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Colorado Begins California Trip in San Jose

Avalanche kicks off a two-game stretch in the Golden State on Friday

by Dan Vatch / ColoradoAvalanche.com

The Colorado Avalanche (28-24-12) faces off against the San Jose Sharks (37-19-8) at SAP Center on Friday at 8:30 p.m. MT in the first stop of a two-game road trip in California.

It is the second of three meetings this season between the Western Conference foes, with both remaining contests coming in San Jose. The Avs own a 41-34-12 all-time mark against the Sharks (since 1995-96), with a road record of 17-20-6. Colin Wilson (four goals, 11 assists) and Nathan MacKinnon (nine goals, six assists) share the team lead in scoring against San Jose among active Colorado players, with 15 career points each.

After Friday's game, the Avalanche travels to Honda Center for a clash against the Anaheim Ducks at 2 p.m. MT on Sunday.

The Avs and Sharks will also meet in the final game of the regular season on April 6.

Last Time Out

The Avs prevailed 3-2 over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday after winning a six-round shootout at Pepsi Center. Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen provided the regulation scoring for Colorado, and Sven Andrighetto, Colin Wilson and Gabriel Landeskog each registered a helper. Carl Soderberg scored the game-deciding goal in the shootout for Colorado, while netminder Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves through OT and another five in the tiebreaker. It was the 21st time this season the Samara, Russia, native had stopped at least 30 shots in a game. As a team, the Avalanche successfully killed all five penalties it took.

San Jose fell 4-1 to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday at TD Garden. Logan Couture netted San Jose's only goal on an unassisted tally to begin the game's scoring, but Boston recovered with four unanswered markers. Martin Jones made 28 saves in net for the Sharks as the club recorded a season-high 47 penalty minutes.

Last Time They Met

San Jose beat Colorado 5-4 on Jan. 2 at Pepsi Center in the teams' first meeting of the season. Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns paced the Sharks in the contest, with a goal and three assists each, while Evander Kane, Joonas Donskoi and Lukas Radil rounded out the scoring for the Sharks. San Jose netminder Martin Jones made 31 saves on the night. For the Avalanche, Tyson Jost netted his second-career two-goal outing while Matt Calvert and Tyson Barrie each recorded a marker as well. Colorado nearly erased a four-goal deficit in the game but came up one tally short. Philipp Grubauer made 10 saves in net for the Avs and Pavel Francouz stopped 12 shots in a relief appearance.

What To Watch

Killin' It

After holding Vancouver scoreless on its five power-play opportunities in the win on Wednesday, the Avalanche has now registered 27 contests this season with a perfect penatly kill. Colorado has not allowed a man-advantage goal in six of its last 10 outings. The Avs have killed 27-of-31 opponent power plays in their last eight games. 

Road Warriors

The Avs have won their last three matchups away from Pepsi Center with victories in Winnipeg, Chicago and Nashville and are 3-0-3 in their last six road outings. Colorado's season-long road-win streak occurred from Nov. 11 to Dec. 2 when the club won six consecutive contests as the visiting team. The Avalanche has 15 road victories during the 2018-19 campaign, matching its road-win total from a season ago.

Players To Watch

Colorado: Center Colin Wilson

The 29-year-old recorded an assist on Wednesday night in his first game action since Feb. 10. Wilson, who missed eight contests with an upper-body injury, now has 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) in 47 contests this year, surpassing the 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) he recorded last year, his first with the Avalanche.

San Jose: Defenseman Brent Burns

The Sharks' leading scorer also paces all NHL defensemen with 70 points (13 goals, 57 assists) this season. Since his league debut in 2003, the native of Barrie, Ontario, has registered 41 points (15 goals, 26 assists) in 55 career games against Colorado, the most of any blueliner versus the Avs during that stretch.

Lineup Notes

Defenseman Ian Cole could return to action on Friday, Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said during his media availability after practice on Thursday. Bednar added that splitting up the two road starts between netminders Semyon Varlamov and Philipp Grubauer is also a possibility.

The Details

Friday's clash between the Avalanche and Sharks is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. MT. The game can be watched locally on Altitude or streamed on select devices with the AltitudeNOW app (in market) or NHL.tv (out of market). The radio broadcast can be heard on Altitude Sports Radio FM 92.5 in the Denver area or online at ColoradoAvalanche.com.

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