on April 30-May 5, facing each other in four straight matchups.
The Avs had an optional practice at SAP Center on Tuesday, and the full lineup will likely be unknown until after morning skate. Conor Timmins returned to the game action on Monday and is likely to suit up again on Wednesday. Goalie Philipp Grubauer is expected to make his 17th appearance between the pipes on Wednesday.
Pavel Francouz (lower body), Erik Johnson (upper body) and Dennis Gilbert (upper body) are all out long term with injuries. Matt Calvert (lower body) and Bowen Byram (upper body) are both still with the team in California, but Byram will miss Wednesday's contest, according to head coach Jared Bednar. Cale Makar traveled back to Denver to get evaluated for his upper-body injury and is day-to-day.
SCOUTING THE SHARKS
San Jose has tallied six goals in each of its last two contests, which is the fifth time this season the club has registered five or more markers in a game. Monday's contest was just the fifth the Sharks have played at SAP Center this season, the fewest amount of matchups of any team on home ice. In Northern California this year, the squad owns a 2-3-0 mark, producing 3.60 goals per game while giving up an average of 4.00 tallies. San Jose has won eight out of its last 10 at home when hosting the Avs.
Logan Couture (11 goals, eight assists this season), Evander Kane (eight goals, 10 assists), Kevin Lebanc (four goals, eight assists) and Rudolfs Balcers (two goals, four assists) all currently own four-game points streaks for the Sharks.
(OPPOSING) PLAYER TO WATCH: EVANDER KANE
Evander Kane has been on an offensive tear as of late, registering at least a point in each of the last four contests (four goals, four assists), collecting multi-point nights in three out of the last four games and tallying at least a goal in each of the last two matchups. The forward ranks second on the Sharks with 18 points, with his 10 assists being tied for the team lead with Timo Meier.
The 12-year veteran is in his fourth season with the Sharks, producing 73 goals and 62 assists in 175 games in his time in the Bay Area. His 135 points are sixth-most among San Jose skaters during that span, while his 73 markers are fourth on the club in that time. Against the Avs, Kane has recorded three goals and four assists in seven games while on the Sharks.
Gabriel Landeskog holds sole possession of the third-most goals all-time in an Avalanche sweater (since 1995-96), passing Peter Forsberg with his 203rd career tally on Monday.
The Avs have scored on the man advantage in four straight contests, going 4-for-14 (28.6 percent) in that span. Nathan MacKinnon leads the squad with eight power-play points (two goals, six assists), while Mikko Rantanen owns the most markers on the man-up unit with four.
Colorado's 98 giveaways this season are tied with the Minnesota Wild for the third-fewest in the NHL, turning over the puck just 5.15 times per 60 minutes.
Wednesday's matchup concludes the Avalanche's second-longest road trip of the year (tied), going 2-1-0 on the trek so far. The Avs will embark on a five-game trip from April 20-28, their longest of the season… Colorado has yet to lose a game when entering the third period with the lead, going a perfect 9-0-0 in such situations… Samuel Girard is two points away from his 100th in his NHL career… Mikko Rantanen appeared in his 300th career game on Monday… Devon Toews skated a career high 27:02 in Monday's contest, leading the club in ice time.