The San Jose Sharks have been inconsistent of late and will be
without one of their top goal scorers for an extended period, but
they remain one of the NHL’s best home teams.
The Colorado Avalanche are well aware of how tough it is to win
at SAP Center.
San Jose seeks an 11th straight regular-season home victory over
Colorado when the teams meet for the first time this season Monday
Thursday’s 4-1 defeat at Los Angeles marked the sixth in eight
games for the Sharks (22-8-6), and it proved to be especially
upsetting after standout rookie Tomas Hertl – who has 15 goals and
10 assists – was lost for at least a month with a right knee
Coach Todd McLellan shuffled his lines Saturday to compensate,
and San Jose overcame a two-goal deficit to beat Dallas 3-2 in a
“We’ll probably go through this for a little bit until we found
something we feel comfortable with game in and game out,” McLellan
said. “Wasn’t a Picasso by any means, but at this time of the year
and maybe from now on through, to find a near-perfect game might
The victory improved the Sharks to 7-0-1 over their last eight
at home, and their 12-1-3 record on home ice is second only to
Anaheim’s 13-0-2 mark.
San Jose, which has fallen behind by two goals in three of its
last four games, got the tying goal from Joe Pavelski in the third
“We haven’t won many thirds in the last stretch,” Pavelski said.
“We kind of talked about being ready at the start of the
Joe Thornton, who isn’t a fan of participating in the shootout,
scored the winner in the tiebreaker for the second time this
“I’ve seen him win two games for us,” McLellan said. “We may
call it more often. That’s what you expect from your captain, to
step up in those situations and deliver, and he did.”
Thornton has two goals and 11 assists during his 10-game point
streak against Colorado, and the Sharks are 11-0-3 in the last 14
meetings that include the postseason.
San Jose has outscored the Avs 31-13 during its regular-season
home winning streak in the series, and it has won 12 of the last 13
matchups at home, including playoffs.
Colorado (23-10-2) fell to 1-2-1 in its last four on the road
with Saturday’s 3-2 shootout loss to Los Angeles. It overcame a
two-goal deficit on power-play goals from Erik Johnson and Ryan
The Avalanche, though, are 11-5-1 away from home after losing 20
of 24 on the road in last season’s lockout-shortened campaign.
“I thought we can get out of this game with our head up,”
forward P.A. Parenteau said. “I thought we played a strong game.
It’s a really tough building to play in. Last year we probably
would pack it in here, right? That’s a big difference between the
last year’s team and this year’s team.”
Semyon Varlamov made 37 saves and is 3-0-2 with a 1.91
goals-against average in his last five. He’s 2-3-1 with a 3.40 GAA
in six career starts against the Sharks, who could counter with
Antti Niemi after he got Saturday off.
Niemi is 6-0-2 with a 1.93 GAA in his last eight starts against