March 9, 2020 / 5:07 AM / 21 days ago

Avalanche remain on roll with win over Sharks

Colorado’s top line of Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Vladislav Namestnikov combined for three goals and five assists as the Avalanche remained two points back in the Central Division with a 4-3 victory against the host San Jose Sharks on Sunday night.

Mar 8, 2020; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic (44) and Colorado Avalanche right wing Joonas Donskoi (72) fight for control of the puck during the first period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

MacKinnon and Landeskog each had a goal and two assists, Joonas Donskoi also scored and goaltender Pavel Francouz made 22 saves as the Avalanche kept pace with the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues in the divisional race. The Blues won 2-0 at Chicago on Sunday.

Colorado (41-19-8) won for the 10th time in its past 11 road games and has just one regulation loss (8-1-2) in its past 11 games overall.

Joe Thornton, Melker Karlsson and Noah Gregor scored for the Sharks (29-35-5), who dropped to 0-2-1 in their past three games. Goalie Martin Jones stopped 20 of 24 shots.

Namestnikov scored the go-ahead at 8:41 of the second period, snapping a 2-2 tie. MacKinnon stole the puck behind the net and fed Landeskog in the right faceoff circle. Landeskog faked a shot and found Namestnikov open near the far post for the goal.

Thornton, playing in his 1,635th game to tie Scott Stevens for ninth on the NHL’s all-time list, opened the scoring at 11:16 of the first period. Timo Meier’s shot from the top of the left faceoff circle was redirected by Evander Kane to an open Thornton near the right post. Thornton flipped the puck over a sprawling Francouz.

MacKinnon tied the score with a power-play goal at 16:17 of the period, blasting a one-timer past Jones from the left faceoff circle.

The Avalanche took a 2-1 lead on Landeskog’s goal just 1:59 into the second, off a rebound from a close-range shot by MacKinnon.

The Sharks tied the score on Karlsson’s breakaway goal at 3:41 after he blocked a shot in his own zone and took a long lead pass from Marcus Sorensen.

Donskoi added an insurance goal for the Avalanche at 15:27 of the third.

Gregor scored with San Jose’s net empty at 19:16 but the Sharks were unable to tie the score.

—Field Level Media

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