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NHL Game Summary - Colorado at San Jose

(Friday, December 30th)

Final Score: San Jose 5, Colorado 2

San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Joe Thornton had two goals and an assist to lead the San Jose Sharks over the Colorado Avalanche, 5-2, at HP Pavilion.

Jonathan Cheechoo added a goal and an assist and Nils Ekman had a career- high four assists for the Sharks, who stopped a four-game losing streak. Vesa Toskala made 20 saves in the win.

"I thought it was one of our best efforts," said Cheechoo. "We came out for a full 60 minutes and were working them down low because we wanted to get the puck in deep. Their defense is a little slower than they had been in the past."

Joe Sakic and Alex Tanguay scored for the Avalanche, who have lost two straight and three of their last four games. David Aebischer stopped 38 shots in the defeat. It was the first loss for Colorado in ten games at San Jose. They went 8-0-1 (with one tie) in their previous nine games at the Pavilion.

Colorado drew first blood on the power play. Brett Clark let fly with a blast from the high slot that Toskala made the save on. However, Sakic was right on the doorstep and he poked in the rebound for his 17th goal of the season four minutes into the first period.

The Sharks, though, tied the game up in the waning seconds of the opening period with a power-play goal. Ekman sent a shot from the left point that Aebischer made a pad save on. Thornton, who was on the left side of the net, knocked in the rebound to tie it up with just six seconds on the clock.

San Jose took a 2-1 lead early in the second period. Thornton flicked a shot as he was being hauled down in the slot that went into the left corner of the net at the 3:04 mark.

However, Colorado answered 2:37 later. Ian Laperriere got the puck to Tanguay, who went charging into the Colorado zone all alone. He went to the backhand and slid the disc between Toskala's five-hole for his 13th goal of the season.

"They just outbattled us and outworked us," said Tanguay. "That's not acceptable. We made some mistakes and some penalties that maybe we shouldn't have taken. We're playing for a playoff spot right now and we have to find a way to win a hockey game."

The Sharks made it a 3-2 game thanks to an Avalanche turnover. John-Michael Liles had the puck deep in the Colorado zone and attempted to clear it out. However, the puck went right to Scott Thornton, who cut into the slot and sent a backhander that went over the glove of Aebischer with 5:44 left in the middle period.

San Jose took control of the game with two goals separated by 3:07 in the last period.

Ekman had the puck behind the right side of the net and sent a pass to Patrick Marleau, who got the puck in the slot and one-timed it into the net for a power-play goal just 2:16 in. Cheechoo poked in a rebound on a Ekman point shot for his 20th goal of the season to make it a 5-2 game at the 5:23 mark.

Game Notes

San Jose is off until Thursday, when they will host Columbus...The Avalanche travel to Phoenix for a game on Saturday...The Sharks are 10-4-3 at home this year...Colorado is 9-11-0 on the road...The Avalanche scored on one of their three power play opportunities...San Jose was successful on two of its eight power plays.

12/31 01:48:36 ET

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