San Francisco Chronicle - (Sunday)
S.J. falls to Colorado for 2nd day in row
DENVER — The Sharks’ playoff hopes got a boost early in the week when the team posted backtoback wins over Arizona, one of the West Division teams trying to block its path to the postseason.
After backtoback losses at Colorado this weekend, however, those hopes have dimmed considerably.
Despite getting their special teams untracked with one powerplay goal and a shorthanded strike, the Sharks fell to the Avalanche 43 on Saturday. The effort came a night after Colorado beat San Jose 30 and left the Sharks eight points out of the West’s final playoff spot with five games remaining.
Mikko Rantanen scored his 28th goal of the season and added an assist for Colorado, and Devan Dubnyk stopped 22 shots against his former team. Alexander Barabanov and Tomas Hertl had a goal and an assist each, Logan Couture also scored and rookie goaltender Josef Korenar had 40 saves for the Sharks.
“He kept us in the game. He was probably our best player for a majority of the night,” Couture said of Korenar. “It could have been a lot more than the four that they got. We made it a game at the end, but I wish we would have helped him out a little more.”
The Sharks went more than seven periods and 145 minutes, 32 seconds, without a goal against Colorado, but that ended when Barabanov beat Dubnyk with a powerplay strike at 4:25 of the second period to put San Jose up 10.
Nathan MacKinnon’s tip at 13:08 tied it at 11 and Andre Burakovsky gave the Avalanche the lead 2:58 later when he scored off a faceoff, his 15th of the season.
Patrik Nemeth gave Colorado a twogoal cushion with his third of the season and first since coming over in a trade with Detroit at 9:05 of the third.
Couture’s 17th of the season, a shorthanded goal 50 seconds later, made it a onegoal game again. Rantanen made it 42 at 15:34 and with Korenar off for an extra skater Hertl scored at 17:47. It was his 16th.
“It was unfortunate we couldn’t get at least a point,” Sharks coach Bob Boughner said. “I thought (Korenar) made some big saves, especially the last 10 minutes of the second period. He was fighting to get through on some traffic on those two pointshot goals in the third period. He’s battling hard and fighting hard.”