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Avs Return Home To Host Sharks In Series Finale

Colorado and San Jose close out their home-and-home series at Pepsi Center

by Danielle Bernstein / ColoradoAvalanche.com

The Colorado Avalanche and the San Jose Sharks play the second game of their home-and-home series on Monday at Pepsi Center. It's the second and final time the teams will meet this season, as the Sharks are the only Pacific Division team the Avs play just twice during the 2016-17 campaign. It's also the second to last game for Colorado before the All-Star break, both of which will be played inside the friendly confines.

The Avs are 39-31-12 overall against San Jose but have had much more success on home ice, where they've posted a 22-12-6 record in the all-time series. Colorado is 6-3-1 in its last 10 meetings against San Jose at Pepsi Center.

Last Time Out

The Avalanche and Sharks clashed just two nights ago at SAP Center in San Jose, where the Sharks took a 3-2 overtime win. Goaltender Spencer Martin made his first career NHL start and finished with 27 saves. Nathan MacKinnon and Francois Beauchemin were the goal scorers for the Avs, who lost in overtime for the first time this season.

Joel Ward and Melker Karlsson scored in regulation, and David Schlemko potted the overtime-winner for the Sharks, who have won seven of their nine contests that have needed an extra frame this year. Martin Jones stopped 31 of the 33 shots he faced.

Video: Preview of the second half of the home-and-home

What to Watch

Sharks Supporting Cast

The San Jose's heavy hitters were relatively quiet in the first matchup on Saturday, as its top five scorers were held to two combined points. The Sharks' offense ranks eighth in the month of January with 31 goals and some of that production has come from outside their top two lines. Joel Ward ranks second on the team in January with eight points and Melker Karlsson has put up four of his 12 points this season so far this month.

Avs Coming On

The Avalanche has put up 30 or more shots on net in four of its last six outings, including 33 in Saturday night's game in San Jose, and has entered the third period with a one-goal lead in three of its last four games. Head coach Jared Bednar is seeing improvement, even though the Avs haven't seen the results that come with it.

"We are coming on. It's discouraging at times because you don't get the results. It's those one or two mistakes you have to find a way to cure, to eliminate them as much as you possibly can," he said after Colorado's overtime loss to San Jose on Saturday. "Make sure you're not making the same mistakes over and over. But we're playing real good hockey against real good teams right now, and we're fighting in all the games."

Player to Watch

Colorado: Center Nathan MacKinnon

MacKinnon has averaged a point per game in his career against San Jose, totaling 10 points (seven goals and three assists) in 10 career games against the Sharks. Five of those seven goals are power-play goals, his most against a single opponent in his career so far, which puts him in third place for the Avalanche in all-time man-advantage goals against San Jose.

San Jose: Center Joe Thornton

Thornton has 48 points (11 goals and 37 assists) in 40 career contests against Colorado and is tied with Patrick Marleau as the organization's all-time leading scorer against the Avalanche.

The Details

Monday night's tilt between the Avs and Sharks is a national broadcast and can be seen on NBCSN beginning at 7 p.m. MT. Fans can tune into Altitude Sports AM 950 in the Denver area or online at ColoradoAvalanche.com to listen to the action. Marc Moser and Peter McNab will have the call on the radio broadcast.

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