San Jose concluded their road trip with a 3-1-1 record, picking up seven out of a possible 10 points.
In the final stop of their five-game road trip, the San Jose Sharks couldn’t quite contain the speed and skill of the Colorado Avalanche. While the Sharks were able to force overtime late in the third period, they were unable to grab the extra point on this night, falling 4-3 to the Avalanche in the shootout.
From the get go, it was obvious that San Jose was going to have trouble containing the offensive firepower of Colorado as they used their speed to affect the Sharks defense all night long. Colorado outshot the Sharks 41-33 on this night as they came in waves in this one. Despite that, San Jose had some quality opportunities to win the game in the overtime session that they couldn’t quite convert.
It was a great start for one of San Jose’s newcomers as just 2:10 into the contest, Nick Spaling gave the Sharks the early advantage. After blocking a shot inside his defensive zone, Spaling skated in and fired a perfect shot over the glove of Colorado netminder Calvin Pickard on his first shift in teal.
The Sharks weren’t the only ones debuting a former Maple Leaf in their lineup as the Avalanche made a deal to acquire Shawn Matthias, and wouldn’t you know, Matthias would make a nice impression on his teammates as well. Matthias would corral a loose puck in front of Martin Jones and find the open net off some poor defensive coverage from San Jose following the faceoff.
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After an evenly played second where neither team could find the back of the net, things ratcheted up in the third period. Brent Burns would give the Sharks the lead once again as he skated around the net and his centering feed bounced in off the skate of Erik Johnson for his 20th goal of the season less than two minutes into the final frame.
For the second time, San Jose was unable to hang on to the lead as the Colorado power play struck. With Joonas Donskoi in the box for holding, Jarome Iginla one-timed one past Jones on the short side for his 18th of the season as things were all knotted up once again.
With the Avalanche pushing for the lead, they were able to finally convert off the rush as Gabriel Landeskog jammed in his own rebound at the 11:45 mark, giving Colorado their first lead of the contest. The Sharks were unable to contain the speed of the Avs on the wing which allowed Landeskog time in front of the net.
Now, it was San Jose’s opportunity to respond, and it was all set up by who else but Joe Thornton. With the extra attacker on and after some nice work to keep the puck in at the blue line, Thornton found Joel Ward in front as Ward re-directed his 17th goal past Pickard to tie things up at three with 91 seconds remaining.
Just like the rest of the game, the overtime session was filled with chances both ways as Jones came up with five big saves, while Pickard denied Donskoi on a breakaway and Burns missed the net on his own attempt in close.
In the shootout, Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene found the back of the net while Pickard denied Donskoi and Joe Pavelski as the Sharks couldn’t end their trip on a high note.
While it was another successful road trip for the boys in teal, it was tough not to grab the extra point in this one. With 70 points, San Jose finds themselves four points back of the Kings and two behind the Ducks in the chase for the Pacific Division title.
Team teal returns home for a brief stop against another young team with plenty of speed in the Buffalo Sabres as Sharks fans get their first look at Jack Eichel Friday night.