Sharks road trip ends on a sour note in loss to Avalanche

Paul Gackle, The Mercury News on

Published in Hockey

The meltdown at the beginning of the second was particularly deflating because the Sharks had dominated the first, outshooting the Avalanche 14-3 and holding them without a shot for the period's final 15:20. The Sharks controlled possession throughout the period, storming the Avalanche's zone in waves.

But the Sharks (28-17-8) eventually cut the Avalanche's lead to 2-1 at 13:29 of the second on Joel Ward's first goal in 30 games.

After the Sharks fourth line controlled possession throughout their shift, Ward put the puck into the roof from the doorstep, recording his first goal since Nov. 22. Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Barclay Goodrow recorded assists on the play.

The Sharks are pleased that they won't be seeing Avalanche backup goalie Jonathan Bernier again until April 5 at the earliest.

Bernier, who was named the NHL's third star of the month in January after compiling a 2.10 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage in 11 appearances, stifled the Sharks in their first meeting, making 45 save and stopping 19 of the last 20 shots he faced in the third period.

The backup goalie picked up where he left off Tuesday, making 38 saves on 39 shots Tuesday.

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Compher iced the game at 19:56 of the third, scoring into an empty net.

On the bright side, the Sharks penalty kill finished the road trip with perfect grades, going 10 for 10 over five games.

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