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Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche too much for the San Jose Sharks

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SAN JOSE — Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson was in the offensive zone in the second half when he saw winger Rudolfs Balcers dashing toward the Colorado Avalanche net. Karlsson then hit him with a tape-to-tape pass, but Balcers’ detour bounced harmlessly off the post.

Later in the half, Karlsson created a breakaway with Alexander Barabanov. However, Barabanov missed the net with a vengeance from about 15 feet.

The missed chances proved costly as the Sharks came back from a four-goal deficit with goals from Jeffrey Viel, Balcers and Karlsson but lost 5-3 at the SAP Center

Much of the second period saw a goalless 146-32 loss for the Sharks, and Balcers and Karlsson both scored in the third period.

The Sharks allowed Nazem Kadri a power play goal and darren Helm, Cale Makar and Valeri Nichushkin even had strength markers in what became their third loss in a row.

Final chances have been an issue for the Sharks all season.

Unless forward Jonathan Dahlen gets hot, the Sharks will appear to have just three 20-goal scorers this season, namely Timo Meier and Tomas Hertl, who have 25 goals each, and Logan Couture, who has 20 goals.

Dahlen is next on the list with 12 goals this season as the Sharks started Saturday at an average of 2.57 goals per game.

In other words, getting another player in two who can shoot around the net would probably be one of the top priorities for the Sharks front office this offseason.

The Sharks were disallowed a Couture goal after an avalanche challenge found the San Jose captain offside at the 6:07 mark of the first period. From there, Colorado took the lead as Kadri and Helm went 3:56 apart for a 2-0 lead.

Sharks goaltender Zach Sawchenko allowed three goals on Colorado’s first 11 shots and finished with 24 saves.

Hertl received a hearty round of applause in the first period, a kind of appreciation after the centerman signed an eight-year, $65.1 million contract extension with the team earlier this week.

Hertl said one reason he decided to stay with the Sharks long-term is that he believes the team isn’t as far from being a playoff contender again as it was in most of its first was the case over eight seasons in organizing .

There is of course a way to go.

The Sharks played in the Avalanche against the NHL’s top team, who now have a league-record 44-13-5, just three days after losing 3-2 in overtime to the Florida Panthers.

“I think this team is probably the best in the league,” Sharks winger Andrew Cogliano said before the game. “They play at a really high pace and just like Florida, they make games and they have some of the best players in the league.

“So I think it’s an opportunity for us to see where we are in relation to our competition. Really against a team like this you really have no choice but to compete hard and bring your A-game because if you don’t then it’s not looking good.”

https://www.thereporter.com/2022/03/18/sharks-late-rally-not-enough-in-loss-to-league-leading-avalanche/ Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche too much for the San Jose Sharks

Dais Johnston

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