San Jose dominated the game...with the exception of the opening 10 minutes. Colorado opened the scoring with a Paul Stasny wrister that squeaked under the right pad of Alex Stalock. Joe Pavelski gave Stasny too much space to work near the goal-mouth and the Sharks were chasing after just 1:33 of play. Captain America tied the game at 1-1 just two minutes later, but the Sharks weren't quite done hecking up this period.
Dan Boyle tried to bat down a puck with his hand while the Sharks were on their second powerplay of the night, but he fanned and it glanced over to Cody McLeod as he entered the Sharks zone. He was able to beat Stalock five-hole and give the Avalanche the lead back.
From this point forward the Sharks were the better hockey team. As usual, we refer to the Fenwick chart from our good friends at Extra Skater dot com.
Varlamov played a hell of a game tonight to go along with having a phenomenal season*. He's a huge factor in the Avalanche going from 29th in the league last year to a potential division winner this year. This game, for me, illustrates the difference between a bad loss and just a regular old "that's hockey" loss. The Sharks were the better team tonight and they lost. It's too bad, particularly because this puts the division all but out of reach, but if they play like this in the playoffs, they'll at least make it seven games in the first round. Optimism!
*Minus the part where he was accused of assaulting a woman. Right. So.
- Matt Irwin had six shots on goal today and James Sheppard chipped in with five of his own.
- Scott Hannan was the only Shark to not have a shot on goal. Imagine my surprise.
- Alex Stalock had a shaky performance today, proving that he is in fact fallible. Needless to say, winning in the playoffs will be much easier if both Antti Niemi and Stalock are on top of their games.
- Dan Boyle has goals in back-to-back games and the Sharks have lost them both. Stop scoring, Dan.
- Logan Couture took a knee to his knee and appeared to be in some discomfort the rest of the game. A couple of days off will do him good.
- James Sheppard was checked hard into the boards and went back to the dressing room in the second period, but was able to play in the third.
- Jamie McGinn collided with Matt Duchene, sending Duchene out of the game in the first period. He is listed with a knee injury and did not return.
- San Jose heads home to play the Oilers on Tuesday.
FTF Three Stars
1st Star: Semyon Varlamov
2nd Star: Unforced errors by the Sharks
3rd Star: John Mitchell