Avalanche top line overwhelms Sharks in 4-3 win

Sharks

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP)Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog each had a goal and two assists and Colorado’s top line overwhelmed the San Jose Sharks in a 4-3 victory for the Avalanche on Sunday night.

MacKinnon and Landeskog scored the first two goals for the Avalanche and then set up Vladislav Namestnikov for the go-ahead score midway through the second period to give Colorado its 10th win in its past 11 road games.

Former Sharks forward Joonas Donskoi added a goal in the third and Pavel Francouz made 22 saves to keep the Avalanche two points behind St. Louis in the race for first place in the Central Division with a game in hand.

Joe Thornton, Melker Karlsson and Noah Gregor scored for the Sharks, who lost their third straight game to end a six-game homestand. Martin Jones made 20 saves.

Namestnikov scored the tiebreaking goal off a pass from Landeskog shortly after Francouz stopped Evander Kane on a breakaway.

Landeskog had scored earlier in the second period after MacKinnon created a chance with some nifty moves before getting stopped by Jones. Landeskog was there to knock in the rebound.

Karlsson tied it when he blocked a shot from Kevin Cannauton at point to set up his own breakaway off a pass from Marcus Sorensen.

Donskoi’s goal late in the third in his first game back in San Jose since leaving as a free agent last offseason gave Colorado a two-goal cushion which proved important when Gregor scored on the power play with 43.6 seconds to play.

The attendance of 14,694 marked the second time this homestand the Sharks drew fewer than 15,000 fans, a low last reached by the franchise in the 2003-04 season. The combination of a losing team and the spread of the coronavirus in Santa Clara County have likely contributed to the low attendance.

The teams traded power-play goals in the first period with Thornton converting off a pass from Kane midway through the period for San Jose and MacKinnon answering late in the period off a pass from Landeskog late in the first for his 35th goal.

NOTES: Sharks captain Logan Couture left in the first period after being hit in the face from a puck by teammate Timo Meier and didn’t return. … Thortnon’s goal gave him 30 points in a season for the 21st time in his career. Only Gordie Howe (25), Mark Messier (24), Ron Francis and Jaromir Jagr (23 each) and Ray Bourque (22) have done that more often. … Landeskog has an eight-game point streak with five goals and eight assists in that span. … Colorado had its streak of 11 straight games without allowing a power play goal snapped.

UP NEXT

Avalanche: Visit Los Angeles on Monday night.

Sharks: Visit Chicago on Wednesday night.

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