San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Chris Stewart was credited with the game- winning goal inside the final minute of regulation to lead the Colorado Avalanche to a 2-1 win over San Jose in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series at the Shark Tank.
Stewart's shot from behind the goal line deep in the Colorado offensive zone actually deflected in off the skate of San Jose defenseman Rob Blake. John- Michael Liles also scored for the eighth-seeded Avalanche, who returned to the postseason one year after posting the worst record in the Western Conference.
Craig Anderson recorded 25 saves in the victory.
Ryan Clowe scored the only goal for the Sharks, who entered the playoffs as the top seed in the West for the second consecutive season but again are off to a slow start. Last spring, the Sharks lost in the first round in six games to Anaheim as the No. 1 seed.
Evgeni Nabokov allowed two goals on 30 shots for San Jose.
The teams will return here for Game 2 of this best-of-seven series on Friday.