NHL Hockey

Makar, Nichushkin each notch 4-point nights, Avs rout Sharks

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


AP Sports Writer

DENVER (AP) Cale Makar and Valeri Nichushkin each had a goal and three assists to help the Colorado Avalanche snap a three-game slide with a 6-0 rout of the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.

Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Denis Malgin and Artturi Lehkonen also got into the goal-scoring act. The Avalanche outshot the Sharks by a 43-13 margin, including 19-2 in the opening period when they took a 3-0 lead.

"That was as dominant of a performance as I've seen all year," Sharks coach David Quinn said.

It was a light night of work for Colorado goalie Alexandar Georgiev, who registered his fourth shutout this season.

Colorado extended its streak to eight straight wins over San Jose at home. The Sharks just didn't have the energy to keep up with the fast-skating Avalanche after rallying for an overtime win in Winnipeg the previous night.

"We knew they might start a little tired so we wanted to jump on them early and give ourselves more confidence," Makar explained. "I felt like we did that. But then we were able to maintain it the whole night."

Kaapo Kahkonen had a rough evening in goal for the Sharks and was pulled early in the second period after allowing five goals on 24 shots. James Reimer took over and allowed one.

"They're obviously a much better hockey team than we are," Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson said. "They came out ready to play and put us on our heels right from the start. Once that happens, they were in control of the game and we were second-guessing every decision we made. ... Just got to regroup and hopefully throw this one in the garbage."

Karlsson wasn't pleased with a no call in the third period when he caught a stick in the face that drew blood. Before he left for the dressing room, Karlsson tossed his helmet in frustration, which drew a misconduct penalty.

"They (officials) have a tough job and things are going to get missed and stuff. But I found that was a hard one to miss," Karlsson said. "I didn't even say anything bad. And to get disrespected like that, it's tough to take."

Rantanen scored his 42nd goal of the season in the first period. That's the fourth-most goals for a season since the Avalanche moved to town in 1995-96. Joe Sakic holds the top mark with 54 in 2000-01.

For MacKinnon, there truly has been no place like home ice. He's now registered at least a point in 14 straight games at Ball Arena. It's the second-longest mark since the team relocated to the Mile High City, trailing only Sakic's 23-game home scoring streak in '00-01.

"When you start 3-0 after the first, it's going to help a lot," said Nichushkin, who notched his first four-point NHL game since Dec. 07, 2013. "We were more fresh."


Avalanche forward Andrew Cogliano played in his 1,200th career game. He's the third player from the 2005 draft class to dress in that many games, joining Anze Kopitar and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.


Sharks forward Nico Sturm was honored on the video screen and received a round of applause from the crowd in his return to Ball Arena. He was a member of Colorado's Stanley Cup championship team last season.

"He wasn't here long but certainly showed that the fan base appreciated what he brings," Quinn said. "Really happy for him."


Colorado defenseman Erik Johnson (lower body) has resumed skating about three weeks since his injury. ... Avalanche coach Jared Bednar had no timeline on Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, who's yet to play this season after undergoing knee surgery in October. ... Bednar remains hopeful defenseman Josh Manson (lower body) can return by the end of the month.


Sharks: At St. Louis on Thursday night.

Avalanche: Host the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.


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Updated March 8, 2023

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