The San Jose Sharks Erik Karlsson (65) tries to control the puck as the Colorado Avalanche’s left wing Andre Burakovsky gives pursuit at SAP Center on Fri Apr 30, 2021 (AP News photo)
By Mary Walsh
The San Jose Sharks fell 3-0 to the Colorado Avalanche in Denver Friday. Gabriel Landeskog, Cale Makar and Mikko Rantanen scored for Colorado, and Philipp Grubauer made 21 saves for the shut out win. Sharks goaltender Martin Jones made 33 saves in the loss.
The Sharks are clearly giving prospects a good look now and several played in Friday’s game. Left wing Ivan Chekhovich made his NHL debut with the Sharks Friday. He had one blocked shot in 10:55 of ice time. Center Alexander True made his third appearance of the season. He had one shot on goal and took one penalty in 13:01 of ice time.
After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said: “These young guys that are playing on the road in a tough building, against a good team, there was quite a few fans here tonight, so there was some atmosphere and it’s a good experience for them.”
Also getting a good look, the more experienced left wing Alexander Barabanov played his third in a row since joining the team at the trade deadline. He had a goal and two assists in his first two games. On a line with Tomas Hertl and Evander Kane Friday, he had one blocked shot, one hit and one penalty in 19:15 of ice time.
Boughner said, of Barabanov: “He slows the game down a bit, and his skill takes over. We’re asking a lot of him, playing on that top line against those players and he doesn’t look out of place defensively.”
The first goal came on a Colorado power play at 11:13 of the first period. Cale Makar took a shot down the slot and Gabriel Landeskog subtly tipped it into the net. Assists went to Makar and Mikko Rantanen.
Landeskog was in front of Jones for the next goal as well, on another power play at 13:13. This time Makar’s shot went past Landeskog and in. Assists went to Rantanen and Joonas Donskoi.
The Sharks had one power play in the first period, and got two shots on goal with the man advantage. Colorado had two power plays and got six shots with the extra man. Colorado outshot the Sharks 13-6 in the first.
The second period saw the Sharks kill off two penalties, one abbreviated by a Colorado penalty. Colorado’s power play got two shots in the period and the Sharks got none in their minute or so of power play time. The Avalanche out-shot the Sharks 12-8 in the period.
The Sharks put the puck in the net midway through the third period but Colorado challenged it as off side. Alexander Barabanov had knocked the puck out of the air above the blue line and after a review the goal was called back.
The third Colorado goal came at 18:21 of the third, when Mikko Rantanen scored into an empty net. Assists went to Landeskog and Carl Soderberg.
The Sharks power play took four shots in two tries in the third. The Avalanche still out shot the Sharks 11-7.
In keeping with attention to prospects, the Sharks’ AHL team was also playing Friday, in San Jose. Lengthy look-ins on that game were broadcast during intermissions of the Sharks game. The Barracuda won 6-4.
The Sharks next play on Saturday, again in Denver against the Colorado Avalanche at 5:00 PM PT.