With tremendous talent in the top line and top defensive pairing, the Avalanche was 27-0-1 when they took the lead in the third period of this season. But that probability didn’t pay off on Wednesday night at the SAP Center in San Jose, where top line and top pairing were pointless and a combined minus of 10.
“We didn’t care enough to review this group,” said Avs manager Jared Bednar of strikers Nathan MacKinnon, Gabe Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen, and defenders Cale Makar and Devon Toews, minus two each.
Colorado and its top players lost 3-2 to Sharks – with a 2-0 lead and three goals in the last 21 minutes.
“We mostly had people who played hard. We did some good things, ”said Bednar. “We stuck with it, held on to it and built a 2-0 lead, and then we gave it back to them because we stopped testing. If you don’t look, you won’t win. “
The Avs saw the end of their winning streak in three games and MacKinnon failed to score a point on the road for the first time in 18 games. Scoring no point as a team, Colorado lost ground to the Vegas Golden Knights and Minnesota Wild in the Wild West Division. The Knights defeated the Wild in overtime on Wednesday, and Vegas extended their lead on runner-up Avs to four points, and third-placed Minnesota was within one of Colorado.
The Avs (34-13-4), who have five games left in the regular season, have one game against Vegas (37-13-2) and Minnesota (33-14-5).
The shark striker Tomas Hertl, who played in his 500th game, was involved in all three goals and scored two goals against goalkeeper Philipp Grubauer (30 saves).
San Jose scored two goals in the first 10 minutes of the third half and took a 3-2 lead – the first time in the game. Hertl scored 2:50 in the frame and Erik Karlsson scored a power play goal at 9:18.
The Avs administered the only two penalties in the third period and both got into the offensive zone – Landeskog to hook and Burakovsky to board. Karlsson capitalized with Landeskog in the penalty area.
“We have taken two penalties 200 feet from our net,” Bednar said. “One behind their net, one on their end boards. They give talented groups a chance to stay in the game and win the game in the end. “
After a goalless first half, the Avalanche scored twice late in the second and took a 2-0 lead. Strikers Tyson Jost and Andre Burakovsky scored the goals – Jost with a backhand from a rebound and Burakovsky with his wrist from the left circle.
However, San Jose cut its deficit in half with just 13 seconds in the picture. Hertl typed in a 2v0 feed from Evander Kane. Makar and Toews were both defeated in the game after the top line failed to take possession of the puck in the offensive zone.
“It’s disappointing to say the least,” said Jost of the loss. “We started well and gave ourselves the chance to win the hockey game in the third. We just didn’t run. We did not meet our standards … In our dressing room this is not acceptable. “
Striker Alex Newhook made his NHL debut for the Avs, who selected him with the 16th Draft Pick for 2019. Newhook, a 20-year-old center, joined the Avs on Sunday after eight games with the AHL’s Colorado Eagles to begin his professional career.
He had five goals and nine points to lead the Eagles to scoring this stretch.
“He seems like a really mature player. He has a good understanding of how we want to play, ”Bednar said of Newhook after his morning skating in San Jose. “He’s done really well with the Eagles in that short time. Looks like he’s ready. “
Newhook had a shot in 13:20 Ice Age on his debut.
Newhook, who signed with the Avs on March 31 after two seasons with Boston College, stepped into a top six role, centering the second row with Nazem Kadri and Burakovsky. Carl Soderberg fell back to the bottom six and fourth winger Kiefer Sherwood was scratched.
“Really proud to be here, excited to come in here with this group of people,” Newhook said. “You dream of this day. I’ve dreamed about it all my life. It is exciting. I immediately called my parents; You are the first to know. So far it has been great to take it all in. “
He added, “The (Avs) guys were great at welcoming me and giving me some pointers.”
Newhook was the 2020 Tim Taylor Award winner for NCAA Rookie of the Year. He accumulated 58 points in 46 career games for Boston College. In college and at the beginning of his professional career, for example, he averaged more than one point per game.
“I think it’s been a good transition,” said Newhook of moving from college to the pros.
Footnote. The Avs, who play two games in Los Angeles on Friday and Saturday, ended 6-2 against the Sharks. … Grubauer was supported by Jonas Johansson. # 2 goalkeeper Devan Dubnyk remains on the NHL COVID log in San Jose after testing positive for the virus. It was acquired by the sharks last month. … Defender Jacob MacDonald returned from seven-game injury to replace Dan Renouf.