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Sharks 1, Avalanche 3: Bernier beats the boys

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The Colorado goaltender was the game breaker for San Jose.

San Jose Sharks v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

When the Sharks came out of the gate tonight, they looked like a team ready to win. With both San Jose and Colorado missing major contributors to their offense, it was difficult to anticipate how the game would play out, but following a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes, it seemed as though the Sharks were closer to figuring out their identity than the Nathan MacKinnon-less Avalanche.

In the first minute, both Logan Couture and Chris Tierney had a shot on goal. That set the entire tone for the first period, where Colorado was held to only three total shots on goal (and 12 shot attempts), and didn’t have a shot on goal after the first five minutes of the period.

The Sharks’ power play was given an opportunity to go to work when Anton Lindholm was called for interference near the end of the period, but Mikkel Boedker was called for holding a stick during the power play, taking away San Jose’s man-advantage. By the end of the period, the Sharks put up 14 shots on goal and 31 shot attempts.

Both teams seemed to wake up in the second, but San Jose still couldn’t crack Jonathan Bernier. Colorado’s extra pep in their step paid off early, with a goal from Gabriel Bourque two minutes into the middle frame. Two minutes later, they added insult to injury, Tyson Jost netting a goal following his assist on Bourque’s.

After the halfway mark, the Sharks finally found a way onto the scoreboard. After applied pressure, Joel Ward scored his fifth goal of the year, assisted by Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Barclay Goodrow. Initially waved off, believing to have hit the crossbar, the goal was determined to have crossed the line and bounced off the in-net camera after review.

The Sharks headed into the dressing room within one, putting up 12 shots on goal compared to the Avalanche’s seven.

Bernier held strong during the third period, but the Avalanche turned up the offensive pressure as well. Halfway through the period, the Avs came in for a strong shift and Timo Meier saved Jones’ bacon from a third goal.

However, the Avalanche would get their third goal with four seconds left in the game, after the Sharks pulled Martin Jones for an extra attacker. J.T. Compher, who set up the Bourque goal in the second, flung one into the empty net and the Avs won, 3-1.

At a glance, the Sharks appeared to dominate in every aspect of this game, making for a particularly frustrating loss:

http://hockeystats.ca

But the gap lessened when looking at scoring chances.

http://hockeystats.ca

The Sharks were putting shots on goal, but those weren’t necessarily quality scoring chances. Goaltending won the game for Colorado with Jonathan Bernier coming in huge, while the Sharks weren’t able to stop those chances on their own end.

Notes

  • Jones only faced 19 shots through the entire game, letting in two. Bernier stopped an impressive 38 of 39 shots.
  • The Avs are continuing their nine-game win streak at home, even without MacKinnon.
  • Tyson Jost’s game-winner was his first ever in the NHL. It was also his first goal in ten games.
  • Speaking of dry spells, Joel Ward’s goal was his first in 30 games, having last scored on November 22nd against the Arizona Coyotes.