Skip to main content

Sharks go for back-to-back wins in Colorado

by Davis Harper

SHARKS (11-5-1) at AVALANCHE (9-10-1)

TV: CSN-California (HD), ALTITUDE (HD)

Last 10:
San Jose 7-2-1; Colorado 3-6-1.

Season Series: This is the first of four meetings between the teams. San Jose took three of four from Colorado in 2010-11, including a 2-1 shootout win on March 1.

Big Story:
Colorado is hopeful that what transpired Friday is a sign of things to come. While the Avs are winners of just two of nine, they want to use a 3-0 victory against the Dallas Stars as a way to build momentum. Meanwhile, San Jose is rolling right along atop the Pacific Division with wins in five of its last seven.

Team Scope:

On Sunday, San Jose will bring its impressive 6-2 road mark - including Saturday's 4-1 throttling of Dallas - to the Pepsi Center.

"For whatever reason, we're confident on the road," Joe Thornton said after the Dallas game. "We like playing on the road. It took us a while to get into the game, but we got our legs and got going."

Getting into the game early will be key to San Jose's success. The Sharks are 6-0-0 when scoring first.

"I think that [scoring the first goal] was important for us," coach Todd McLellan said. "They had us on our heels. They really did in the first period. Prior to the game, we talked about composure and discipline. We know they have taken a ton of penalties. We thought that would come into play at some point. "

Avalanche: After losing two straight on the road and seven of eight overall, Colorado kicked off an eight-game homestand with Friday's win. The shutout was Jean-Sebastien Giguere's first since the 2008 playoffs, and the win was only Colorado's third of the season in nine games at home.

Before the game, coach Joe Sacco shuffled all four lines in an effort to revive his flat-lining offense, and it was his fourth line - and Chuck Kobasew -- who responded with the only goal through two periods.

"Like I said before, when things don't go well, when you're going through a tough stretch, I'm not afraid to shake things up," Sacco said. "I thought they all played well and were very effective."

Who's Hot: Giguere has won two of his last three decisions and allowed only one goal in the loss. The veteran is earning more playing time because Semyon Varlamov is winless in his last six decisions. … Matt Duchene has three goals in his last four games for Colorado.

Injury Report:
Colorado center Mark Olver and winger Peter Mueller are on injured reserve with head injuries. … San Jose is healthy except for backup goalie Antero Niittymaki, who's recovering from abdominal surgery.

Stat Pack: Colorado possesses the second-best power-play conversion rate (26.1 percent) in the League, but during its losing streak it looked like one of the worst. Paul Stastny broke an 0-for-12 skid Friday night with his man-advantage rebound goal. … San Jose trails close behind the Avalanche in the power-play department at 22.6 percent and was 2-for-5 Saturday.

Puck Drop: "We've been playing hard lately without much success. We really bore down tonight and did a lot of good things, shot a lot of pucks. Our power play came through at the end and we stayed disciplined and played well defensively. That's the kind of game we have to play at home." -Giguere on his team's progression.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.