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Sharks return home to face Avalanche

by Deborah Francisco

AVALANCHE (7-8-2) at SHARKS (8-6-3)


Last 10: Colorado 4-4-2, San Jose 1-6-3

Season series: This is the second of three meetings. The Sharks blanked the Avalanche 4-0 in their first contest on Jan. 26.

Big story: Both the Avalanche and Sharks are desperate for a win after struggling to gain points in the standings over the last few weeks.

Team Scope:

Avalanche: Colorado currently sits at the bottom of the Northwest Division standings with 16 points in 17 games played. The Avalanche are coming off of two consecutive losses, including a 4-3 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday despite boasting a 2-0 lead in the first period.

"Right now, our focus is trying to gain points," coach Joe Sacco said. "Unfortunately, we fell short on picking up the second one."

Sharks: The Sharks will be without forward Ryane Clowe for the next two games as the forward was suspended for coming off the bench to initiate an altercation with Chicago's Andrew Shaw on Feb. 22. The Sharks are looking to break out of a funk that started at the beginning of February, which has seen them notch just one victory in their last 10 games. They’ve been outscored 25-12 in that span.

"[Saturday was] more of the same. Pretty good effort, but you can't take consolation in that," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. "You have to put points in the bank, and we're not doing it right now. You can't win games scoring one goal.”

Who's hot: PA Parenteau has four points in the past four games and is Colorado’s leading goal-scorer this season with eight tallies. … Patrick Marleau boasts a team-best 12 goals so far this season and has three points in his last three games.

Injury report: Erik Johnson (head) and Ryan Wilson (leg) remain out indefinitely for Colorado. … For San Jose, defenseman Brent Burns is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

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