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Sharks let opportunity slip away in Game 6 OT loss to Avalanche

Feel confident they will prevail in Game 7 on home ice

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- The San Jose Sharks regret letting the opportunity to clinch the Western Conference Second Round against the Colorado Avalanche slip away but took solace with the knowledge they will get another chance on home ice.

The Avalanche tied the best-of-7 series with a 4-3 overtime win in Game 6 at Pepsi Center on Monday. Game 7 is at San Jose on Wednesday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).

"Game 7, one game at home to move on to the Western Conference Final," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "We would've taken that at any point this season. I'm not surprised it's seven based on how we played each other. It's been punch, counterpunch, punch."

The Sharks were confident heading to overtime after defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored his second goal of the game for a 3-3 tie with 2:28 remaining in the third period, the third time they came back from a goal down to tie it.

"We were positive, we felt like we could win this game," center Logan Couture said. "We just needed a little bit more, we needed a little bit more people involved in the game."

 

[RELATED: Sharks vs. Avalanche series coverage | Avalanche prove future now with Game 6 win]

 

The Sharks kept Colorado's top line of Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen in check through three periods, but it was on the ice when rookie defenseman Cale Makar took a shot from the blue line and Landeskog whacked it past goalie Martin Jones 2:32 into overtime.

"Those guys are going to create opportunities, they're good players, so it's about limiting the A1 chances for them," defenseman Brenden Dillon said. "We did a good job against them for the most part, but sometimes it takes longer than 60 minutes to shut them down."

The Avalanche used secondary scoring to survive, with two goals from J.T. Compher and one from Tyson Jost.

"I mean, their depth guys beat us tonight," Couture said. "We got beat by J.T. Compher, Tyson Jost, their second and third lines. Our depth guys have to be better than their depth guys.

"We turned pucks over again. I thought we were soft in a lot of areas. I thought we were soft in our end, but once we forechecked we played in their end, had good shifts, sustained pressure. We've just got to be smarter with the puck and not turn it over, win some more battles."

Video: Landeskog scores OT winner as Avalanche force Game 7

All three of San Jose's goals were scored by defensemen. Vlasic scored his first at 14:36 of the second period to tie the game 1-1, and Brent Burns made it 2-2 at 19:50, 1:06 after Compher scored the first of his two goals.

"They went up, we came back," forward Timo Meier said. "We fought, we battled hard, but just not enough. We didn't have enough guys for the whole game and being ready to compete and win this game."

The Avalanche outshot the Sharks 11-5 in the first period and drew two penalties.

"I thought in the first period we turned some pucks over and fed the rush," DeBoer said. "That probably got us on our heels, took a couple penalties. That was the period I thought they had us on our heels quite a bit. I thought in the second and third we cleaned that stuff up and were pretty good."

The Sharks were down 3-1 in the first round against the Vegas Golden Knights but won three straight, including a 5-4 overtime win in Game 7.

"I think we're going to have to take confidence out of that," Dillon said. "We've got guys in here that have played in Game 7s, have played in hostile environments, home and away, and we worked all year to get home ice advantage like this. 

"We knew going into Game 5 that we were going to have a best of three and that we were going to have home ice, and here we are, going back home in front of our fans. We're going to have to bring our best to beat this team."

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