Sharks, Avs set to meet again
Thursday, 12.15.2011 / 9:49 AMAVALANCHE (14-16-1) at SHARKS (15-10-3)
: ALTITUDE (HD), CSN-California (HD)
: Colorado 5-5-0; San Jose 3-5-2
: This will be the third of four meetings between the teams. When the clubs first met, San Jose came out on top, 4-1. However, Colorado responded two nights ago with a 4-3 shootout victory.
: Colorado has the chance to get out from the bottom of the Northwest Division with a win against San Jose, who can be tied with Dallas atop the Pacific Division if they get the better of the Avalanche.
: The Avs skate into the Shark Tank feeling good about themselves, especially after beating the Sharks two nights before in a shootout. On top of that, the Avs snapped a three-game losing streak, in which they were outscored 13-3. Moving forward for the Avs, the hope is that their road woes have concluded, as the club hasn't won a game away from the Pepsi Center since late October. Perhaps rookie Gabriel Landeskog's game-winning tally in the shootout could springboard the club to a road victory.
"It was clutch," forward Matt Duchene said of Landeskog's goal. "It's his first-ever shootout attempt and he goes in and buries it."
: Meanwhile, the Sharks are looking to get back on the winning track after consecutive shootout losses on the road against Chicago and, the other night, against Colorado. In fact, the Sharks' struggles go further than that, as the club has won just two of their past nine games. Fortunately for the Sharks, despite the struggles, they are right in the thick of things in the Western Conference, currently sitting just two points behind Dallas for top spot in the Pacific and eighth place overall in the conference. But in order to gain ground, the Sharks need to focus on coming away with two points more often than not.
"We left on the road four days ago, played three games and only gave up seven goals," coach Todd McLellan said. "Those are pretty good defensive numbers. You should come home with more than two points."
: Duchene has points in three of his past five games to lead the Avalanche, while Jamie McGinn
has four points in his past five games -- including three goals -- to lead the Sharks.
: For the Avs, Brandon Yip (groin), Chuck Kobasew (head), Ryan Wilson (head) and Mark Oliver (head) are all day-to-day. For the Sharks, defensemen Jim Vandermeer
and Douglas Murray
are day-to-day with hand injuries.
: The Sharks have played in two consecutive shootout contests, both of which have resulted in losses. The Avs hope that streak reaches three, as they are an undefeated 5-0 in shootouts this season.
: The Sharks will be hungry to get back to winning after squandering leads in consecutive games.
"Second game in a row we had the lead in the third and we gave it away," defenseman Dan Boyle
said. "It's something that's going to stick out."