San Jose

Sharks Unable to Cap Off Comeback Against MacKinnon, Avs

The Sharks trailed for all but seven minutes and three seconds in a 5-3 loss to the Avalanche on Thursday. In those seven minutes and three seconds, the game was scoreless.

The Sharks, though, briefly made it a game. Colorado jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but San Jose scored three unanswered in a span of 15:37 across the second and third periods.

Timo Meier, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and Joe Thornton got the Sharks back in the game, but Avalanche goalie Jonathan Bernier made 45 saves, and prevented San Jose from getting any closer than a goal. Nathan Mackinnon continued his torrid Hart Trophy push and scored two goals, while Carl Soderberg, Mikko Rantanen, and ex-Shark Matt Nieto added insurance for Colorado.

STANDOUT PERFORMER: Nathan Mackinnon has arrived.

The MVP whispers are quickly becoming shouts, as Mackinnon scored for the fourth consecutive game, and now has seven, as well as 16 points during Colorado's eight-game winning streak. He was the game's best player from beginning to end, and it looks like he's truly joined fellow Cole Harbour product Sidney Crosby in the league's elite.

TURNING POINT: With a teammate in the box and his team nursing only a one-goal lead, Avalanche netminder Jonathan Bernier shut the door.

On the ensuing power play after Patrik Nemeth was booked for tripping, Bernier stopped all seven shots he faced. The Sharks wouldn't really threaten again, and Bernier's penalty kill heroics ultimately ensured that Matt Nieto's goal, the Avalanche's fifth, sealed the game.

INJURY ALERT: Jannik Hansen and Tim Heed were healthy scratches for San Jose. Hansen has not played in five consecutive games, and Heed has joined him in the press box for the last three.

A.J. Greer, Tyson Jost, and David Warsofsky were scratches for Colorado. Tyson Barrie (hand), J.T. Compher (upper body), Vladislav Kamenev (broken arm), and starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov (groin) remain on injured reserve.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Sharks return home for a rematch of the 2017 Stanley Cup final against the reigning champion Penguins, who as of press time had won five of their last seven games. Pittsburgh swept the season series, outscoring San Jose 8-2.

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