Avalanche Vs. Sharks: San Jose Powers Past Colorado With Three-goal Third Period

SAN JOSE, CA - DECEMBER 15: Antti Niemi #31 of the San Jose Sharks is congratulated by teammates after they beat the Colorado Avalanche at HP Pavilion at San Jose on December 15, 2011 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

A third period surge by the struggling Sharks led San Jose to a much-needed 5-4 victory at home over the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs have now dropped nine-straight on the road.

The Colorado Avalanche got the best of the San Jose Sharks Tuesday night, defeating San Jose 4-3 in overtime. Thursday night's match would prove to be another tight one, this time with the Sharks scoring three unanswered goals in the final period for a 5-4 win on home ice. 

Ryane Clowe got the scoring started early for the struggling Sharks not too long after an early fight. However, boasting the NHL's third-best power play, two power play goals from Paul Stastny (who ended up with three points on the night) and Ryan O`Reilly gave the Avs a 2-1 lead by the end of the first period.

The second period was similar to the first, as Michal Handzus gave the Sharks early momentum with a goal to tie the game. The Avalanche struck back not to long after Handzus' goal with Stanstny's second goal of the game and then another goal toward the end of the period from Daniel Winnik, who had just fought Clowe just over 10 minutes before.

With the 4-2 lead, the Avs looked primed to defeat the Sharks for the second time in a home-and-home series. Yet, San Jose took advantage of a couple of juicy rebounds from Semyon Varlamov, thanks to Brent Burns and team-leading goal-scorer Joe Pavelski to tie the game at four. At the 11:29 mark of the third, Logan Couture came in the clutch to give the Sharks the 5-4 lead for the win, starting their six-game road trip with a victory.

A victory like this is something a struggling team like San Jose could use to get back into the swing of things.

"Right now we're a fragile hockey team and we need the confidence, and this third period will go a long way," said Couture in the team's postgame interview. "We need to build off of having a good day of practice tomorrow [Friday] and get ready into it against Edmonton."

Right now, though, the Sharks are trying to take it one game at a time, considering the usually tight standings in the Western Conference.

"A good game like that, It can mean a lot," said Burns about the comeback after the game. "But you just need the points -- it doesn't really matter."

For Colorado, with this loss and now losing nine in a row on the road (0-8-1), the Avs are sitting at 13th in the Western Conference. In other words, Sacco-Watch continues for them.

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