The San Jose Sharks have been badly outplayed in each of their last two games. They’re fortunate to have only one loss to show for it.
San Jose tries to wrap up a four-game road trip on a winning note when it meets the slumping Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday.
Bidding for their second win at Staples Center in five nights, the Sharks (13-6-0) allowed three straight third-period goals as their four-game win streak was halted with a 4-2 loss to Los Angeles on Monday.
The Sharks were outshot 34-18, two nights after overcoming a 39-18 shot differential in a 2-1 victory at Phoenix.
“We’ve been getting outshot 2-1, and it’s only a matter of time before that catches up to us,” coach Ron Wilson said. “We were awful in Phoenix and we got away with it. We weren’t much better tonight. I’m disappointed, but I’m glad that happened to us. It gives me an opportunity for lots of teaching points.”
San Jose’s league-leading power-play unit was held without a goal for the second consecutive game Monday, and is 2-for-24 with the man advantage over the last six contests.
“They did a great job on the penalty kill,” Sharks forward Jonathan Cheechoo said. “Anytime you make a team go all the way back to their own end, it’s going to tire the power-play unit out. When you spend a lot of time in your end, it’s going to cost you some goals.”
Monday’s loss marked only the third time in the last 14 games that the Sharks allowed more than three goals.
Vesa Toskala got the start after playing the final two periods in the win over Phoenix in place of Evgeni Nabokov, who left that game early with a stiff neck. Nabokov is expected to make his scheduled start Wednesday as the Sharks continue to alternate goaltenders.
San Jose’s Joe Thornton has four goals in his last eight games after not scoring in the first 11 contests this season. He has three goals and eight assists during a six-game point streak against Colorado.
The Avalanche (7-8-2) suffered their season-high third straight loss Monday, 2-1 to visiting Edmonton. They haven’t dropped four in a row since Nov. 4-10, 2002.
It was the fourth defeat in five games for last-place Colorado and coach Joel Quenneville wasn’t pleased with his team’s performance.
“Of our first (17) games, I think that was our worst game,” he said. “It’s disappointing. Even though we got up 1-0, I still wasn’t crazy about how we were playing.”
The power play failed to convert on six opportunities and is 0-for-13 in the past two games.
“We didn’t compete,” Avs forward Ian Laperriere said. “(If) there’s no one in front trying to sacrifice their body and trying to get rebounds and stuff like that, you won’t score too many goals in this league. We’ve got to show more emotion. These points are huge, and we all know it. We’ve got to be better than that.”
Several of Colorado’s top offensive players are slumping. Marek Svatos has one point in his last seven games, Milan Hejduk has one goal in six contests and captain Joe Sakic has scored only once in the last five games.
San Jose has outshot Colorado 108-77 during a three-game winning streak in the series.