SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 1: Antti Niemi #31 of the San Jose Sharks makes a glove hand save against the Colorado Avalanche in the first period during an NHL hockey game at the HP Pavilion on March 1, 2011 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Antti Niemi was perfect in the shootout just hours after getting a contract extension, and Ryane Clowe scored in the first round of the tiebreaker to give the surging San Jose Sharks a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.
Joe Thornton tied it with 2:58 remaining in regulation for the Sharks, who have won seven straight and 16 of 19.
Niemi made 18 saves to cap a day that began with him signing a $15.2 million, four-year extension.
It was the second consecutive game in which Clowe scored the deciding goal in a shootout and the second straight time he did it with his forehand instead of his usual shootout move to the backhand.
Niemi stopped Milan Hejduk after Clowe’s goal and then Matt Duchene hit the post and David Jones shot wide for the Avalanche, who have lost 14 of 15.