When: 10:30 PM ET, Monday, March 26, 2012
Where: HP Pavillion at San Jose, San Jose, California
THE STORY: Despite being in a three-way tie for eighth in the Western Conference, the Colorado Avalanche basically are in a must-win situation when they visit the San Jose Sharks on Monday. Colorado is even in points with San Jose and Los Angeles but has played two more games than both teams. The Avalanche are 5-1-2 in their last eight.San Jose, which is looking to complete a perfect three-game homestand, has won seven straight against Colorado at HP Pavilion.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, Altitude (Avalanche), CS California (Sharks)
Colorado Avalanche (40-31-6): Gabriel Landeskog continued his push for the Calder Trophy with a power-play goal in Saturday’s overtime loss to Vancouver. The 19-year-old Swede tops all rookies – as well as the Avalanche – with 22 tallies and trails Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins by one for the rookie scoring lead with 48 points. Defenseman Erik Johnson has missed three straight games with back spasms.
San Jose Sharks (38-27-10): Captain Joe Thornton notched two assists in Saturday’s shootout win over Phoenix, giving him 750 for his career. He is tied with Hall of Famer Larry Robinson for 40th on the all-time list. Coach Todd McLellan wants his team to focus on the task at hand rather than think about what could have been had they played better earlier in the season. “We have to accept where we are right now,” he said. “Would we like to change it? Yes. But this is where we are, so now accept the challenge. We have to be excited about the opportunity to get (in the playoffs).”
1. Colorado has lost 13 of its last 16 visits to San Jose.
2. The Sharks have scored three goals or less in each of their last 20 games.
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