Pickard, Avalanche defeat Sharks in shootout
Stadium Series game up next for Coloradoby Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent
DENVER -- Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon scored in the shootout to support goalie Calvin Pickard, and the Colorado Avalanche defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-3 at Pepsi Center on Wednesday.
Pickard made 30 saves through overtime before denying Sharks forwards Joonas Donskoi and Joe Pavelski in the shootout.
"He was outstanding, he played really well," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "He was sharp, he looked confident. I thought he made the key saves at the right moment, and he was outstanding in the overtime and shootout."
Pickard started because No. 1 goalie Semyon Varlamov was ill Tuesday and missed practice. Varlamov will play Saturday when the Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings face off in the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Coors Field (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports 2).
"Every night is a good chance for me to prove that I can play at this level," Pickard said. "It keeps me on my toes. It's been nice to get a bunch of opportunities here. If I get called upon again, I just want to take advantage of it."
Video: SJS@COL: Pickard denies Donskoi on breakaway in OT
The Avalanche have won all three of their shootouts, but this was Pickard's first of the season.
"My mindset is to stay patient," he said. "You're facing the best shooters in the world here and you don't want to bite on that first move because they'll make you look pretty silly. I did that for the most part. I got a bit lucky on the second one, but I tried to get as much body behind it."
The Avalanche (32-27-4) have won three of their past four games and five of seven.
Martin Jones made 38 saves for the Sharks (32-21-6), who went 3-1-1 on a five-game road trip.
"It's a good trip," coach Peter DeBoer said. "Some of the cities we're in and how desperate some of the teams are that we're playing, it's a good road trip. End of a trip, fifth game in 10 nights on the road, the guys found a way to get [a point]; that's important."
Video: SJS@COL: Ward taps in game-tying goal on the doorstep
San Jose tied it 3-3 on forward Joel Ward's goal with 1:31 remaining in regulation after Jones went to the bench for a sixth skater. Ward deflected center Joe Thornton's shot from the left side past Pickard.
"He kind of threw it from the corner, and Ward was standing there," Pickard said. "He batted it out of the air. It would have been nice to keep it 3-2 in regulation, but it's nice to get the two (points)."
Colorado took a 3-2 lead at 11:45 of the third period on Gabriel Landeskog's 15th goal. Landeskog kicked defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk's shot onto his stick and jammed it behind Jones.
The Avalanche tied it 2-2 on Jarome Iginla's power-play goal at 5:35 of the third after he drew a holding penalty on Donskoi. Defenseman Tyson Barrie passed to Iginla in the left circle for a one-timer past Jones' stick.
Video: SJS@COL: Iginla hammers a one-timer to even the game
The goal was Iginla's 18th of the season and 607th in his NHL career, one behind Dino Ciccarelli for 17th on the League's all-time list. He has three goals and three assists in a five-game point streak.
The Avalanche were in a 1-for-18 slump on the power play covering parts of six games before Iginla's goal.
Defenseman Brent Burns gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead at 1:50 of the third. He carried the puck behind the Avalanche net and banked it off Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson's right skate for his 20th goal. Burns has two goals and an assist in a three-game point streak.
Video: SJS@COL: Spaling, Matthias net goals in debuts
San Jose's Nick Spaling and Colorado's Shawn Matthias, who were linemates with the Toronto Maple Leafs as recently as Saturday, each scored in the first period in his first game with his new team.
"Funny how it works out sometimes," Matthias said. "Nick's a good guy; it was good to see him score."
Spaling beat Pickard to the short side at 2:10 with a shot from the right faceoff dot after he blocked a shot.
"It was nice to be able to get on the board early," Spaling said. "It was a little bit of a broken play. It was a good net drive by [Dainius Zubrus] there to create some space. We had some trailers coming into zone, I shot it, and it went in."
Spaling scored his first goal of the season Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers in his final game with Toronto, ending a 60-game drought dating to Feb. 15, 2015. He was traded Monday with defenseman Roman Polak for forward Raffi Torres and second-round picks in the 2017 and 2018 NHL Draft.
Matthias, who also scored Saturday, was acquired Sunday for minor-league center Colin Smith and a fourth-round pick in 2016. He knocked the rebound of Carl Soderberg's backhand shot behind Jones at 13:02 for his seventh goal.
"We got the puck to the net, we got bodies in front, and we made a good puck retrieval," Matthias said. "The puck was lying there. We just battled hard for that one. You couldn't draw it up any better. It felt good."