San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture, left and Colorado Avalanche left wing Andre Burakovsky (right) scramble for the puck at the Ball Center in Denver on Thu Mar 31, 2022 (AP News photo )
By Mary Walsh
The San Jose Sharks fell 4-2 to the Colorado Avalanche Thursday, the second loss in as many nights for the Sharks. Alex Newhook Darren Helm, Mikko Rantanen and Andre Burakovsky scored for the Avalanche. Pavel Francouz made 25 saves for the win. Timo Meier and Brent Burns scored for San Jose and Kaapo Kahkonen made 42 saves in the loss.
This was Kaapo Kahkonen’s second start as a Shark. After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said, of Kahkonen: “I thought he was excellent, I thought that, you know, a couple of those goals he had no help on. I thought he made some big saves for us at the right time. I thought he played extremely well.” Of the team’s performance, he said: “I thought that we played hard for being in a back-to-back situation. I thought there’s a lot of good things to our game.”
Alex Newhook gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead at 1:54 of the second period. Kurtis MacDermid sent the puck to the slot for Newhook, who spun and shot it past three skaters in front of the goaltender. Assists went to MacDermid and Erik Johnson.
Timo Meier tied it up at 12:09. Tomas Hertl fought his way into the zone and to the net before being pushed down in the slot. The puck still got to Meier to the side of the net so he could score his 31st of the season. Assists went to Hertl and Alexander Barabanov.
Darren Helm made it 2-1 for the Avalanche at 2:05 of the third period. Helm was going to the net when he caught the pass from Valeri Nichushkin. He skated across in front of the goaltender before taking a shot that went off of the post and in.
Brent Burns tied it at 6:29 when Tomas Hertl got the puck to him off of a face-off. Burns carried it to the middle of the ice and took a quick wrist shot.
Mikko Rantanen restored Colorado’s lead with a power play goal at 12:17. Nazem Kadri set him up with a nice cross-ice pass down low for Rantanen’s 34th of the season. Assists went to Kadri and Cale Makar.
Andre Burakovsky scored the insurance goal at 15:16, collecting a rebound in close and lifting it into the net. Assists went to Erik Johnson and Nazem Kadri.
The Avalanche outshot the Sharks 46-27. The Sharks power play had three shots in three opportunities and their penalty kill allowed nine shots I three penalty kills, including one five-on-three.
The Sharks next play on Saturday back in San Jose against the Dallas Stars at 7:30 PM PT.