|COL||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
|SJS||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||3|
The San Jose Sharks began the week by calling a closed-door meeting after a frustrating loss. They can end it in back in sole possession of first place in the Western Conference.
The Sharks go for their fifth win in six games Sunday when they host the last-place Colorado Avalanche.
Following a 4-3 loss to Phoenix - the West's second-worst team - on Tuesday, San Jose's players, coaches and general manager had a 90-minute meeting to address some issues. The Sharks (47-14-10) have responded with back-to-back wins, including a 5-2 victory over Dallas on Saturday, to pull within a point of conference-leading Detroit.
The Red Wings are idle Sunday, giving the Sharks the opportunity to take over sole possession of first place for the first time since before beginning play on March 4.
San Jose, which has already clinched the Pacific Division, fell behind the Stars 1-0 in the opening eight minutes before scoring four unanswered goals.
"We're building on what's transpired over the last week," said Sharks coach Todd McLellan, whose team has bounced back after a four-game winless streak. "We slept a little bit early. The first 10 minutes, we weren't the better team, but once we got ourselves into it and woke up a little bit, we were doing a lot of the things that we needed to do."
Joe Pavelski ended a seven-game goal drought by scoring in the second period, and Devin Setoguchi stopped a 12-game goal-less slide after scoring his 26th in the first.
Setoguchi also had an assist for his first multi-point game since Jan. 13. He's third on San Jose with 56 points, and while his slump got him demoted to the second line, Setoguchi was not complaining.
"Maybe it's cleared my mind," he said. "It's strange how your mind can get so clouded when things aren't going well. Hopefully I can keep it going from here."
The Sharks have beaten Colorado twice in Denver in 2008-09, and won four of the last six matchups in San Jose. Evgeni Nabokov shut out the Avalanche on Jan. 27, making 31 saves in a 3-0 win.
Colorado (31-39-2) comes in having lost three in a row including its worst defeat of the season, 8-1 at home to Edmonton on Thursday. Cody McLeod scored in the first period, but Peter Budaj permitted seven unanswered goals en route to his 27th loss of the season.
Colorado is 13 points out of the final playoff spot in the West with 10 games remaining. The Avalanche reached the conference semifinals last season, losing in four games to eventual Stanley Cup champion Detroit. They've missed the playoffs only once since moving to Denver prior to the 1995-96.
"We'll take it day by day," forward Ian Laperriere said. "The sun is going to come out tomorrow."
Colorado is 3-9-1 since Feb. 22, averaging 1.9 goals during that stretch.
The Sharks may close this homestand without defenseman Rob Blake, who left midway through Saturday's second period with a lower-body injury. Center Marcel Goc also left early and is not expected to play.
|Apr 07 '09||COL 0 at SJS 1 - SO||J. Pavelski|
|Mar 22 '09||COL 1 at SJS 3||M. Michalek|
|Jan 27 '09||SJS 3 at COL 0||M. Michalek|
|Nov 02 '08||SJS 5 at COL 3||M. Michalek|