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Avs try to build momentum against visiting Sharks
(Sports Network) - Colorado did something its last time out that no other team has been able to do this season -- defeat the Chicago Blackhawks in regulation.
The Avalanche will try to build off that win on Sunday when they host the San Jose Sharks at Pepsi Center.
Matt Duchene totaled a goal and three assists to lift Colorado to Friday's 6-2 rout of the mighty Blackhawks. The Avalanche used a four-goal second-period burst to put a pair of monumental Chicago streaks to rest. Coming into the contest, Chicago had gone 24 games from the start of this truncated season with at least one point (21-0-3) and also won a franchise-record 11 consecutive outings.
But Duchene, John Mitchell, Ryan O'Reilly and Jamie McGinn all lit the lamp to turn a tie game after one period into a 5-1 advantage and the hosts cruised from there.
"What a special run they had. It was cool to end it here. We can enjoy it for tonight, but then we have to get back to work," Duchene said following the win.
PA Parenteau and Paul Stastny added a score and two helpers each for the Avalanche. Semyon Varlamov made 31 saves for his first win in three starts.
Despite the impressive win on Friday, Colorado still has only two victories over its last eight games and is locked in a three-way tie for 12th place in the Western Conference with 22 points.
The Avs have played the last three games without Milan Hejduk and the veteran forward's injured torso will likely cause him to miss another contest on Sunday.
San Jose has lost two straight but hopes to get back in the win column Sunday against a team it has had considerable success against recently. The Sharks are 2-0 against the Avalanche this season and have won four straight and seven of eight in this series.
However, Colorado has fared better against San Jose on home ice, winning two of three and four of its past six home tests against the Sharks. The Avs are 7-2-1 as the host this season compared to a 2-8-3 mark on the road.
After dropping Wednesday's 4-1 loss in Calgary, the Sharks returned home and were handed Saturday's overtime setback by the St. Louis Blues. Patrik Berglund scored the game-winner 72 seconds into overtime, lifting the visitors to a 4-3 decision at HP Pavilion.
Berglund fought off San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle at the left side of the cage and reached over his opponent to redirect a Barret Jackman shot home to end the contest.
San Jose goaltender Alex Stalock appeared in his second NHL game and was stuck with the loss after allowing the deciding goal. Starter Antti Niemi was pulled in the third period after giving up three goals on 28 shots.
Logan Couture, Scott Gomez and Matt Irwin tallied for the Sharks, who have also lost three of their last five games.
San Jose led Saturday's game by a 3-1 score after two periods, but Vladimir Sobotka, who recorded his first career hat trick in the game, tallied twice in a span of 80 seconds in the third period to help send the game to overtime for St. Louis.
"That was a tough one to take," Couture said. "With a 3-1 lead going into the third, obviously you don't want to give it up. It's tough right now to get over, but we have a game tomorrow that we have to focus on. You think about the mistakes you made, move on, and get better from it."
San Jose is 4-6-1 as the visiting team this season and is beginning a brief two-game road trip on Sunday. The Sharks will end the swing with Tuesday's rematch against St. Louis.
Sharks forward Martin Havlat missed his third straight game Saturday with a lower-body injury and he is considered day-to-day.
03/10 11:33:15 ET