Avalanche beat Sharks 2-1 in shootout to spoil 51-save performance by Mackenzie Blackwood

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche spoiled a remarkable 51-save performance by Sharks goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood, as they beat San Jose 2-1 in a shootout on the road on Saturday night. Cale Makar scored a late tying goal for the Avalanche, who ultimately secured the win with Mikko Rantanen’s lone shootout goal.

The Avalanche managed to score with just over a minute left in regulation on their 49th shot on net. Makar’s wrist shot found the back of the net, tying the game at 1. Following a scoreless overtime period where Colorado successfully killed off a San Jose power play, Rantanen’s shootout goal and a solid performance by Avalanche goaltender Alexandar Georgiev sealed the victory.

Blackwood’s incredible 51-save performance marked the most saves in NHL history by a goaltender in a team debut. On the other end, Georgiev made 20 saves for his 100th-career win.

“I thought the goalies stole the show,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “Both guys played extremely well.”

This victory extends Colorado’s winning streak against the Sharks to seven games. The Avalanche also have an impressive 15-2-0 record in their last 17 games against San Jose dating back to the 2019-20 season. Additionally, Colorado has won 13 consecutive regular season road games dating back to last season.

Before Makar’s goal, the Avalanche had been dominating play but couldn’t find a way past Blackwood. However, Georgiev remained focused despite seeing fewer shots. He played the puck when possible, received support from teammates, and made crucial saves when needed. In the shootout, he denied all three Sharks attempts to counter Blackwood’s performance.

Despite outshooting the Sharks 52-21, the Avalanche struggled to break through Blackwood’s stellar play until the third period. Blackwood, who made his debut for the Sharks after being traded from New Jersey in the offseason, made several key saves to keep the game close.

Sharks head coach David Quinn praised Blackwood’s performance, calling it “elite.”

“Sometimes pucks go your way,” Blackwood said. “I’ve been working hard with the goalie coach here and getting a lot of good work in, and I feel good about where my game is at.”

The Sharks took a 1-0 lead in the first period despite being outshot 16-9. Thomas Bordeleau, a second-round draft pick for the Sharks in 2020, scored his first career goal by deflecting a shot from Matt Benning past Georgiev. San Jose also successfully killed off two power plays in the first period and a 5-on-3 advantage in the second.

In terms of injuries, forward Andrew Cogliano returned to the Avalanche lineup after missing the season opener due to a fractured neck he suffered during the playoffs last season. For the Sharks, forward Mikael Granlund was placed on injured reserve after re-aggravating a lower-body injury, leaving the team without two of their top three centers alongside captain Logan Couture, who is also injured. Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic also left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury.

Looking ahead, the Avalanche will visit Seattle on Tuesday night, while the Sharks will host Carolina on the same night.


AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl


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