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game recap

Avalanche 5, Sharks 2

Monday, 06.18.2012 / 11:47 PM

Associated Press

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Avalanche 5, Sharks 2
San Jose Sharks 2, Colorado Avalanche 5

DENVER (AP) -Wojtek Wolski scored two goals and Craig Anderson stopped 38 shots, lifting Colorado to a season-opening 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night after the Avalanche retired Joe Sakic's No. 19.

Darcy Tucker, Cody McLeod and John-Michael Liles also scored, making a winner out of new Avalanche coach Joe Sacco.

Patrick Marleau had two goals for San Jose, which dropped to 0-5-2 in season openers on the road.

Evgeni Nabokov allowed all five goals on 20 shots. He remains one victory shy of becoming the 38th goalie in NHL history to win 250 games.

The Avalanche is starting its 14th season in Denver, and first without their longtime captain Sakic. His sweater was raised to the Pepsi Center rafters in a ceremony before the game. Sakic's number is the third retired since the Avalanche relocated from Quebec in 1995, joining Patrick Roy (33) and Ray Bourque (77).

While Sakic was the face of the franchise for nearly two decades, the team may be uncovering two more in 18-year-old rookies Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly.

They both made their debuts Thursday, each earning an assist. It is the first time a team has had two 18-year-old players in a season-opening lineup since the Winnipeg Jets played Shane Doan and Jason Doig in 1995-96.

Duchene, taken with the third overall pick in the June draft, and O'Reilly, a second-round pick, logged a lot of action. Duchene brought the crowd to its feet with several slick moves, but couldn't score on Nabokov.

Duchene grew up a big Sakic fan, with posters adorning his walls. He said it was going to be a night to remember with his first NHL game falling on the night Sakic was honored.

Sakic retired in July after a 20-year career. He leaves the game among the NHL's career scoring leaders, winding up eighth in points (1,641), 11th in assists (1,016) and 14th in goals (625). He also guided the team to two Stanley Cup titles and won league MVP honors in 2001.

The Avalanche is coming off a season in which the team finished last in the Western Conference for the first time since moving to Colorado. The club made sweeping changes, bringing in a new general manager in Greg Sherman and hiring Sacco, who had been with Lake Erie of the American Hockey League for the last two seasons.

Sacco pledged an uptempo style, and that is how the Avalanche played. Colorado had nine players record assists, including two by Paul Stastny.

To shore up their shaky goalie situation, Colorado signed Anderson. The veteran turned in a solid game, thwarting the Sharks on a 5-on-3 power play in the third period. Of his 38 saves, 19 came in the final period.

Marleau scored both goals off assists from Joe Pavelski. Marleau is starting the season strong after netting a career-high 38 goals in 2008-09.

NOTES: Avalanche F David Jones (chest) was scratched from the lineup, along with D Ruslan Salei and F T.J. Hensick. ... At 18 years, 236 days, O'Reilly is the second youngest player to see action in franchise history. The youngest was Owen Nolan, who beat O'Reilly by two days. ... NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was also in attendance.

scoring summary
1st Period
02:03
COL
Darcy Tucker (1) Tip-in - ASST: John-Michael Liles (1), TJ Galiardi (1)
1 - 0 COL
05:47
SJS
Patrick Marleau (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Joe Pavelski (1)
1 - 1 Tie
09:05
COL
Wojtek Wolski (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Milan Hejduk (1), Paul Stastny (1)
2 - 1 COL
2nd Period
05:12
COL
Cody McLeod (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Chris Stewart (1), Ryan O'Reilly (1)
3 - 1 COL
08:26
SJS
PPG - Patrick Marleau (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Joe Pavelski (2), Dan Boyle (1)
3 - 2 COL
09:48
COL
Wojtek Wolski (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Paul Stastny (2), Kyle Quincey (1)
4 - 2 COL
12:17
COL
PPG - John-Michael Liles (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Brett Clark (1), Matt Duchene (1)
5 - 2 COL
3rd Period
NONE
penalty summary
1st Period
11:53
COL
Darcy Tucker  Hooking against  Jody Shelley
14:20
SJS
Jamie McGinn  Hooking against  Kyle Cumiskey
19:56
SJS
Rob Blake  Hi stick - double minor against  Chris Stewart
2nd Period
07:49
COL
Adam Foote  Holding against  Joe Thornton
10:25
COL
David Koci  Fighting (maj) against  Jody Shelley
10:25
SJS
Jody Shelley  Fighting (maj) against  Matt Hendricks
10:25
SJS
Jody Shelley  Roughing against  Matt Hendricks
16:24
COL
Scott Hannan  Holding against  Scott Nichol
3rd Period
02:57
COL
Marek Svatos  Hooking against  Joe Pavelski
11:32
COL
Wojtek Wolski  Cross checking against  Benn Ferriero
11:32
COL
Scott Hannan  Hooking against  Patrick Marleau
goalie stats
Evgeni Nabokov
Evgeni Nabokov
SA: 20TOI: 59:36
Saves: 15EV: 10 - 14
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 6
SV%: .750SH: 0 - 0
Craig Anderson
SA: 40TOI: 60:00
Saves: 38EV: 25 - 26
PIM: 0PP: 12 - 13
SV%: .950SH: 1 - 1
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