A commanding victory and a lucky strike in the other fixtures playedon Monday evening helped the San Jose Sharks climb to the top of the NHL’s Pacific Division for the first time in over a month.
The Sharks gobbled up the visiting Colorado Avalanche at the HP Pavilion, winning five points to one, but it was the results of two
other matches that secured San Jose’s meteoric rise up the leaderboard.
San Jose can thank the Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks for taking out two of their division mates, in the Dallas Stars and the Los Angeles Kings. Calgary won 5-4 over the Stars, while Vancouver stole a 1-0 triumph from the Kings.
The Sharks made up for a goalless first period in San Jose, last night, by scoring three times against the Avs in the second. Joe
Pavelski grabbed the first, hitting a wrist shot off the assist from Minnesota-born defenceman, Justin Braun.
Andrew Desjardins stacked the odds against Colorado with the Sharks’ second at 9:19, but a sneaky goal from the Avalanche’s Shane O’Brien two minutes later threatened a late retaliation from the tourists.
Torrey Mitchell put the Avs’ rebellion to the sword at the end of the second period, beating Colorado tender, Semyon Varlamov, with a neat snap shot. Pavelski added a power-play goal for the Sharks at the beginning of the third.
Canadian winger, Ryane Clowe, completed the rout of Colorado at 16:23 in the final period. The result means that the Avs and San Jose have enjoyed mirror-opposite fortunes in their most recent outings: three wins in three for the Sharks, and three defeats in a row for Colorado.
“Every game’s different, but the last three games, we’ve felt like we’ve played pretty good hockey and put together solid efforts”, San
Jose’s Mitchell said, in the wake of the game. “At times, it’s not the full 60 minutes, but we’re getting there, and hopefully we’re peaking at the right time here.”