(Sports Network) - Colorado did something its last time out that no other team
has been able to do this season -- defeat the Chicago Blackhawks in
The Avalanche will try to build off that win on Sunday when they host the San
Jose Sharks at Pepsi Center.
Matt Duchene totaled a goal and three assists to lift Colorado to Friday's 6-2
rout of the mighty Blackhawks. The Avalanche used a four-goal second-period
burst to put a pair of monumental Chicago streaks to rest. Coming into the
contest, Chicago had gone 24 games from the start of this truncated season
with at least one point (21-0-3) and also won a franchise-record 11
But Duchene, John Mitchell, Ryan O'Reilly and Jamie McGinn all lit the lamp to
turn a tie game after one period into a 5-1 advantage and the hosts cruised
"What a special run they had. It was cool to end it here. We can enjoy it for
tonight, but then we have to get back to work," Duchene said following the
PA Parenteau and Paul Stastny added a score and two helpers each for the
Avalanche. Semyon Varlamov made 31 saves for his first win in three starts.
Despite the impressive win on Friday, Colorado still has only two victories
over its last eight games and is locked in a three-way tie for 12th place in
the Western Conference with 22 points.
The Avs have played the last three games without Milan Hejduk and the veteran
forward's injured torso will likely cause him to miss another contest on
San Jose has lost two straight but hopes to get back in the win column Sunday
against a team it has had considerable success against recently. The Sharks
are 2-0 against the Avalanche this season and have won four straight and seven
of eight in this series.
However, Colorado has fared better against San Jose on home ice, winning two
of three and four of its past six home tests against the Sharks. The Avs are
7-2-1 as the host this season compared to a 2-8-3 mark on the road.
After dropping Wednesday's 4-1 loss in Calgary, the Sharks returned home and
were handed Saturday's overtime setback by the St. Louis Blues. Patrik
Berglund scored the game-winner 72 seconds into overtime, lifting the visitors
to a 4-3 decision at HP Pavilion.
Berglund fought off San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle at the left side of the cage
and reached over his opponent to redirect a Barret Jackman shot home to end
San Jose goaltender Alex Stalock appeared in his second NHL game and was stuck
with the loss after allowing the deciding goal. Starter Antti Niemi was pulled
in the third period after giving up three goals on 28 shots.
Logan Couture, Scott Gomez and Matt Irwin tallied for the Sharks, who have
also lost three of their last five games.
San Jose led Saturday's game by a 3-1 score after two periods, but Vladimir
Sobotka, who recorded his first career hat trick in the game, tallied twice in
a span of 80 seconds in the third period to help send the game to overtime for
"That was a tough one to take," Couture said. "With a 3-1 lead going into the
third, obviously you don't want to give it up. It's tough right now to get
over, but we have a game tomorrow that we have to focus on. You think about
the mistakes you made, move on, and get better from it."
San Jose is 4-6-1 as the visiting team this season and is beginning a brief
two-game road trip on Sunday. The Sharks will end the swing with Tuesday's
rematch against St. Louis.
Sharks forward Martin Havlat missed his third straight game Saturday with a
lower-body injury and he is considered day-to-day.
The Sports Network