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Avs Hand Sharks First Regulation Loss, 6-2

by Alex Aragon / San Jose Sharks

– Thanks in part to a career-high, five-point effort by Colorado forward Paul Stasny, the San Jose Sharks (1-1-1, 3 pts) fell to the Colorado Avalanche (2-1-0, 4 pts) on Sunday night, 6-2, at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

Click here for pictures (PICS ) and video (WATCH ) from Sunday night's game.

Stasny, a former teammate of Matt Carle’s at the University of Denver, scored the eventual game-winning goal and added four assists in the Avalanche victory. Ryane Clowe scored both goals for the Sharks who played their third game in four nights to open the season.

Colorado jumped out to an early lead behind power play goals by Joe Sakic and Milan Hejduk. Sakic’s goal at 15:18 came when Jeremy Roenick and Marc-Edouard Vlasic were both whistled for minor penalties on the same play, resulting in a 5-on-3 for the home team.

Roenick was whistled by the back referee for interfering with Jaroslav Hlinka, while Vlasic was called for slashing Hlinka by the referee deep in the Sharks zone. Hejduk’s goal at 17:53 came just 14 seconds after Joe Thornton was penalized for holding Ben Guite, giving the Avalanche the 2-0 lead after one.

The Sharks responded in the second, cutting the Avalanche lead in half at 7:47 of the middle frame. Joe Pavelski, Steve Bernier and Clowe jumpstarted the Sharks offense with a dominating shift that resulted in a rebound goal by Clowe. Head Coach Ron Wilson shuffled his lines, promoting rookie Torrey Mitchell to the top unit with Thornton and Captain Patrick Marleau, but the Sharks were unable to pull even as the period closed, 2-1, in favor of Colorado.

Steve Bernier follows his shot, but it is stopped by Colorado's Peter Budaj. Oct. 7, 2007. (AP Photo/Will Powers)
Back-to-back goals by Stasny and Hejduk at 51 seconds and 2:47 of the third respectively, gave the Avalanche a firm grasp of the game. Colorado piled on another pair of goals just 18 seconds apart making it 6-1 and chasing Evgeni Nabokov from the Sharks net.

Nabokov gave way to Dimitri Patzold who made his first career NHL appearance. Patzold turned aside both shots he faced in 11:47 of work.

Douglas Murray extended his League-lead in penalty minutes (22), adding five to his total after a bout with Colorado’s Ian Laperriere. Murray challenged Laperriere after taking exception to a hit from the Colorado winger in the early stages of the third. The fight was Murray’s second of the season.

Craig Rivet earned an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty late in the game after rushing to the aid of Milan Michalek. The Sharks winger got involved with Colorado defenseman Jeff Finger in front of the Avalanche cage. Rivet jumped in to make sure Finger did not take any liberties with Michalek, earning the extra minor in the exchange.

Several Sharks players and the coaching staff attended the Colorado Rockies series-clinching victory over the Philadelphia Phillies at Coors Field on Saturday night… Alternate Captain Mike Grier had a conundrum today. His father Bobby is the Associate Director of Pro Scouting for the Houston Texans. Grier’s brother Chris is the Director of College Scouting for the Miami Dolphins. The two teams played today in a spirited affair that was decided on a last-second Texans field goal... Former Sharks defenseman Scott Hannan, who signed with Colorado as a free agent this past offseason, met with several Sharks staffers and media prior to the game.

Marleau – Thornton – Cheechoo
Michalek – Mitchell – Roenick
Clowe – Pavelski – Bernier
Rissmiller – Goc – Grier

Vlasic – Murray
Carle – Rivet
McLaren – Ehrhoff

Nabokov – Patzold

The Sharks conclude their season opening four-game road trip on Wednesday night in Chicago against the Blackhawks. Game time is set for 5:30 PM (Pacific) and the game will be broadcast on FSN Bay Area, KFOX 98.5 FM, Sharks Radio Network Affiliates and

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