SAN JOSE, Calif. --
San Jose and Colorado renewed acquaintances Wednesday night at HP Pavilion with a netminding battle between Evgeni Nabokov and Jose Theodore.
Alexei Semenov returned to the lineup for the injured Douglas Murray
Just 13 seconds into the game, Joe Thornton
fed Jonathan Cheechoo on the doorstep, but Cheechoo had no room to shoot past Theodore.
There had already been some shoving in the game when unpleasantries broke out and Mike Grier and Cody McLeod were each given five minutes for fighting.
Halfway through the period, Colorado was outshooting San Jose 6-1 and on their seventh effort, they scored. A point shot by Brett Clark was redirected out front by Ben Guite
and it was sent right past Nabokov.
The Sharks went on the power play when Kurt Sauer interfered with Cheechoo at 16:48, but the Sharks were unable to convert.
Right after the Sharks power play expired, they were forced to call on their penalty killing unit. A too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty with 1:08 left in the first gave Colorado the man advantage.
The Sharks were outshot 13-4 in the opening frame and trailed 1-0 after the first period.
San Jose came out guns-a-blazing in the second, posting the first four shots. The hard work helped Cheechoo draw a tripping penalty for the second period’s first power play and Team Teal made it count.
On the goal, Captain Patrick Marleau
outhustled Colorado to a loose puck and it found its way back to Sandis Ozolinsh at the point. The blueliner cranked up as if shooting on net and instead found Marleau who had circled around to the other side. By that time, Theodore was completely out of position and Marleau easily put it in the empty net.
Hard work by the fourth line almost provided the lead moments later when Jeremy Roenick almost converted on a wraparound. The puck lay loose in front of the crease and both Joe Pavelski
and Jody Shelley were poking at it until the whistle blew.
Colorado pulled ahead when they took to the power play later in the second. Again it was a Clark slapshot that provided the tally, but this time it was T.J. Hensick who got his stick on the shot and sent it across the goal line.
Marleau had Theodore out of position late in the middle stanza, but couldn’t settle the puck down to get the shot on the open net.
San Jose outshot the Avalanche 16-5 in the second 20 minutes of the game, but once again trailed by one.
|Colorado Avalanche goalie Jose Theodore turns aside Sharks Jonathan Cheechoo on Feb. 6, 2008. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) |
With 14:40 to go in the third, and Cheechoo serving a questionable boarding penalty, Colorado looked primed to make it a two-goal lead. They were crashing the net and the initial shot went behind Nabokov. San Jose had lady luck in their side as the shot bounced off the post and Grier and Torrey Mitchell
took off to the races. They could not tie the game, but did earn a power play to kill off Colorado’s advantage.
Thornton’s line had two close scoring chances midway through the third, but somehow Theodore was able to scramble for the saves.
With 1:31 remaining in the game, the Avalanche iced the puck and Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson used the break in play to call a time out. When the Sharks returned to the ice, Nabokov was on the bench and a sixth skater was out to try and get the game-tying goal for San Jose.
On the ensuing faceoff, a Colorado defenseman cleared the puck up and over the glass, however no delay of game penalty was called.
Over the final minute of the game the Sharks had numerous scoring opportunities. The greatest chance came when a shot deflected off Cheechoo's skate from the side of the net and the puck sailed back across the open crease, but no Sharks player could get a stick on it.
After pressuring Theodore for over a minute, the Sharks sent a misfired pass straight to Jeff Finger, the Colorado defenseman was able to glide the puck along the length of the ice and into the open net with .6 seconds remaining in the game.
The open-net goal sealed the Avalanche's 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks. LINES
Nabokov-Greiss NEXT GAME
The Sharks will continue their six-game homestand when they play hosts to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday, February 8 at 7:30 PM (Pacific). The game will be available on FSN Bay Area in High Definition, 98.5 KFOX FM, Sharks Radio Affiliates and SJSHARKS.com.