Tuesday, January 26, 2016 / Game 51
HP Pavillion / San Jose, CA

After getting out of Dallas with a lucky win on Saturday, the Colorado Avalanche brought a three game win streak into California before the NHL All-Star break. On Tuesday, the Avs looked like the same type of team on the ice that showed up in Dallas, unfortunately things did not go their way at all in San Jose.

Calvin Pickard was in goal to start the game, despite dealing with the flu early in the day — and he was not at his best, allowing four goals through the first two periods and being replaced by Roman Will in the third period.

The Sharks got things going quickly as Melker Karlsson put the first one by Pickard when a Brent Burns shot deflected off his body at 6:19 of the first period. Minutes later, at 10:13, Tomas Hertl netted his 10th goal of the season to make it 2-0 San Jose.

In the second period, the San Jose doubled up with another two goals — Sharks’ captain Joe Pavelski scored on the power play at 15:28 and then Joel Ward scored just 50 seconds later at 16:18. On Pavelski’s goal, former Sharks’ captain Joe Thornton recorded his second assist of the night, giving the future hall of famer 1,300 points in his NHL career.

It was at this point where Patrick Roy decided that he better start thinking about tomorrow night’s game in Los Angeles, as he switched goaltenders — letting Roman Will make his NHL debut — and also limited the ice time of Erik Johnson and Mikhail Grigorenko who were also sick with flu symptoms during the day.

Roman Will did not play the complete 20 minutes in net however, as Roy pulled his goalie for an extra attacker at multiple times during the period — trying to spark his team. San Jose added an empty netter by defenseman Paul Martin at 8:21 of the third period and they got their sixth goal by rookie Dylan DeMelo at 19:03 — his first career goal.

It took the Avs five power play chances to finally score a goal — at 11:35 of the third period Colorado got on the scoreboard when Nathan MacKinnon scored his 17th goal of the season on the power play, assisted by Alex Tanguay and Erik Johnson.

In his NHL debut, Roman Will played for 18:16 in net and recorded two saves on three shots.



  1. Joe Thornton — 2 assists (1,300th NHL point)
  2. Tomas Hertl — 1 goal, 1 assist
  3. Martin Jones — 21 saves, win


It’s never fun putting an opponent’s goal as the play of the game, but this was really the only pretty play that the Sharks created and scored on — and it was set up by Joe Thornton, who recored his 1,300th NHL point on the play.


On a night like this, it’s pretty hard to look at one spot in the game where it went wrong for the Avalanche. But, it was when this goal happened to make it 2-0 that it was apparent that it was not Calvin Pickard’s night, and the team never recovered from the bad start.



The loss does not hurt the Avs in the standings currently, but it certainly is a missed opportunity. They are still sitting in the last wild card spot for eight place in the Western Conference with 55 points. Currently one point ahead of Nashville who gained a couple of points with a win in Vancouver on Tuesday night.


Colorado has one more chance to go into the NHL All-Star Break on a high note, as they travel down the Pacific Coastline to Los Angeles to do battle with the Kings at Staples Center on Wednesday night. Puck drops at 8:30pm MT and it will be again televised nationally on NBC Sports Network as part of their Wednesday Night Rivalry.

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Nick Bracken

Covers DU Hockey, Colorado Avalanche and Colorado Rapids for BSNDenver. Nick can be followed @nickbracken303 on Twitter. He enjoys watching any live sports on TV and playing hockey and golf in his free-time. Chris Drury is his all-time favorite athlete.