Dec 23, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks celebrate with center Patrick Marleau (12) after he scored the winning goal during the shootout against the Colorado Avalanche at SAP Center at San Jose. Sharks won 5-4 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Sharks Top Avalanche 5-4 In A Wild Finish

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Coming Back From Behind

San Jose Sharks
Dec 23, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau (12) celebrates after scoring the winning shootout goal against Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov (1) at SAP Center at San Jose. Sharks won 5-4 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche’s record may have been perfect before the end of tonight’s game when gaining the lead in the first period, but the San Jose Sharks showed they were not going to be let down by the score. While it seemed as though the Sharks were going to win the game 3-2, the Avs responded with a push and it seemed they were going to win, then San Jose tied it up again with just seconds remaining in regulation. A total of six Sharks scored throughout the game, including Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau.

Colorado Strikes First

Chances were going both ways in the first period, with San Jose eventually applying some pressure against the Avs in the offensive zone. However, it was Colorado who struck first, with a PP goal by rookie Nathan MacKinnon (Assists: Ryan O’ Reilly and Erik Johnson). About three minutes later, Sharks Captain Joe Thornton fed Jason Demers (Assists: Thornton and Brent Burns) with the perfect pass for a one-timer to tie it at 1 on their PP. Just when it seemed like the first period would finish at a tie game, Avs Captain Gabriel Landeskog put his team in front with just about 51 seconds left.

Sharks Mount First Comeback

In the second period, San Jose would not let Colorado’s lead frustrate them. Five minutes and fifty-three seconds into the stanza, Thornton fought off an Avalanche stick check along the boards and fed another nice pass to the late-man Burns (Assists: The Captain and Matt Irwin) who ripped the puck past Varlamov to tie the game again. Although, Patrick Marleau didn’t end up on the score sheet until the shootout, he created a nice opportunity for Irwin (Assists: Dan Boyle and Tommy Wingels) to blast a bomb of his own into the net to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead.

A Wild Third

For a while, it seemed the Sharks were going to keep their one-goal lead despite having various grade-A chances here and there. However, the Avs continued their determination and with just a little over two minutes left, Erik Johnson (Assists: Ryan O’ Reilly and Matt Duchene) tied the game back up again, seizing the momentum gained from their PP. And before the Sharks had any time to reset, Colorado scored again on ex-Shark Jamie McGinn’s 6th of the year (Assists: John Mitchell and Maxime Talbot) just twelve seconds later, stunning and surprising every Shark at SAP Center. The Sharks, however, refused to give up. With just about 21 seconds left in the period, Joe Paveski (Assists: Thornton and Burns) tied it up again at 4 on another sweet saucer by the Captain.

Shootout

Niemi was perfect in the shootout, stopping all two of Colorado’s shooters who faced him. Logan Couture may not have scored in regulation, but he can certainly be thankful he finally found the open twine when he snapped the puck past Varlamov.

Next Game @ Phoenix Coyotes

The Sharks will be in Glendale this Friday after the mandatory League-wide three-day Holiday break, where they will face the Desert Dogs (as the great Randy Hahn @sharkvoice would call them). Look out for a possible pre-game article before then, and don’t forget to tune in to the game at 6 PM PT to CSN-CA. You can also listen to the game on KFOX, the Sharks’ radio network.

Until then, we wish you all a Merry Christmas!

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