All-stars Jonathan Cheechoo and Joe Thornton also scored man-advantage goals for the Sharks, who have won six of seven on the strength of the NHL’s best power play. San Jose leads the league with 63 power-play goals while scoring more than 25 per cent of the time, and Colorado’s penalty-killers were beaten three times while the Sharks took a season-high 42 shots.
Evgeni Nabokov made 26 saves in his first victory since Dec. 23 for the Sharks, who are creeping back into the Pacific Division race. San Jose is six points behind the Anaheim Ducks, who have stumbled since getting off to one of the best starts in NHL history.
Peter Budaj made 39 saves in another outstanding performance for the Avalanche, whose three-game road winning streak was snapped. Captain Joe Sakic scored a power-play goal in the third period.
With Thornton’s third-period goal, every member of the Western Conference’s starting line at next week’s all-star game scored a goal at the Shark Tank. Sakic, Thornton and Cheechoo will suit up together Jan. 24 in Dallas.