Girard has goal and 3 assists to help Avs over Sharks, 6-2

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DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche overcame a slow start with another strong offensive push to beat the San Jose Sharks 6-2 on Saturday night.

Sam Girard led the way with a goal and three assists, while Nazem Kadri had a goal and an assist and Alex Newhook scored his first regular-season NHL goal for Colorado. Darcey Kuemper stopped 28 shots for the Avalanche, who have outscored their last two opponents 13-3.

Logan Couture and Alexander Barabanov scored for the Sharks, while Adin Hill made 25 saves.

San Jose was whole again after coach Bob Boughner and seven players were reinstated from the NHL COVID-19 protocol list on Friday. Boughner had not coached since Oct. 28 against Montreal. Assistant John McLean led the team to a 3-2-1 record in his absence.

Things started well when Logan Couture gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead with his sixth goal just 3:17 into the game. Colorado then got a power-play goal from Devon Toews to tie it midway through the first and then took the lead on Kadri’s fourth goal of the season with about six minutes left.

Newhook made it 3-1 at with about seven minutes left in the second period and Logan O’Connor’s short-handed goal 2:55 later put the Avalanche ahead by three. Alexander Barabanov got San Jose within two goals when he scored at 9:02 of the third but Andre Burakovsky and Girard put the game out of reach.

Adin Hill had 25 saves for San Jose.

WELCOME BACK

The Sharks' Boughner, trainer Ray Tufts and equipment manager Mike Aldrich were reinstated from the COVID-19 protocol list, as well as the following seven players: Kevin Labanc, Erik Karlsson, Timo Meier, Jake Middleton, Matt Nieto, Radim Simek and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. All of them played Saturday, and Meier and Karlsson had assists.

ANOTHER ONE DOWN

Colorado lost another top-line center when J.T. Compher left the game with an upper-body injury in the first period. He was moved to the first line with Nathan MacKinnon out with a lower-body injury.

NOTES: The Avalanche claimed F Nicolas Aube-Kubel off waivers from Philadelphia. ... With the return of players from the COVID-19 protocol listm the Sharks reassigned seven players to the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL. ... Colorado D Bo Byram was scratched from the lineup.

UP NEXT:

San Jose: At Minnesota on Tuesday night.

Colorado: At Vancouver on Wednesday night.

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Michael Kelly, The Associated Press

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