NHL

Sat, Jan 26, 2013 - 4:00 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Avalanche-Sharks Preview

Share This Story

   
 

San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan is pleased that his team's offense is clicking.

His whole team has generally been on top of its game in recent years against the Colorado Avalanche.

The unbeaten Sharks look to continue their early success Saturday as they try for a seventh straight overall win against the Avalanche and a ninth consecutive regular-season series victory at home.

Ranked 13th in the NHL with 219 goals last season, San Jose (3-0-0) is on pace to surpass that total even though it will play 34 fewer games due to the lockout. The Sharks have netted 15 goals, with Patrick Marleau scoring twice in each of the first three games. He is the first player to accomplish that feat since Peter Stastny - father of Avs center Paul Stastny - in 1982-83 with the Quebec Nordiques.

Logan Couture has three goals, Dan Boyle and Martin Havlat both have two, and captain Joe Thornton (eight) and Joe Pavelski (seven) are among the NHL assist leaders.

"Teams are going to count on their big guys to get the job done," said McLellan, whose team opened its home schedule with Thursday's 5-3 win over Phoenix. "Ours are producing right now.''

The Sharks have outscored the Avs 25-11 during their regular-season home winning streak in this series. San Jose found the back of the net five times in both of Colorado's visits to HP Pavilion last season.

Repeating that effort could be a challenge given how the Avs (2-1-0) have shored up their defense since a 4-2 season-opening loss at Minnesota.

Semyon Varlamov has turned aside 61 of 62 shots and Colorado has killed all 12 penalties - extending its streak to 16 - while winning its last two.

"The guys did a great job for me,'' Varlamov said after making 33 saves in Thursday's 4-0 home win over Columbus. "They blocked a lot of shots, so I can say thanks.''

Center John Mitchell received plenty of praise for his play and his toughness after getting hit in the face by the puck in the first period Thursday, then returning to net his second goal of the season in the third.

He's tied with Matt Duchene and fellow newcomer P.A. Parenteau for the team lead.

"(Mitchell) has been really good for us in the first three games," coach Joe Sacco told the Avs' official website. "Certainly I like the way he has played; he is versatile, he can kill penalties, he can play on our power play. He can do a lot for us."

Sacco is going to need a lot from his special teams, as San Jose has converted 7 of 18 on the power play.

The Sharks' penalty kill has room for improvement - it's allowed five goals in 14 attempts - but goaltender Antti Niemi has given up just two even-strength goals in three starts.

Niemi is 4-0-0 with a 1.47 goals-against average in four home starts versus Colorado since joining San Jose in 2010-11.

Veteran center Scott Gomez could make his Sharks debut after signing with the club on Wednesday.

Tagged: Avalanche, Sharks, Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

NHL Videos

Toews, Kane: Easy decision to resign with Blackhawks Posted: Jul 17, 2014
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane say their decision to sign matching 8-year, $84M...

LA mayor 'F-bombs' Kings rally Posted: Jun 17, 2014
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti toasts the Stanley Cup champion Kings in front o...

Kings, fans celebrate Stanley Cup Posted: Jun 16, 2014
Kings players celebrate winning the Stanley Cup with a parade through downtown L...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt