After a back-to-back set in Denver, the Colorado Avalanche continues its four game set against the San Jose Sharks on Monday at SAP Center.
Colorado (33-12-4) defeated the Sharks for the second straight contest on Saturday by a score of 4-3, extending its home point streak to 15 games, the second-longest stretch in franchise history (tied). Conor Timmins picked up two assists for the first multi-point game of his career, while Mikko Rantanen (one goal, one assist) and Nathan MacKinnon (one goal, one assist) each finished with two-point nights. Patrik Nemeth scored, his first point since being acquired by the Avs on April 9, and goaltender Devan Dubnyk earned his third victory with the club, stopping 22-of-25 shots.
For San Jose, Tomas Hertl notched a goal and an assist for his third two-point night in the last four contests, with Alexander Barabanov (one goal, one assist) also contributing a multi-point effort--the first of his career. Logan Couture found the back of the net for the 17th time this season, while netminder Josef Korenar made 40 saves.
Monday's matchup is the seventh contest between the Avs and Sharks this season and the third at SAP Center. The clubs will round out the season series on Wednesday in San Jose.
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… Goaltender Devan Dubnyk began the 2020-21 season with the Sharks… 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 four seasons for the Avs from 2017-2020… San Jose defenseman Greg Pateryn spent part of the 2020-21 season with Colorado… 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 six contests against the Sharks this season, the Avs own a 5-1-0 record with a plus-11 goal differential, a 24.0 power-play percentage and a 91.3 penalty-kill success rate. The club is 53-39-12 all-time against San Jose, including a 1-1-0 mark as the visiting team this year.
Nathan MacKinnon (12 goals, 14 assists) and Gabriel Landeskog (seven goals, 19 assists) are tied for the fifth most points in franchise history when facing the Sharks, two points behind Valeri Kamensky (28) who owns the fourth most against San Jose. MacKinnon has recorded at least a point in five of the six meetings this season, while Landeskog has found the scoresheet in four of six--including a season-high four points on March 3.
On Sunday, the Avalanche reassigned goaltenders Adam Werner and Hunter Miska and forwards Mike Vecchione and Nick Henry to the AHL's Colorado Eagles. In addition, the team recalled forwards Jayson Megna and Alex Newhook, defenseman Dennis Gilbert and goalie Jonas Johansson to the taxi squad. D-men Kyle Burroughs and Dan Renouf skated in Saturday's contest in place of Ryan Graves and Samuel Girard, who were both out with injuries.
Jared Bednar said after Saturday's contest that Ryan Graves (upper body) is considered day-to-day but he doesn't have an exact timeline and Samuel Girard is out for about two weeks with a lower-body injury. Bowen Byram (upper body), Logan O'Connor (lower body), Matt Calvert (upper body) and Jacob MacDonald (lower body) are all week-to-week with injuries, while Bandon Saad is out two to four weeks with a lower-body ailment. Pavel Francouz is out the remainder of the season with a lower-body injury and Erik Johnson (upper body) could return later in the playoffs.
SCOUTING THE SHARKS
At home this season, San Jose owns a 10-11-2 record and is 5-5-0 over its last 10 in the Shark Tank. Evander Kane has been strong at SAP Center this season, leading the squad in scoring on home ice with 10 goals and 12 assists while producing at least a point in three straight contests (three goals, three assists). Timo Meier has been the Sharks biggest contributor on the power play at home this year, collecting two goals and three assists on the man advantage.
Overall, the Sharks hold onto the sixth spot in the West Division with a 20-26-5 mark (45 points), trailing the fourth place St. Louis Blues (53) by eight points. The club is 2-7-1 over its last 10 contests and finishes out the campaign with its five remaining contests at home.
(OPPOSING) PLAYER TO WATCH: LOGAN COUTURE
Logan Couture is in his second season as the captain of the Sharks and 12th campaign with the club, compiling 273 goals and 304 assists in 766 contests. Since entering the league in 2009-10, the forward is second in game-winning goals for San Jose with 48 (tied), while ranking third in points (577) and fourth in assists.
This season, Couture has been a key piece of the offensive end, registering 17 goals and 31 points in 51 matchups. His 17 goals are the second-most on the roster and his 31 points are the third highest. When squaring off against the Avs, the veteran has collected two goals and two assists in six meetings, which is tied for the team lead after notching a marker in Saturday's game.
On the road, Colorado has averaged 32.3 shots per game and allowed just 26.0 shots against, ranking third in the NHL in shots for and first in shots against while away from home. Overall, the Avs own a 28-10-2 record when outshooting their opponent, the most wins in the league when putting more pucks on net.
Mikko Rantanen's 28 goals this season are the third most in the NHL, while his plus-27 rating is the second highest among forwards in the league. Rantanen has tallied at least a goal in his last four contests, while going a combined plus-6 in that stretch.
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare skated in his 500th NHL game on Saturday, becoming the second French player and the third French-born player to reach the milestone. The Le Blanc-Mensil, France native joined Antoine Roussel (544) and Paul MacLean (719), who was born in France but is Canadian.
Nathan MacKinnon's 20 goals this season mark the fourth straight season the forward has reached 20 tallies and the sixth time in his career… MacKinnon was named the West Division's Star for April after recording 21 points (nine goals, 21 assists) in the month, a new franchise record for April, topping Joe Sakic's previous mark of 17 that he set with the Quebec Nordiques in April 1995… The Avalanche owns a 13-8-2 record on the road this season, despite dropping its three previous contests… Colorado holds a 6-8-2 mark when giving up the first goal of the game after coming from behind in Saturday's matchup. When getting on the board first, the Avalanche boasts a 27-4-2 record, tied for the most wins in the NHL when scoring the game's initial goal… Nathan MacKinnon's 19 multi-point games and Mikko Rantanen's 18 lead the Avalanche this season. MacKinnon's 19 contests with more than one point are tied with the Edmonton Oilers' Leon Draisaitl for the second most in the NHL… The Avalanche's plus-51 goal differential is the second highest in the NHL.