SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) – Andre Burakovsky scored 41 seconds in overtime and the Colorado Avalanche gained ground in the race for first place in the West Division by passing the San Jose Sharks 5-4 on Monday night.
“In the end it was really big here,” said Burakovsky. “We want to come first. This was a must do for us … even though we were downstairs there was no doubt about it. We just found a way to do this. It was fun to play and fun to watch. “
Martin Jones got a piece of Burakovsky’s shot, but it ran past him into the net for the game winner.
Colorado scored three goals in the third half to overcome two deficits of two and scored Nazim Kadri’s decisive goal at 3:39.
“I loved our reaction in the third phase,” said coach Jared Bednar. “Just the increased sense of urgency and a little bit of desperation in our game.”
Mikko Rantanen scored his 29th goal of the season and Valeri Nichushkin and Gabriel Landeskog also scored a goal for the Avalanche. Philipp Grubauer made 23 parades.
With one game in hand, Colorado was within two points of first place in Vegas after the Golden Knights lost 5-6 to Minnesota.
Evander Kane scored twice and Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier also scored a goal for San Jose. Jones made 26 saves.
The Sharks lost for the eleventh time in 13 games and were officially excluded from the playoff competition. This is the third time in franchise history that they have missed playoffs in two consecutive years, including 1992 and 1993, and 1996 and 1997.
“In this league you don’t turn things around in six months, eight months or ten months. It takes time, ”said coach Bob Boughner. “There is some pain associated with that, and some growing to do. There we are. … It’s a little disappointing not to be in the playoffs. But we know what the bigger picture is and where we are going. “
San Jose appeared to be in control after scoring twice in the second half and taking a 3-1 lead. But Nichushkin scored early in the game to score a game with one goal and Landeskog made it 4-3 after Meier scored for San Jose.
A turnover from Brent Burns gave Kadri’s goal a 19-game run without a goal, and Burakovsky won it in overtime.
“It’s hard to see how the game ended,” said Boughner. “I thought we should have celebrated two points tonight.”
FLIP THE SCRIPT
The Avalanche came into play with a league-best goal differential in the second period of plus-33. But the Sharks dominated the frame, with Hertl making sales and Kane making an outlier. During this period, San Jose prevailed 13-2 against Colorado and held the avalanche on the fewest shots in a period since the second hit against St. Louis on October 21, 2019.
Avalanche substitute goalkeeper Devan Dubnyk was added to the COVID-19 list ahead of the game after testing positive. Dubnyk will be quarantined for two weeks in his San Jose area home, which he still has after being trafficked by the sharks last month. Jonas Johansson was the substitute goalkeeper. Grubauer returned after missing more than two weeks on the COVID-19 list for Colorado last week.
The teams end the season on Wednesday in San Jose. Colorado is 6-1 in the season series, including three in a stretch of four in a row against the Sharks.
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