Avalanche, Sharks to meet again, this time in San Jose

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FILE PHOTO: NHL: San Jose Sharks at Colorado Avalanche
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The Colorado Avalanche are looking to begin the final road trip of their regular season on a high note when they visit the San Jose Sharks on Monday evening.

It will be the seventh meeting of the season between the two teams and the third of four meetings between Colorado and San Jose (20-26-5, 45 points) within a week.

The Avalanche (33-12-4, 70 points) lead the season series 5-1-0, including a two-game sweep of the Sharks in Colorado over the weekend.

The Avalanche had lost three games in a row until winning 3-0 on Friday, thanks in part to first period power-play goals from Gabriel Landeskog and Cale Makar and 21 saves from Philipp Grubauer.

Although San Jose (20-26-5, 45 points) got on the scoreboard first on Saturday thanks to a goal from rookie Alexander Barabanov, Colorado scored three straight goals and held on for a 4-3 win.

Despite his team getting the shutout on Friday, Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar was more impressed with Saturday's effort, saying he "thought we were more dangerous on the offensive side of it ... than last game. More jump, better shot mentality, a little bit better net presence.

"Last game, we relied on our special teams, and (Saturday) I thought we were pretty good 5-on-5. We continued with having success on our breakouts to get us out and moving. I thought we moved through the neutral zone a little bit better and created some rush opportunities, and in (offensive) zone play we started to get some good motion."

The losses dealt a big blow to San Jose, which had won two straight games and harbored hopes of moving up the standings enough in the last two weeks of the season.

"It was unfortunate we couldn't get at least a point," Sharks head coach Bob Boughner said of leaving Colorado without a win.

This isn't to say the Sharks didn't put up a fight against the Avalanche in Saturday's contest. After entering the second period without a score, Colorado took a 2-1 lead and outshot San Jose 21-4. The Sharks credited young netminder Josef Korenar with keeping the game close.

"He was probably our best player for a majority of the night," San Jose captain Logan Couture said of Korenar, who made 40 saves. "It could have been a lot more than four (goals) that they got. We made it a game at the end, but I wish we could have helped him out a little more."

Boughner agreed. "I thought (Korenar) made some big saves, especially in the last 10 minutes of the second period... He's battling hard and fighting hard."

--Field Level Media