1 2 3 SO T
Colorado Avalanche COL 1 0 1 0 (1-4) 2
27 SHOTS 41
36 HITS 18
10 PIM 4
0/2 PP 0/5

Avs Tie Game Late, But Sharks Take It In Shootout

Wednesday, 02.27.2013 / 2:33 AM

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Patrick Marleau scored in the fourth round of the shootout, Antti Niemi stopped three shots in the tiebreaker and the San Jose Sharks picked up a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.

Michal Handzus made the first shot in the shootout and two Sharks missed before Marleau shook Semyon Varlamov, sneaking the puck between the goaltender's legs for the winning score. Niemi turned aside 25 of 27 shots before the shootout and tossed aside John Mitchell's fourth round attempt that would have sent the tiebreak to a fifth frame.

Logan Couture and TJ Galiardi also scored goals for the Sharks, who snapped a two-game losing streak. San Jose has won eight straight at home, including three in overtime.

Chuck Kobasew scored in the first period and Mark Olver scored the tying goal for the Avalanche with 3:16 remaining in regulation.

Varlamov made 39 saves and gave the Avs a chance to win the contest in a shootout after doing a leg-splitting, glove save on a Joe Thornton shot in overtime.

The Sharks looked at home from the start, scoring just 25 seconds into the game. Thornton stole the puck from the back boards and quickly passed to Couture collapsing on the goal. Couture flicked the puck past Varlamov as his seventh goal of the season - and first in nine games - sailed into the back of the net.

It was the fastest Sharks score this season, topping Thornton's goal 43 seconds into a 4-1 win over Vancouver on Jan. 27. Protecting the lead only lasted a little longer.

San Jose couldn't clear the puck, and Kobasew corralled the rebound for the tying score with about eight minutes remaining in the first period. It was Kobasew's second goal of the season.

Another fast start following the break put the Sharks in control again.

James Sheppard flicked a blind, backhand pass to Galiardi just outside the far-post crease. Galiardi pushed the puck into the net for his first goal of the year, giving San Jose a 2-1 lead just 2:55 into the second period.

In the third period, Michal Handzus missed a chance for a short-handed goal that would've put the game away when a friendly bounce off the side boards gave him a breakaway, which Varlamov blocked with his body as a defender swooped in from behind. Colorado capitalized just after its power play ended.

Jan Hejda's slap shot deflected off the end wall and into a crowd near the crease. Olver flipped the puck just over Niemi's leg pads for the tying score at 16:44 of the third period.

The Sharks finished 0 for 5 on the power play, including a chance between the third period and overtime when former Sharks forward Jamie McGinn was called for a high stick. In the last 10 games, San Jose is 2 for 46 on the power play.

The Sharks have been held to two goals or fewer in 10 of their 11 games this month that didn't go to a shootout.

NOTES: Avalanche captain Gabe Landeskog returned to the arena one month to the day he got a head injury on a huge hit from Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart. Landeskog had been out of the lineup until the previous two games. ... Colorado's Patrick Bordeleau picked up his first NHL point in the first period, assisting on Chuck Kobasew's goal. ... Avalanche center Matt Duchene, leading the team with 11 assists and 17 points, missed the game with a groin injury. ... Colorado returns home to face Calgary on Thursday.

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