NHL Hockey

3
Final 1 2 3 Tot
San Jose 1 1 1 3
Colorado 3 4 0 7
7
6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ET0:00 BRT, January 26, 2021
Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado  Attendance: 0

Sharks look to rebound on road at Avalanche

San Jose Sharks at Colorado Avalanche

  1. The Avalanche won both games against the Sharks last season and have won five of the last seven versus San Jose at home (including postseason).
  2. The Sharks will play each of their first eight games on the road after this two-game set with Colorado. They will become the seventh team in NHL history to start a season with 8+ straight road games and the first to do so since the Rangers in 2013-14 (9 straight).
  3. The Avalanche fell to the Ducks on Sunday, 3-1, going 0-for-4 on the power play, their first game without a power-play goal this season. Colorado has scored 14 goals in its three wins but just four in its three losses.
  4. Brent Burns scored his second goal of the season on Sunday and now sits at 698 points in his career. He is looking to become the 26th blueliner in NHL history with 700 career points. He has tallied 515 of his points with the Sharks, fifth most in franchise history and most by a defenseman.
  5. Mikko Rantanen scored the Avalanche's lone goal on Sunday, his fifth straight game lighting the lamp, the longest goal streak of his career. The only Avalanche skater in the last 15 seasons with a goal in at least six straight games was Nathan MacKinnon in October 2018 (6 straight).
  6. Nathan MacKinnon has 11 goals in 18 games against the Sharks, tied for his second most against any opponent (12 vs. Blues). Of those 11 goals, seven came on the power play -- MacKinnon hasn't scored more than four power-play goals against any other opponent.

The San Jose Sharks have been on the road so long it is hard for them to remember what home looks like -- or where it is.

Still, despite playing their first seven games in other arenas, San Jose is 3-4 and has been competitive in every game before Tuesday night. So it probably wasn't a surprise that the Sharks had a dud of a performance in Denver, losing 7-3 to the Colorado Avalanche.

The Sharks have a chance to get even with the Avalanche when the two teams play again Thursday night in Denver, then it's back home -- sort of. San Jose will play at least its first two home games in Arizona due to COVID-19 restrictions on contact sports in California.

The Sharks can head "home" with a .500 record if they win Thursday, but it will require a big turnaround from Tuesday's game.

"We didn't play a smart enough road game but we're going to learn from it," San Jose coach Bob Boughner said after the loss. "If you can have a good effort on Thursday before going home, wherever home is, if it's Arizona or back in San Jose, we don't know that. If you can get a split in your first eight games after not playing for 10 months, you'll take that."

The Sharks completed a pair of trades Wednesday ahead of the game against the Avalanche. They sent defenseman Trevor Carrick to the Anaheim Ducks for forward Jack Kopacka, then flipped Kopacka and a 2022 seventh-round draft pick to Ottawa for defenseman Christian Jaros.

San Jose also placed defenseman Jake Middleton on waivers. The Sharks did not say if Jaros would join the team or be assigned to the Barracuda of the AHL.

If San Jose wants to earn a split of its two games in Colorado, it will have to slow down an Avalanche offense that has 15 goals in its previous two home games.

"Maybe it's the altitude, I don't know, but let's keep that going," forward Mikko Rantanen said.

The goals aren't merely coming from the top line, either. Rantanen scored the only one from that trio on Tuesday, showing the depth Colorado possesses and a reason why it's a favorite to win the Stanley Cup this season.

The Avalanche's depth was tested somewhat when forward Matt Calvert missed Tuesday's game with an upper-body injury. He is considered day-to-day, and his replacement was Keifer Sherwood, a free-agent signee in the offseason. Sherwood played on the fourth line and had an assist in his debut with the Avalanche.

"Obviously, new kid on the block, so I just got to earn my stripes and try to open some eyes," Sherwood said Tuesday before Colorado's win. "I think just earn respect in the locker room amongst the guys."

Rantanen long ago earned the respect of his teammates and is on a goal-scoring streak that ranks with the best in Avalanche history. Since moving to Colorado in 1995, four other players have scored in six straight games, with Joe Sakic (twice) and Milan Hejduk scoring in seven straight games.

Rantanen tied linemate Nathan MacKinnon and Hall of Famer Peter Forsberg with goals in six straight games, and has a chance to surpass them against San Jose on Thursday night.

"Playing with (Gabriel Landeskog) and Nate is a great pleasure, and I just go out and play and work as hard as I can to do the right things," Rantanen said. "It's been nice to get rewarded. It's been good for now and I just have to keep it going."

--Field Level Media

Updated January 27, 2021

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