Avalanche-Sharks Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 25, 2012
The Colorado Avalanche have the same number of points as the San Jose Sharks, but they might be the more desperate team heading into a matchup at HP Pavilion. The Avalanche have fewer games left than the other contenders for the Western Conference's final playoff berth and could use a rare road win over the Sharks on Monday night. Colorado is currently tied with San Jose and Los Angeles for eighth place in the West but has played 77 games, two more than the Sharks and Kings. The Avalanche are also facing a three-game road trip that includes visits to Northwest Division champ Vancouver and fellow contender Calgary. Colorado (40-31-6) heads into that trip having lost consecutive games following a 7-1-1 stretch. It blew a two-goal lead during a 3-2 overtime defeat to the Canucks on Saturday. "We have to get over it, move on and get ready for this road trip," center Ryan O'Reilly said. "We know that other teams have a couple of games in hand on us. ... We can't control if we make the playoffs. We can control how we play each game. We just have to stay focused on that." The Avalanche would certainly like to play better against San Jose. They're 4-9-2 in their last 15 regular-season matchups and 6-13-2 over the past 21 including a 2010 playoff series. Colorado is also 0-5-2 in its last seven regular-season games at HP Pavilion since Feb. 6, 2008, and are 4-13-3 over its last 20, including six visits during the postseason. During this one, they'll face a team that's seeking a third consecutive victory and is 5-2-1 since a five-game skid. The Sharks (38-27-10) won 4-3 in a shootout against Pacific Division rival Phoenix on Saturday. Former Colorado winger Daniel Winnik scored the tying goal early in the second period after his team gave up a score before the first intermission buzzer and another in the first minute of the next frame. Michal Handzus and Ryane Clowe got the puck past Mike Smith in the tiebreaker. The win was San Jose's fourth in its last five games at the Pavilion. "The last two games, I like how we're going," Clowe said. "When something happens we just forget about it. When we play with this sort of moxie, we make it hard on other teams." The Sharks are also in contention for the division lead and Joe Thornton will try to help by adding to a six-game point streak against Colorado. The San Jose captain has one goal and seven assists during that run, and Patrick Marleau has five points during the season series, including a hat trick during a 4-1 road win Nov. 20. Logan Couture has three goals and five assists over his last seven in the series. Colorado's Matt Duchene has a point in each of the three meetings with San Jose this season but has tallied one assist over nine contests this month. Paul Stastny had two goals and an assist during the first two periods in San Jose on Dec. 15 but the Sharks scored three times in the third period for a 5-4 win. Stastny has three goals and four assists in his last six overall.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Bradham was defending girlfriend during alleged assault

Elliott domestic violence case being taken to city prosecutor

Belichick: Brady is not going to lose his starting job

Report: Brown 'confident' Steelers will rework his contract

Report: J.T. Barrett lost full scholarship over summer for DWI

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Police escort helped Joey Gallo get to ballpark on time

Agent: Bryant ‘heartbroken that he’s not allowed to play’

Report: Trent Baalke could lose job if 49ers don’t show progress

Lawsuit: Baylor players gang raped student, school knew

Jets, Ryan Fitzpatrick reportedly remain far apart

Eddie Lacy defends Mike McCarthy for weight loss comments

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

Kirk Cousins has excellent take on franchise tag

Broncos DB during DUI arrest: I can't wait to tell Obama

NBA champ Cavs honored with 2,000-pound butter sculptures

John Daly dons super-patriotic outfit for Champions Dinner

Aaron Rodgers not inclined to talk about brother Jordan

Astros fan starts GoFundMe page to buy out Gomez contract

Durant told Westbrook he was returning to Thunder?

Five NFL teams set to rise up in 2016

Jeremy Lin reportedly looking to trademark phrase ‘Brook-Lin’

Matt Leinart engaged to actress Josie Loren

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker