Preview: Sharks at Avalanche
The San Jose Sharks attempt to shake off a disappointing loss when they visit the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday. San Jose was less than 20 minutes away from its third win in four games when Vladimir Sobotka scored twice in an 80-second span early in the third period to complete his first career hat trick and forge a 3-3 tie. Patrik Berglund tallied at 1:12 of overtime to complete the comeback and give the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 victory.
Colorado is coming off an impressive 6-2 home triumph over Chicago on Friday that ended the Blackhawks' streaks of 30 consecutive games with a point and a franchise-record 11 straight wins. Matt Duchene recorded a goal and a career-high three assists while PA Parenteau and Paul Stastny each netted a tally and set up two others as the Avalanche spotted the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead before scoring the next five goals en route to their second win in eight games (2-3-3). Colorado has played much better at home, where it has gone 7-2-1, as opposed to the road (2-8-3).
TV: 8 p.m. ET, CSN California (San Jose), Altitude (Colorado)
ABOUT THE SHARKS (11-7-5): Patrick Marleau's goal-scoring drought reached six games, keeping the left wing one shy of 400 career tallies. Coach Todd McLellan remained tied with Ron Wilson for first place on the franchise list with 206 victories. The Sharks have been outscored 23-12 in the third period this season, including a 17-4 differential in their 12 losses. Alex Stalock made his season debut after being recalled from Worcester of the American Hockey League earlier in the day and stopped the first six shots he faced before allowing Berglund's overtime goal. Stalock made his only other NHL appearance against the Phoenix Coyotes on Feb. 1, 2011, when he picked up the win in relief of Antti Niemi. San Jose is 4-7-5 since winning all seven of its games in January.
ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (9-10-4): Colorado has won four straight home games but hasn't captured five in a row at the Pepsi Center since an eight-game run from Nov. 30-Dec. 23, 2011. The Avalanche have not posted a regulation victory over the Sharks since a 4-2 home triumph on Oct. 1, 2009. San Jose has gone 10-0-3 in 13 meetings since that setback. Although the Avalanche were nothing but complimentary toward the Blackhawks regarding their point streak, they were very glad to put an end to it. "What a special run they had," Duchene said. "It was pretty cool to end it, that's for sure. It's pretty special."
1. San Jose on Saturday ended its streak of 12 consecutive games with fewer than three goals. It had tallied more than twice in just one of its previous 17 contests.
2. Stalock was recalled to fill in for Thomas Greiss, who suffered a neck injury in Wednesday's loss to Calgary.
3. The Sharks have won 20 of the last 27 meetings between the clubs.
PREDICTION: Avalanche 3, Sharks 2
Distributed by Internet Broadcasting and The Sports Xchange. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.