Sharks slip past Avalanche in shootout

HP PAVILION — After blazing to a 7-0 start this season, the Sharks suddenly saw wins turn into an endangered species.

Team Teal dropped nine of ten games — scoring a grand total of seven goals — during extended road trips forced upon them by the SAP Open and Disney on Ice paying the rent at their home arena.

But buoyed by a three-game homestand at the tank — beginning Tuesday night hosting the last place Colorado Avalanche — the Sharks blew a one-goal lead with 3:16 left in regulation yet managed to win 3-2 in a shootout with Patrick Marleau scoring the game winner.

TJ Galiardi came through in his biggest game with San Jose, notching his first goal of the season against his former team:

Sharks forward TJ Galiardi

“I really didn’t like the first game I played against them. I think I was too hyped up so tonight I just took it easy, did my usual routine and it worked out. “

The Sharks secondary lines have been practically invisible, so it was nice to see Galiardi, James Sheppard, and Adam Burish come through in a big way.

“It’s obviously been something that we’ve struggled with this whole season and we’ve been looking for chemistry on our third and fourth lines and every now and then you’ve got to switch guys in with our first two lines. It’s obviously pretty early. We had one goal so it’s about stringing it together now.”

Once a great rivalry in the Western Conference, the Avalanche have become the Sharks’ personal whipping boy, having now lost nine straight games in San Jose dating back to February of 2008.

Avalanche netminder Semyon Varlamov was the second star of the game and deservedly so.  He stopped 39 shots including a potential game-winner by Joe Thornton early in overtime. He made a beauty of a glove save on a wicked wrister by Thornton from the right circle.

Colorado coach Joe Sacco has never won at San Jose during the regular season and has only one playoff win to his name at HP Pavilion in his tenure with the Avs:

Colorado head coach Joe Sacco

“Any building on the road is hard to play in. You’ve got to get dialed in. You’ve got to make sure your intensity level is high and you don’t have the luxury of certain matchups that you may like. Anywhere you play on the road it’s difficult.”

Logan Couture scored his first goal in eight games.  He helped set the tone scoring :25 into the game and was obviously happy to get back on the scoreboard.

Sharks center Logan Couture

“It’s good to score. I always I put a lot of pressure on myself when the team’s not scoring and I’m not scoring. You want to help the team out so it’s good to get one quick and hopefully I can build off this and get a couple more.”

Ryane Clowe served the second and final game of his suspension for leaving the bench early in the closing seconds of the Sharks 2-1 loss at Chicago Friday night. Coach Todd McClellan did not mince his words that he’s none too pleased with the veteran forward who leads the team in penalty minutes with 68.

Sharks head coach Todd McLellan

“He’s been better the last two weeks. His feet have been moving, he’s starting to look the way Clowey should look. But sometimes when you step back and he was forced to because of the suspension, you can learn a lot about your teammates. You can learn alot about the game. Watching it from where you guys do way up it’s awfully slow and you can see plays develop and evolve but it doesn’t happen at that pace on the ice surface so maybe it’ll be good for him.”‘

Translation: Clowe needs to stop spending so much time in the penalty box and be a positive contributor on the team. His lack of anger management has already cost him $ 39,000 in the pocket book and he should feel fortunate the league didn’t assess a ten-game penalty which they could have for his selfish actions.