The Colorado Avalanche will look to start a couple of new streaks when they play at San Jose on Sunday night.
The Avalanche suffered a 6-3 defeat Friday at Vancouver, snapping their nine-game road winning streak and handing them their first regulation loss in their past 10 games overall (7-1-2).
That left the Avalanche two points behind defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis for first place in both the Central Division and the Western Conference with a game in hand.
“We’ve dug in, and we’re within two points of St. Louis now, and that’s pretty good work,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar told reporters. “We had an opportunity to be tied for first if we won (Friday), and we didn’t get the job done. Hopefully, we have that opportunity a few more times here down the stretch.”
Erik Johnson and Gabriel Landeskog each had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche in the loss. Valeri Nichushkin added a goal, and Nathan MacKinnon had two assists.
“We’ve always strived to get home ice in the playoffs, and that’s first in our division and first in the conference, and that’s what we’re going to keep doing all the way until the end,” Landeskog said. “We’ll have to keep winning, simple as that.”
The Canucks, who snapped a four-game skid, scored the last three goals — two in the final 3:17 — to put the game away. The Avs won the shot battle 32-25.
“It was back and forth, really good pace, it was competitive and physical, which I like to see from our group,” Bednar said. “But it’s a game of mistakes, and the ones we made (Friday) were pretty big ones.
“We had some good chances, for sure. We passed up the opportunity to shoot the puck though a little bit late in the game. I’m thinking of two or three plays. We were scoring when we’re shooting, and then we just tried to make the one more play.”
The Sharks suffered a 2-1 home loss to Ottawa on Saturday night as Chris Tierney, a former San Jose draft pick, scored 35 seconds into overtime.
Aaron Dell made 36 saves, including a penalty shot with two seconds left in the second period, for the Sharks, who have lost two consecutive games.
“We had a couple open nets, we hit a post and so did they,” Sharks coach Bob Boughner said. “There were a lot of close calls. We’ve got to find a way to get a second goal earlier and take over the game.”
Evander Kane scored the lone goal for the Sharks on a power play with 11 seconds remaining in the first period to tie the score at 1-1.
“The first two power plays we weren’t sharp with the puck, we didn’t execute with our breakouts and we weren’t able to gain the zone,” Kane said. “We didn’t win any faceoffs either, so it was nice to finally get one.”
Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro missed Saturday’s game with a lower-body injury and is expected to sit out against the Avalanche as well. Nikolai Knyzhov was called up from the American Hockey League to make his debut.
–Field Level Media