SAN JOSE, Calif.--After battling through a tight-checking San Jose Sharks defense for four periods, the Colorado Avalanche was finally able to get to its offensive game in the fifth frame of the clubs' Round 2 matchup.
Tyson Barrie was at the center of the Avs' success in the second period and the club's 4-3 victory in Game 2 on Sunday. The defenseman tied a career high with three points, recording a goal and two assists, and Colorado tied the second-round series at 1-1.
"Elite players, they find a way to generate offense even when the checking is tough, and that is what he did tonight," said Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar of Barrie.
Barrie had the primary assist/shot on Gabriel Landeskog's redirection tally that knotted the contest at one midway through the second, and he then found the back of the net for the first time in his playoff career with 3:29 remaining in the stanza to give the Avs the lead.
"I think we beat an icing out, and then it kind of bounced around a little bit and spit out to me," Barrie said of his scoring sequence. "It was wobbling a little bit, so I was just trying to make some contact with it. I honestly don't even know where it went."
Video: COL@SJS, Gm2: Barrie wires shot to top corner
The Victoria, British Columbia, native also assisted on Matt Nieto's marker midway of the third period that extended Colorado's lead to 3-1.
Barrie previously set his postseason career high with three assists in Game 5 of the team's Round 1 series at the Calgary Flames on April 19. That was the first time a Colorado defenseman had recorded three points in a playoff outing since Adam Foote (one goal, two assists) in Game 6 of the 2001 Stanley Cup Final at the New Jersey Devils.
Barrie has now accomplished the feat twice in three games, and his puck-moving abilities were key to the team erasing a one-goal deficit after the opening 20 minutes of play.
"We know there's going to be momentum swings and ups and downs, and they're going to have some leads and we're going to have some leads," Barrie said. "You just need to stick with it and keep playing the style of game that make you successful. I think we did a good job with that for the majority of the game."
Video: Tyson Barrie after the Game 2 win in San Jose
The veteran Avs rear guard now has six points (one goal, five assists) in his last three games and eight points (one goal, seven assists) in the past five contests. Sunday's performance was his fourth career multi-point outing of his 16-game playoff career.
Barrie, whose eight points in the postseason are tied for the fourth most among all league defensemen, also added four shots and two blocked shots in 22:52 of ice time in Game 2. He entered the contest leading the Avalanche in time on ice during the playoffs at 25:00.
The blueliner now has 14 points (one goal, 13 assists) in 16 career postseason outings.
POSTSEASON STREAKING: Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen each extended their respective point streaks to six games apiece on Sunday. MacKinnon had a goal and an assist, while Rantanen contributed a marker.
The forwards' streaks are the longest by an Avs player since Peter Forsberg (seven games) and Joe Sakic (six games) also had simultaneous point streaks of at least six games to begin the 2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Both players are tied for the team lead and second overall in NHL postseason scoring with 11 points each. MacKinnon has four goals and seven assists, while Rantanen has tallied five times and has added six helpers.
Video: COL@SJS, Gm2: MacKinnon scores empty-net goal
SHARKS NIETO-ED: Matt Nieto's tap-in goal midway through the third period was the forward's third of the postseason and set a new career high during a playoff run.
The tally proved to be important as it gave Colorado a two-goal advantage with 9:50 left to play. The Sharks ended up putting together a late rally to narrow the score.
"I think our line was grinding all night. We're in the offensive zone, not really getting a whole lot of looks but working down there and playing in the O-zone," Nieto said. "To get that one, where it is just sitting on the goal line and we're all battling to get there, that was nice."
It was Nieto's first even-strength goal of the playoffs, as his first two markers both came while the team was shorthanded in Games 2 and 3 of the first round versus the Calgary Flames.
The Long Beach, California, native, who began his NHL career with San Jose, now has five points (three goals, two assists) in seven 2019 playoff contests.
Video: COL@SJS, Gm2: Nieto puts it home in the crease
PUCK-MOVING D: The Avs used the same personnel for Game 2 as they did for the opening contest of the series, but they mixed up their defensive pairings for the start of the game.
Among the changes was having puck-moving defensemen Samuel Girard and Cale Makar skate together on a duo. They combined four five shots on goal and nine total shot attempts
"I just thought Makar had a real good impact last game, and I was expecting Girard to be better after missing some time," Bednar said after Sunday's victory. "He looked a bit rusty (in Game 1). Tough to create offense against this team, they check real hard. Getting those two guys together can help us as a five-man unit and help produce offense."
Girard had played with Erik Johnson for much of the season, while Makar was paired with Patrik Nemeth for most of his first four NHL games.
Colorado's scratches for a second consecutive game were Sven Andrighetto, Mark Barberio, Ryan Graves and Nemeth.
MORE POSTGAME NOTES: Nathan MacKinnon scored his fourth career postseason game-winning goal and second of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs (also: April 13 at Calgary). MacKinnon's four game-winners in the playoffs are tied for eighth (Sandis Ozolinsh) in Avalanche history (since 1995-96).
MacKinnon matched a postseason career high with seven shots (fourth time, last: April 17, 2019 vs. Calgary). MacKinnon's 36 shots in the playoffs rank second in the league behind only to Dallas' Tyler Seguin (37).
Gabriel Landeskog recorded his first multi-point game of the playoffs. It was his fourth such outing of his career and first since he tallied three points (one goal, two assists) against Nashville on April 16, 2018.
Matt Calvert had two assists for his third multi-point game in his postseason career (last: April 21, 2018 at Washington) and his first multi-assist playoff game of his career.