It is a familiar sight for Avalanche fans to see Joe Pavelski pot a couple of goals against them, and Thursday night was no different. The Sharks won the game 4-2 in a much better performance than what was on display at home the other night against the Hurricanes.
San Jose started the game with a lot of pressure on goaltender, Craig Anderson, but it would be the Avalanche who would strike first. Kyle Cumiskey would capitalize on a mental error by Antero Niittymaki who misplayed a puck allowing Cumiskey to fire the puck into a gapping net.
Jamal Mayers made his regular season debut and was an immediate impact playing on a line with John McCarthy and Scott Nichol. The trio would contribute to tie the score at 1-1 when McCarthy played the puck off the boards when entering the zone, taking two Avalanche defenders out of the play. Mayers provided good support picking up the puck and feeding a driving Nichol in a 2 on 1 situation. The Sharks badly needed a meat-and-potatoes goal such as this where simplicity seemed to be a major theme in the Sharks’ gameplan.
Back-to-back powerplay goals by Joe Pavelski would give the Sharks a 3-1 lead – Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau picked up assists on both goals. Aside from the incredible feed by Heatley on the first powerplay tally, the goals weren’t too pretty for Pavelski who I’m sure didn’t mind burying some garbage to get the monkey off his back.
The Avalanche would pull within one after Dan Boyle got the gate for interference and Milan Hejduk buried a loose puck in front of the Sharks net. Logan Couture would pick up an empty-net goal with 1:12 left in the game to seal the win for the Sharks.
Antero Niittymaki, getting his first start since the second game in Stockholm, played well down the stretch allowing his team to preserve the victory. Niittymaki ended the night with 29 saves to help his team snap their 3-game losing-streak.
The Sharks will now head to Edmonton for a game Saturday night against the Oilers before closing out this road trip against the Flames on Sunday.
About the Author
Written by Alex Wasserstrom
Native Californian, former minor league pro, and current men's league superstar, Alex Wasserstrom is ProSportsBlogging.com's San Jose Sharks correspondent. Wanna talk puck? Shoot him an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or follow him on Twitter (@Awassers).