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The Colorado Avalanche lost only its third home contest of the season, dropping a 3-2 decision to the San Jose Sharks Monday night at Pepsi Center.Milan Hejduk
and Andrew Brunette notched a goal apiece for the Avalanche.
"“Every game is important, whether it’s game 35 or game 82," said Avalanche forward Ryan Smyth. "It’s important that you find ways to come up with wins or get a point or two.”
Milan Michalek opened the scoring for the Sharks at the 3:14 mark of the first period, but Hejduk struck back for the Avalanche only 12 seconds later. The veteran winger fired a wrist shot past San Jose netminder Evgeni Nabokov’s outstretched glove to even the game heading into the first intermission. With the goal, Hejduk extended his point streak to four games (3g/3a).
Steve Bernier gave San Jose a 2-1 advantage when his wrist shot from the slot snuck underneath Jose Theodore’s right arm at the 9:20 mark of the middle frame.
Mike Grier gave the Sharks a 3-1 lead with a goal at the 8:30 mark of the third period. Grier’s shot from just inside the blue line took a strange hop on its way to the net and bounced over Theodore’s left shoulder.
Brunette made it a one-goal game at the 16:55 mark of the third period off an assist from Brad Richardson. Brunette rifled a shot past Nabokov from the left circle following a faceoff win by Richardson.
Avalanche head coach Joel Quenneville pulled Theodore for an extra attacker in the game’s closing minute, but Colorado could not solve Nabokov.
“It’s one of those things," said John-Michael Liles about Grier's game-winning tally. "It’s unfortunate that that ended up being the winner but it’s one of those crazy things. What can you say?"Notes:
Theodore made his first back-to-back starts of the season and recorded 25 saves in the loss…The Sharks defeated the Avalanche by a 3-2 final for the second straight game, as they also knocked off the Avs 3-2 this past Friday night at HP Pavilion…Grier scored the winning goal in both games...The Avalanche sits two wins shy of 1,000 regular season victories as a franchise…In 16 seasons as the Quebec Nordiques and 11+ seasons as the Colorado Avalanche, the franchise has posted a 998-886-261-38 regular season record.