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game recap

Avalanche shut out Sharks in Game 4, even Western series

Grubauer makes 32 saves; MacKinnon extends point streak to eight with goal

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent

Grubauer's pad save on Nyquist

SJS@COL, Gm4: Grubauer stretches to deny Nyquist

R2, Gm4: Gustav Nyquist tries to bury a nifty move on a break, but Philipp Grubauer comes up with a big pad save late in the 2nd

  • 00:48 •

DENVER -- Philipp Grubauer made 32 saves for the Colorado Avalanche in a 3-0 win against the San Jose Sharks in Game 4 of the Western Conference Second Round at Pepsi Center on Thursday.

The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2 with Game 5 at San Jose on Saturday.

"[Grubauer] was great tonight," said Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon, who scored a goal to extend his point streak to eight games (six goals, seven assists). "It would be awesome to win Game 5 and come back here 3-2."

 

[WATCH: Sharks vs. Avalanche Game 4 highlights | Complete series coverage]

 

It was Grubauer's first Stanley Cup Playoff shutout.

"Yeah, it's huge, but all we needed was the win," Grubauer said. "As long as we could keep the zero up there, the better it is, the better the chance we have to win. I learned from last game, that was horrible. We were really good on the forecheck today. We were on them, we didn't give them any time to get the puck into our zone."

Video: SJS@COL, Gm4: MacKinnon bats in opening goal

Martin Jones made 25 saves on 27 shots for San Jose.

"Let's be honest, I don't think anybody was thinking we were going to come here and sweep both games," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said, referring to their 4-2 win in Game 3 on Tuesday. "We had a chance to (win) halfway through the game, and we just didn't get it done."

The Avalanche reunited their top line of Gabriel Landeskog, MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, and the three combined for a goal, two assists and 13 shots on goal.

"They're good, they're going to create stuff," San Jose defenseman Erik Karlsson said. "I think we keep it to a limit where we can control it. They're still going to create stuff and score goals, and we have to find a way around it. Today wasn't our best effort. We just have to learn from it and go back to San Jose and put up a better effort next game."

MacKinnon gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead at 10:34 of the second period. Rantanen was in the slot when he deflected Cale Makar's shot. Jones made the save, but MacKinnon batted in the rebound of his initial shot from near the left post.

"I just cleaned up garbage, nothing really," MacKinnon said. "Good play by Cale. High tipped to Mikko, and I found a quiet area on the other side of the net. We just wanted to stick with it. You never know when you're going to get [a goal]. We were prepared for a 0-0 game the whole way.

"It just felt like a really tight game out there. We had some looks, not a ton. That's OK, it's playoff hockey, ready to win every game 1-0. We'll take that."

Said Jones: "A high tip that caught me in the mask. It just kind of sat there for him, and he whacked it in."

Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said they'll need more goals like MacKinnon's to win the series.

"I love it as a coach because I don't think you're going to be dancing around and making a bunch of high-skilled plays in traffic and score the highlight-reel goal that's going tic-tac-toe," Bednar said. "I don't see that happening. If you look at the goals that are scored in this series, guys are shooting, there's traffic. Both goals were the exact same way."

Colin Wilson made it 2-0 at 3:11 of the third period on the power play. Rantanen skated to the net and made a behind-the-back pass to Wilson at the edge of the crease.

"It was kind of a scramble," Rantanen said. "I saw in the corner of my eye [Wilson] was backdoor, and Jones had pretty good position on me and trying to stuff it through his pads wasn't going to work for me. [Wilson] was in a good spot, and it was a good goal."

Erik Johnson scored an empty-net goal from below the goal line in the Colorado zone with 1:09 remaining for the 3-0 final.

Video: SJS@COL, Gm4: Wilson nets sweet dish from Rantanen

 

They said it

"Halfway through I thought whoever was going to score first was probably going to win. They got the goal, they got the energy, they started to grab some of the momentum, win a few more battles than we were winning. I felt the game was right there at least up until that point on. But we came and got our home-ice advantage back, now go home and take care of business." -- Sharks coach Peter DeBoer

"Compared to the other games, they didn't have as many high-quality scoring chances. That means we were doing a great job in the middle of the ice and keeping them to the outside. It makes it easy for me." -- Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer

 

Need to know

MacKinnon's point streak is tied for the third longest in the playoffs by an Avalanche player. Peter Forsberg had an eight-game streak in 2002, Claude Lemieux a nine-game streak in 1997, and Joe Sakic a 10-game streak in 1996. … Grubauer's shutout was the first by a Colorado goalie since a 1-0 win by Craig Anderson on April 18, 2010, against San Jose in Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. … The Avalanche went 1-for-5 on the power play and are 2-for-14 in the series. … The Sharks were 0-for-2 and are 1-for-10 in the series.

 

What's next

Game 5 of Western Conference Second Round at SAP Center on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)

Video: Grubauer shuts out Sharks, Avalanche even series

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