The San Jose Sharks let their first period momentum slip away Sunday, dropping Game 2 to the Colorado Avalanche 4-3.
“We had some Grade-A looks throughout the first couple periods and we didn’t capitalize. I know we scored two goals late there, but we’ve got to find a way to put more pucks by their goalie.”
While the Sharks had a jump in their step following a 5-2 Game 1 win on Friday, they could not build enough off of their early control of the game. Through the opening 4:30 of the first period, San Jose put four shots on goal while holding Colorado to zero.
The constant pressure paid off when Lukas Radil drove the puck deep into the Colorado zone, leaving it for Tomáš Hertl, who streaked back the other way and passed it to Burns. From the point, Burns unloaded a shot and Kane put the rebound past Philipp Grubauer. This was Kane’s first goal since Game 1 against Vegas.
The Sharks had another high quality chance when Couture made a backhand pass to Gustav Nyquist in the slot, but Grubauer made the stop. Couture said:
“We should’ve been up by two or three after the first, we had too many good lucks to not score.”
“We had a 1-0 lead, I thought we should’ve … poured it on and got the second and third [goal], then they would’ve been done. We kept them in it.”
Colorado picked up the pace in the second period, taking the lead.
The Avalanche scored just over eight minutes into the second period, when Landeskog redirected Tyson Barrie’s shot past Jones. MacKinnon earned his 10th point of the playoffs by assisting the game-tying goal.
Barrie then gave Colorado the 2-1 lead when he one-timed Landeskog’s rebound for the go-ahead goal. Erik Karlsson said:
They capitalized on the chances they got, and made us play from behind and we just couldn’t quite catch up at the end.”
San Jose has held the Colorado power play to just one goal in four opportunities throughout the series.
The Sharks continued to have their chances in the third period. With 12 minutes on the clock, Nyquist made a centering backhand pass to Couture, who was unguarded through the slot. Couture’s shot was stopped by Grubauer.
“He came out quicker than I expected. I’ve got to score there, though … I thought I could get him up high, but he flashed the glove on me.”
Just a minute later, Brenden Dillon connected with Labanc with a stretch pass, but Labanc’s breakaway was disrupted by Zadorov.
The missed opportunities continued to cost the Sharks. With just under 10 minutes left in the period, a puck trickled through Jones and Colorado fourth-liner Matt Nieto jammed it past the goal line for the 3-1 lead. The Avalanche’s speed was now overpowering the Sharks. Couture said:
We looked slow defending. Lines were getting caught out there for long times and they were having their way in the offensive zone.”
With 4:30 on the clock, Burns gave the Sharks some life. After Burns’ shot from the point was blocked, Erik Karlsson kept the puck onside and fed it back to Burns. After taking a few strides, Burns sent a wrister past Grubauer to cut the Colorado lead to 3-2.
However, Timo Meier tripped Landeskog in the neutral zone, stifling San Jose’s comeback attempt. Nathan MacKinnon scored his first of the series on the empty net.
A Colorado penalty with just 18 seconds left allowed Burns to tally a late power play goal, but it was too little, too late. The Avalanche tied the series with their 4-3 win.
Grubauer stopped 29 of the Sharks 32 shots on goal. Couture said:
“At this moment, I’m pretty frustrated and disappointed. Hopefully, [we] move past it quickly and get ready for the next one.”
Games 3 and 4 will be played in Denver Tuesday and Thursday before returning to SAP Center Saturday.