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Sharks will play Avalanche in Western Conference Second Round

San Jose eliminated Golden Knights in Game 7; Colorado defeated Flames

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

The San Jose Sharks will play the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference Second Round.

The Sharks defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 5-4 in overtime in Game 7 of that best-of-7 series on Tuesday.

San Jose, which finished second in the Pacific Division, will have home-ice advantage against Colorado, which was the second wild card from the Western Conference. Game 1 is at SAP Center on Friday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVAS).

The Avalanche defeated the Calgary Flames 5-1 in Game 5 on Friday to end that first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series.

"They are a deep group," Sharks forward Joe Thornton said. "You don't beat Calgary if you're a one-line pony so they got a lot of good players on that team, good backend."

Video: COL@CGY, Gm5: Avs, Flames shake hands after Game 5

The Sharks were 3-0-0 against the Avalanche this season, with two one-goal wins. Brent Burns led San Jose with seven points (two goals, five assists), and Joe Pavelski had six points (two goals, four assists). Marcus Sorensen and Evander Kane each scored two goals. Martin Jones started each of the three games and had a 3.00 goals-against average and .900 save percentage.

"They're a real good team, a hundred-point team. Big, strong, fast, lots of shooters, mobile D-corps, they're getting the goaltending now," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "They're a tough team, no question. They've given us trouble all year."

Samuel Girard (one goal, three assists) and Gabriel Landeskog (four assists) each had four points, and Tyson Jost scored three goals for Colorado. Semyon Varlamov made two starts and allowed eight goals on 69 shots (4.18 GAA, .884 save percentage). Philipp Grubauer allowed four goals on 14 shots before being pulled 25:59 into his only start.

"They played extremely well, they looked fast, they looked dangerous every time they had the puck," Sharks forward Logan Couture said about the Avalanche in their first-round series. "Every time [Nathan] MacKinnon touched the puck, I thought he was going to score or create a scoring opportunity. They were fun to watch. ... If you watched a game of that series, there's no way you can take that team lightly. They looked really, really good."

Colorado has won two of four playoff series against San Jose but has lost the past two, including the most recent (Western Conference Quarterfinals in 2010, six games).

"Our guys should be confident based on the way we played down the stretch and in the playoffs," said Bednar. "At the same time, we know that San Jose is a really good team and we're going to have to play our best. We're going to have to be even better than we were against Calgary in order to beat them. They understand that, but I think that we all believe it's possible if we play the way that we can. That to me is the starting point to this series."


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