March 10 2013; Denver, CO, USA; San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi (31) covers up a shot attempt by Colorado Avalanche right wing Aaron Palushaj (17) as defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic (44) and center Ryan O

San Jose Sharks Take On Colorado Avalanche in Saturday Matinee


After ripping off an impressive stretch of wins to begin the month of March, the San Jose Sharks have since come back down to Earth. They have lost three of their last four games, including a disappointing 4-3 loss at home to the Jets on Thursday.

On Saturday afternoon, the Sharks will take on the Colorado Avalanche on the road, facing a team that is also playoff-bound and looking to gain home-ice advantage in the first round.

San Jose, with 103 points, is only a point ahead of the Ducks, who have two games in hand on the Sharks. Meanwhile, the Colorado is a point behind Chicago for second place in the Central Division. Thus, while both teams can rest easy knowing they are in the postseason, they both have further goals to strive for.

The Avalanche are coming off a 3-2 win over the Canucks on Thursday night. They are led by Coach of the Year candidate Patrick Roy and young phenoms Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog. Semyon Varlamov has also been terrific in net for the Avs.

Tale of the Tape

Sharks

  • Goals for per game: 2.93 (7th)
  • Goals against per game: 2.32 (4th)
  • Shots per game: 34.8 (1st)
  • Shots against per game: 27.8 (5th)
  • Penalty minutes: 680 (5th)
  • Power play percentage: 17.3% (19th)
  • Penalty kill percentage: 84.5% (7th)

Avalanche:

  • Goals for per game: 3.01 (6th)
  • Goals against per game: 2.70 (15th)
  • Shots per game: 29.3 (T-21st)
  • Shots against per game: 32.6 (26th)
  • Penalty minutes: 762 (12th)
  • Power play percentage: 19.9% (9th)
  • Penalty kill percentage: 80.0% (25th)

Top Performers

Sharks: Joe Pavelski (37 G, 35 A),  Joe Thornton (11 G, 60 A), Patrick Marleau (31 G, 34 A)

Avalanche: Matt Duchene (22 G, 46 A), Gabriel Landeskog (23 G, 36 A), Ryan O’Reilly (26 G, 31 A)

Injury Report

Sharks: Tomas Hertl (knee) is on IR. Adam Burish (hand) is out. Raffi Torres (soreness) did not play on Thursday.

Avalanche: John Mitchell (back) has missed the past four games. PA Parenteau (knee) and Alex Tanguay (hip) are on injured reserve.

Probable Lines

SAN JOSE (47-19-9)

Forwards

Pavelski-Thornton-Burns

Marleau-Couture-Nieto

Kennedy-Wingels-Havlat

Brown-Desjardins-Sheppard

Defensemen

Vlasic-Demers

Irwin-Boyle

Stuart-Braun

Goalies

Niemi

Stalock

COLORADO (46-21-6)

Forwards

O’Reilly-Duchene-McGinn

Landeskog-Statsny-Mackinnon

Talbot-Mitchell-McLeod

Bordeleau-Malone-Cliche

Defensemen

Hejda-Johnson

Barrie-Holden

Sarich-Benoit

Goalies

Varlamov

Giguere

Game Info

Opening Face-off: 12:00 PM PST

Location: Pepsi Center, Denver, CO

TV: LOCAL

Tags: San Jose Sharks