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Sharks continue dominance of Avalanche with shootout win

The SportsXchange

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Colorado Avalanche continue to be the perfect tonic for what ails the San Jose Sharks.

The struggling hosts extended a regular-season winning streak to 13 straight over Colorado, but the Sharks needed a shootout to do it. Patrick Marleau scored in the fourth round to win it 3-2 as San Jose won for only the second time in 11 games.

"Any building on the road is hard to play in," Colorado coach Joe Sacco said. "You've got to get dialed in, make sure that your intensity level is high and you don't have the luxury of certain match-ups you might like."

Michal Handzus also scored for San Jose, but Colorado's P.A. Parenteau slipped a forehand through San Jose goalie Antti Niemi in the third round to extend the shootout.

"I liked the fact we showed some resiliency down the stretch," Sacco said. "It's a big point for us on the road. It's disappointing we couldn't scratch out that second point."

The Sharks, who produced the only two shots of overtime, outshot the Avalanche 41-27 over 65 minutes.

Colorado fourth-line center Mark Olver was credited with the tying goal at 16:44 of the third period, a goal-mouth scramble that didn't count until it was reviewed by video.

"We had good contributions from our role players chipping in both goals," Sacco said.

The Sharks scored the only goal of a middle period in which it dominated with a 14-6 edge in shots.

Coach Todd McLellan changed one forward on each of his four lines after the first period, and it was the fourth line that benefitted most. James Sheppard, who started on the third line, skated from behind the Colorado net and threw a backhand pass across the crease where former Av T.J. Galiardi poked his first goal of the season past Colorado goalie Seymon Varlamov at 2:55 to break a 1-1 tie.

"I didn't like the first game I played against them this year, I think I was too hyped up," Galiardi said. "This time I took it easy, did my usual routine and it worked out."

Sheppard drew a late-period holding penalty assessed to Colorado defenseman Ryan O'Bryne, but the Sharks failed to convert on their third power-play chance despite putting five shots on goal.

"I think everybody is ready to play anywhere they can," Sheppard said. "It's fun playing with those guys, they're high energy."

Winger Logan Couture scored his first goal in nine games on San Jose's opening shift. Joe Thornton threw a bullet pass from the corner to a streaking Couture, who one-timed the feed past Varlamov just 25 seconds after the opening faceoff.

"It always good to score," Couture said. "When others aren't scoring I always put a lot of pressure on myself to score."

The Sharks failed to capitalize on an early power play, and watched as the visitors' fourth line combined for the equalizer. Avalanche center Chuck Kobasew outmuscled Sharks defenseman Jason Demers on the weakside to score his second of the season on a short rebound.

Colorado defenseman Jan Hejda sparked the scoring sequence with a drive from the left point that caromed off of Niemi in front at 12:13.

The two teams failed to convert late power plays during a period in which San Jose outshot Colorado 16-11.

NOTES: Jason Demers replaced injured defenseman Brent Burns on San Jose's blue line. Rookie defenseman Matt Irwin was recalled from AHL affiliate Worcester, but was a healthy scratch. Tommy Wingels did not dress as well as the Sharks' checking forward nurses an undisclosed injury sustained in the final game Sunday in Dallas of San Jose's 1-4-1 road trip. ... Forward Ryane Clowe served the first of a two-game suspension. He will miss Thursday's visit by Detroit and will be eligible to return on Saturday against visiting Nashville. ... Colorado was without leading scorer Matt Duchene, who sustained a groin injury Sunday in Anaheim. ... There were scouts from the Bruins, Rangers, Canucks, Coyotes, Red Wings and Jets watching from press row.
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