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Avalanche at Sharks: Lines, gamethread, and where to watch

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Two teams with a whole lot to lose face off with big implications.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Sharks (44-26-10, 2nd Pacific) will try to stop a four game losing streak against the visiting Colorado Avalanche (42-29-9, 4th Central). The Avs are desperate, they cling to the Western Conference's second wild card spot by a single point over the St. Louis Blues and, with a head to head match up scheduled for Saturday evening, every point counts for a Colorado team attempting a trip to the second season for the first time since 2014 under first year head coach and paragon of silent and respectful stoicism Patrick Roy.

Especially after dropping three points in back to back games against the Ducks in Anaheim and the Kings in Los Angeles; Colorado is stumbling at the worst possible time. Hart Trophy finalist Nathan MacKinnon leads the team in points (94), goals (38), and assists (56), but he's cooled off right along with his team lately, recording two assists in his last six games after piling up 17 goals and 31(!) points in the previous 16 (!!). The Avs are 1-3-1 in their last five, and will be hungry and desperate tonight. Considering they're 2-0 against the Sharks so far this year, this will not be an easy time to reverse San Jose's fortunes.

In San Jose's 4-2 loss to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, Logan Couture (33) hitting his career high in goals seems a cold comfort. The Sharks hold the slimmest of leads in the division, just one point ahead of the Ducks and two ahead of the Kings. A regulation loss tonight, paired with a Kings win over the visiting Minnesota Wild, would knock the Sharks into third place and out of home ice.

Both teams are beset by some serious injuries, so we can't really use that excuse. Per head coach Peter DeBoer this morning, Joachim Ryan is healthy, but will sit tonight instead of replacing Paul Martin, for some reason; Evander Kane is progessing, and guaranteed he'd be ready by the post season, and Melker Karlsson is considered a game time decision after missing this morning's skate. Colorado's situation may be even more dire: Semyon Varlamov and Erik Johnson are both out for the foreseeable future, making their last grasp at some of that sweet, sweet playoff revenue even more desperate.

Hold onto your butts.

Sharks Lines

Timo Meier -- Joe Pavelski -- Joonas Donskoi

Tomas Hertl -- Logan Couture -- Mikkel Boedker

Jannik Hansen -- Chris Tierney -- Kevin Labanc

Marcus Sorensen -- Dylan Gambrell -- Joel Ward

Paul Martin -- Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon -- Dylan DeMelo

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Joakim Ryan

Injured: Evander Kane (undisclosed), Joe Thornton (knee), Barclay Goodrow (broken finger), Eric Fehr (lower body), Melker Karlsson (undisclosed)

Avalanche Lines

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Sven Andrighetto -- Alexander Kerfoot -- Tyson Jost

Matt Nieto -- Carl Soderberg -- Blake Comeau

Colin Wilson -- J.T. Compher -- Gabriel Bourque

Nikita Zadorov -- Tyson Barrie

Patrik Nemeth -- Samuel Girard

Mark Barberio -- Mark Alt

Jonathan Bernier

Andrew Hammond

Scratched: David Warsofsky , Nail Yakupov, Duncan Siemens, Dominic Toninato, Anton Lindholm, Vladislav Kamenev

Injured: Semyon Varlamov (knee), Erik Johnson (knee)

Where to Watch

Broadcast: NBCSCA+, ALT

Stream: NHL.tv / NHL App

Radio: 98.5 KFOX / NHL App / Sharks App