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Burns scores twice, Sharks top Avalanche

by Rick Sadowski

DENVER -- Brent Burns scored two goals and the San Jose Sharks ended a two-game losing streak with a 4-3 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Sunday.

Burns scored a shorthanded goal in the second period and gave the Sharks a 3-2 lead with 1:39 remaining in the third. He took a pass from Patrick Marleau and beat Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, who appeared to be screened by teammate Nick Holden and San Jose's Tomas Hertl, with a shot from the right circle.

"Patty made a great play delaying, created some space," Burns said. "Their guys all just kind of collapsed down and I was able to jump in and I just kind of shot it on net. It's nice to see chances finally go in and get rewarded."

Avalanche coach Patrick Roy used his coach's challenge, saying he thought Varlamov was interfered with before Burns' shot entered the net, but the goal stood.

Joe Pavelski scored into the Avalanche's empty net for a 4-2 lead with what turned into the winning goal with 1:20 to play because Colorado's Cody McLeod scored with 1:05 to go.

"That was a big win for us," Burns said. "Every game is so hard in this League."

The Sharks (6-5-0) opened a two-game road trip Saturday with a 5-3 loss to the Dallas Stars, their fifth defeat in six games after starting the season with four wins.

"A big two points, as big as two points can get [11] games into the season," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "We needed them. We had done enough to be close, but not enough to earn a win. Whether we had won or not, with the game we played I would have been happy. It's nice to get rewarded.

"It's probably the most honest game we've played for 60 minutes in a long time. You get rewarded for that. We've been close, but we haven't been [rewarded] and I thought we fixed that tonight."

The Avalanche (3-7-1) are 1-5-1 in their past seven games, and 1-4-1 at home. Six of their eight losses have been by one goal.

"We don't have the results for what we're doing, that's all that's missing right now," Roy said. "They took advantage of a bad line change and bad positioning in our D-zone and they scored that winning goal. It's just a frustrating situation right now. We do a lot of good things out there and we just can't get rewarded. It's amazing how many pucks we're missing in front of the net. It's just not bouncing in our favor right now, unfortunately for us. I really feel we deserved a lot better than we got."

The Avalanche and Sharks traded goals 21 seconds apart on the same Colorado power play in the second period and were tied 2-2 after the second period.

The Sharks took a 2-1 lead on Burns' shorthanded goal at 12:03 with Matt Nieto in the penalty box for hooking. Barclay Goodrow got the puck behind the net and passed to Burns at the right point for a shot that beat Varlamov to the glove side.

Francois Beauchemin scored his first goal for the Avalanche at 12:24 for Colorado's second power-play goal of the game. Gabriel Landeskog was deep on the right side when he took a shot that goalie Martin Jones stopped, but the rebound went to Beauchemin, who scored from the lower portion of the left circle.

The Avalanche opened the scoring at 5:17 of the first period on a power-play goal by Jarome Iginla, who shot the puck between Jones' pads from the right faceoff dot. The Avalanche went 0-for-14 on power plays on their recent three-game road trip and were 1-for-24 in the previous five games.

"We've struggled lately to score goals on the power play," Beauchemin said. "Finally, we did some good things today. Five-on-five, we just couldn't generate much. We had some good looks, but we need to learn more five-on-five. It seems like the power play wasn't going so well when we were on the road, we scored a couple goals five-on-five and now we're scoring goals on the power play and couldn't score any five-on-five."

The Sharks tied it 1-1 at 7:00 of the first period on a goal by Joel Ward, his sixth in the past five games and seventh overall. Marleau gained possession after Nathan MacKinnon's pass for Iginla along the boards bounced off the Avalanche forward's stick.

Marleau passed to Ward, who chipped the puck by Varlamov after powering his way to the net between Holden and Tyson Barrie.

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